Thursday, December 25, 2008
not a creature was stirring...not even the wireless optical mouse
the shop was open once again, although not quite yet fully stocked
if it wasn't up to full by mid-January, even I would be shocked
Ok, so I'm not a poet! The thought was there.
Our big show has finished and the shop is reopened. It has been a hectic few weeks and I'm glad to have a moment or two of quiet and catch up on some much needed blog time!
Bear with me as I continue restocking the etsy shop. A very successful holiday season has left Simply Willow with little stock! I will be a busy girl, designing and creating exciting new jewelry over the coming weeks. I am also exploring other venues for selling, advertising and marketing....but I'll leave those for another time!
I wish everyone the happiest of holidays....and the brightest of New Years!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Simply Willow will be back to offer lots of new styles and "old" favourites for your holiday shopping on Monday 12/8!!!!
Have a great day!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Cindy carries a great selection and is constantly adding new products. She offers products from both the Vintaj and Trinity Brass lines, in addition to other products. Monthly specials and great customer service made Cindy’s Wicked Good Beadz a “must use” supplier for me. Although her orders ship from Alaska, I receive them here in Michigan quicker than many of the bigger “Wholesale to the Public” suppliers.
While there are many companies out there now selling filigree products, I highly recommend Cindy’s for the quality, pricing and the fantastic service.
If you decide to purchase from Cindy, please tell her that willow referred you!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Green rings....earrings...necklaces and bracelets! I've outdone myself! I really love some new components I recently ordered. Bead caps that look like little blossoms leaves, victorian style ring filigrees just waiting to be formed and adorned....earthy coloured beads in wonderful shapes and sizes.
Many people think of green and think of money, a specific holiday or a favorite item. Throughout time, however, green has been the colour of healing, of balance and harmony within ourselves and in the outside world. Green is the colour of nature and the earth, of growth and renewal. It can soothe and relax the soul.
I think green appeals to me just now...as the natural world around me is shedding its green for another year. These beautiful pieces are a reminder that it is only temporary. Spring will come, the world will come alive once again...
in all its glorious shades of green...
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I find my jewelry now is picking up so many of the rich colours and textures of the season. I’m very excited about this week’s new designs and look forward to displaying them at our show in Jackson, MI on 10/12/08.
After this season’s erratic weather, I am very relieved to be heading indoors for shows once again.
Friday, October 3, 2008
All I can say is… “WOW” My head full of ideas about making this work for me or reworking that so that it is more useful…all while in the back of my head is this little niggle, something I’m forgetting.
Photo boxes decorated in earthy designs labeled with the supplies in each, little tin and copper containers holding bits of this and that, antique cake plates with glues and paints and several tall old printers cabinets….all waiting to be filled with the various supplies around the studio… yet….
I look around my studio, which looks, I might add…as if Hurricane Willow has recently made landfall….and realize I am in serious need of a makeover. But..
Oh yes! Its holiday production time! My dream studio makeover will have to wait until time and budget will allow.
In the meantime, a huge thank you to Interweave for this dream inspiring issue of “Studios”.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The Krasl Gallery’s Holly Market in St Joseph, MI http://www.krasl.org/hollymarket.aspx was a wonderful venue for us in 2007, our 1st year of participation. They artfully and very professionally display works from invited Michigan artists…and host a week long show with ongoing special events. It’s wonderful exposure for the artists, an opportunity to sell in this fabulous lakeshore community and a great way to promote handmade artisan products! I couldn’t be more excited! I am creating a number of special pieces for the gallery, some from our new Victorian line and a few of my signature pieces, as well.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Honestly, though...I realised that I often spend 1-3 hours per day on the computer, another 10 hours or more at the office (this honestly should be cut in half .... wonder if my boss would agree!) and some more of that precious commodity engaged in conversation, eating or driving in the car. Since I don't think that law enforcement officials would appreciate me making jewelry while driving and eating is necessary to the act of living..... I have decided that I must limit my online time if I am to meet goals for upcoming shows and orders. Do i say goodbye to facebook and weloveetsy, my streetteam and indiepublic? I think not, but I do need to find a more time effective way of managing all of those groups and applications!
