Home Show Review & Information

Hello and welcome!

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In one of my previous posts, I mentioned an upcoming home show. That show has come and gone, but I’d like to tell you about it and about how you can host your own home show.

 

This home show was hosted by my mom. She provided me with a list of names and addresses of her friends, neighbors, and other ladies she knew and I created postcard invitations for her to give to them. Because her house is fairly small and limited on parking, we ran the show as an open house so the guests could stop by any time during the show hours.

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For the home shows, I bring my entire setup including jewelry, displays, and tables. If it’s an outdoor show, I can bring a canopy if the area is large enough for it.

 

They are a great opportunity to have some “girl time” and connect with friends for a bit. Needless to say, you also get to try on jewelry, which can be a lot of fun as well! There is a perk to hosting too!

 

As I mentioned, I ran this show as an open house so the guests could stop by during a certain time period; however, the shows can also be run like a party where all of the guests are at the show at one time.

 

To get the ball rolling, I will ask that you provide me with a list of your guests and their addresses. I will then create postcard invitations for you to send or give to your guests. If you are creative, you are welcome to create your own invitations as well.

 

For open houses, I have found that 3-5 hours seems to be long enough. Most people stop in during the first hour or two, so I try not to make it too long in order for the hostess to have time to do other things after the show. Parties are usually good at around 2-3 hours.

 

I usually ask that the hostess provide light refreshments, but nothing sticky or too messy. Advertising that the party has light refreshments seems to help gain interest.

 

Don’t worry, the hostess isn’t doing this all for nothing. She will receive a piece of jewelry I custom design for her as a thank you gift. She will also receive a 10% discount on her purchases at the show.

 

I have frequently been asked which company my jewelry parties are associated with. The parties are not associated with any of the big home party jewelry companies. All of the jewelry pieces are my creations and most of them are one-of-a-kind so every party could have a different variety of items.

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One note, due to time and fuel costs, I prefer to keep the parties with in the Lancaster, Lebanon, Dauphin County area of Pennsylvania. However, if you live outside of that area, we can discuss the possibilities.

 

If this is something that might interest you, e-mail me and let’s talk. If not, I still thank you for stopping by and reading!

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Manheim’s Artist’s Alley

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I had an interesting experience yesterday. I did a Google search for “’Artist’s Alley’ Manheim” and 6 out of the 10 results were links to pages I wrote. That did not help my situation.

 

If you have been following along here for the past year, you might recall my writings about Artist’s Alley last year. It’s a small craft show featuring artists from within the zip code where I live. Last year was the first year for the show and given it was the first year and it was small, it was a nice show. So nice, they have decided to do it again this year.

 

The reason I found myself searching for this show was because I was being interviewed via e-mail by a local newspaper and I wanted to give the reporter some information based on last year’s shows. I forget whether I changed the apostrophe location or what I changed, but I did end up finding the information I needed and was able to help the reporter.

 

As a side note, I have reduced the number of shows I am doing this year so I can work on a bigger project. However, one of the shows I am doing is Artist’s Alley in Manheim, PA. It might not have been my most successful set of shows, but it was fun. I enjoyed the smaller size because it gave me a chance to get to know the other artisans and the customers better. I didn’t feel lost in a sea of people.

 

I’m not sure who will be there for sure this year, but last year, we had my jewelry, a potter, stained glass, pen-and-ink, a photographer, and a few others. The idea was to have one artist per style of artwork so there wasn’t as much competition. As a jewelry designer, I really appreciated this because some shows have had so much jewelry I have overheard customers say “Oh, it’s just another jewerly stand.” (I’m not kidding.)

 

Another feature of this show is Stiegel Glassworks 1976. This is a working glass blowing studio and they do demonstrations throughout the show. I think you can even work with them to make your own piece. Check them out here: Stiegel Glassworks 1976

 

One of the things I like about this show verses the huge craft shows is it doesn’t feel corporate. Even though the large shows are full of small businesses just like me, there is something about them that makes it overwhelming and it feels corporate for lack of a better way to put it. The smaller shows really drive home the feeling of small locally owned businesses.

 

Artist’s Alley will be held on two days this year and they will run from 12:00 PM until 5:00 PM both days. The days are Sunday, May 5, and Sunday, September 29. The May 5 show was scheduled to coincide with Mothers’ Day the following weekend. This is a great opportunity to find a one-of-a-kind item for the person you never know what to get. As an added bonus, it’s locally made!