Jim Croche and your wonderful bottle....where are you?
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sounds fill the morning, the first cars carrying people up much earlier than I...on their way to work, the birds chirping playfully and the soft hum of my husband sleeping. This is music to create by! Several pieces of jewelry have been completed this morning, more than a couple moved on to various stages in the process.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I'm very excited and hope that helps drive some traffic to my etsy site. I love their products and feature them in many of my creations. Of course, you can check out my jewelry at http://simplywillow.etsy.com/
Now that we're home from taking my eldest son to college at Morehead University, i'm hoping that I can get some jewelry made for all of our upcoming shows.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Its amazing to think back on the path that my business and I have been down.
When I first started making jewelry, I was hooked on seed beads and dedicated all my free time to learning new bead-weaving patterns and creating intricate pieces that took 20-100 hours each to complete. Free time at that point was a luxury, as I was raising 4 little boys on my own. It could take me months to complete a piece and was worth every minute of the time. I still pick up a needle whenever I need to relax and find my center!
But one day, while at the local bead shop picking up a new hank of seed beads, semi-precious stones caught my eye…. Carnelian, Turquoise, Labradorite, Agates of all shapes and sizes. I fell head over heels!
In love with stones, I was almost embarrassed to find myself attracted to silver. In no time at all, I was obsessed with silver, everything from beads to pendants. I developed a serious crush on the various Hill Tribes products, flirted with the earthy Green Girl designs and thought I’d gone to heaven when I found Israeli silver!
But my true love found me one day in the pages of Stringing Magazine when I saw an ad for Vintaj brass. I had already been playing with antique brass for a couple of years, chain, bead caps, filigree…creating a piece here and there. But Vintaj was offering products that I’d never seen before and was immediately drawn to. They have steadily become my number one love, finding their way into design after design until they are now the focal point of the Simply Willow line.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring. But, I can honestly say that each Simply Willow piece is made with love….love of beads, love of brass, love of creating…
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I'm back from what should have been a fabulous show at the Richland Art Fair in Richland, MI! OHHHHH, the rain, the rain!!! By the time we packed up Saturday evening, we were doing it in the mud! Despite the constant rain, there was a steady flow of people, but no one was really buying. This remains one of my favourite shows! Great people, great organizers and usually...great sales!
We are supposed to be at a show this next weekend, but I am still recovering from knee surgery and we've decided to sit this one out! We're off to Grand Haven, MI for the Coast Guard Festival Art Show the first weekend in August, though! We wouldn't miss it for anything!
I've noticed that the climate of shows has changed a good deal this year. Many people are at shows for the entertainment value, rather than the art itself. They are meeting up with friends, as usual, but there is very little buying going on. I think so many people are cautious of the unknown economic situation and are hanging on to their money. Thankfully, this is not everyone...but enough that it has changed the way many of us approach shows. I have started carrying fewer of my high end signature pieces and stocking more lower priced simple pieces, a lot of pendants on chains actually. This seems to be a good strategy at this point. While sales overall were somewhat dismal, it could have been a lot worse! (at least a good cup of coffee was available!)
Friday, July 11, 2008
I'm off to a wholesale gem & bead show tomorrow. They put it on 3 times a year and it is just amazing. An entire Embassy Suites hotel is turned into a bead show, with each room being its own little shop. I walk in, sign the registration and put on my Simply Willow name tag...and the bead lust overtakes me. Stones, pearls and crystals in every colour and shape imaginable....
While I am shopping for new beads and stones, my head will be here at home, frantically getting ready for next weekend's art fair. This show is typically my highest one day sales show of the summer season. Fabulous people, great organisers, a beautiful venue....I'm pumped even tho I'm not even close to being ready!
Simply Willow is growing like crazy. eSMArts team has been a great help! Etsy is offering me a wonderful learning opportunity and the website is coming along.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Check it out!
I've spent most of the day cleaning and reorganizing my studio. Our biggest show of the summer season is in two weeks. A clean studio seems to refresh, regenerate and allow for new ideas and creative energies to generate.
I've made several new pendants today. If i can figure out how to do it, I will post pics!