 

The show is located at the Manheim Railroad Station, 210 South Charlotte Street, Manheim, PA 17545. This is just up the road from Lancaster, the next town over from Lititz, and across the street from a great restaurant called The Cats Meow.

 

If you are in the area, mark your calendar and make a day of it!

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This weekend I found myself working on a necklace and bracelet set composed of clear crystal beads and white glass pearl beads for my sister. The crystal beads I was working with are simply crystal beads but there is a brand of crystal beads and other crystal items called “Swarovski crystals,” which are a little more expensive. While working on these pieces, I got to thinking about pieces I made awhile ago with Swarovski crystal beads and a lady who informed me I should not falsely advertise my items as being made with Swarovski crystal beads. I explained to her that I was advertising them as my supplier had sold them to me and then I asked how she knew they were not Swarovski crystal beads. She said I could not be asking the prices I was if they were real; my prices would be much higher if they were real Swarovski crystals. I don’t use crystal beads too much because sparkly isn’t usually my style, so I forgot about this conversation. Now that I’m thinking about it again, let’s find out just what are crystal beads and Swarovski crystal beads.

First let’s explore the crystal beads in general. They were originally designed to look like crystal quartz, which is a natural stone. While they sound like they might be something found in nature, crystal beads are a type of glass bead. What makes them different from regular glass is that small amounts of lead oxide are added to molten glass during the manufacturing process. This changes the properties of the glass and results in a product with a higher density than regular glass. The crystal glass is then cut in ways which cause it to refract light to create a sparkling effect.

Now for Swarovski crystals. In 1892, Daniel Swarovski created an automatic crystal cutting machine in Prague, Czech Republic. In 1895, he moved to Austria to protect his invention from spies trying to steal his idea. Since then, Swarovski crystals have been made in Austria and they are known for their high light refraction. Because they are made in Austria, Swarovski crystals are also often called “Austrian crystals;” however, I have also heard the term “Austrian crystals” used to describe crystals which are not Swarovski brand crystals.

Is there much of a difference between the plain crystal beads and the brand name Swarovski beads? I honestly couldn’t tell you because I don’t work with either of them enough to be able to tell a difference. From my understanding, the Swarovski crystals sparkle more than plain crystal beads, but for some people, that might not actually be as attractive. For others, the more sparkle, the better. From what I have found the difference is more in the appearance rather than the quality.

This is a photo of what I was working on this weekend:

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You can see the crystal beads in between the glass pearls.

What are your thoughts on crystal in jewelry? Do you like the sparkle or do you prefer the natural look of gemstones? As always, thanks for stopping by!

Definitions:

Lead Oxide: An inorganic compound of lead and oxygen. It is frequently used in the making of glass. It can be fatal if swallowed or inhaled.

Refraction: When light hits an object and bounces off of it at a different angle from which it hit the object.

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately as I’ve been trying to balance work, volunteer commitments, household chores, and also find time to make jewelry. With so much on my mind, I was quite stressed a few nights ago and my husband suggested I go to my workspace and create a piece of jewelry. I went to my desk and decided to totally focus on what I was doing and create something to have some fun, but also something really pretty.

I think it took me about 15 minutes to decide what I want to make. You see, I’ve been trying to slim down my inventory lately because I’m on a minimizing kick. This makes it a bit of a challenge because I have ideas, but I don’t have everything I need to make them. In the end I spread out several options and components before I finally decided what I wanted to do.

At first I thought I wanted color because it’s spring. There’s something about spring and color which just go together for me. Then I thought I wanted simple elegance. I wanted a timeless piece that would work for any occasion. That idea won over the color. I’ll have to come up with something else for the color piece.

After much thought and a big mess of pieces, I created this pair of earrings.

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I created a pair like this as a Christmas gift for my hairdresser. After I created them for her, I wanted to make another pair. Now that I have created this pair, I might have to do one more. Why one more? One will get put into the inventory and one I will keep. Rarely ever to I keep jewelry I make because my styles, likes, and dislikes change pretty frequently, but I do enjoy having a few solid accessories to go with any outfit on any day. These earrings fit that bill perfectly.

While I was making these earrings, I had a thought. One way to cheer up any woman is to give her a beautiful piece of jewerly as a gift. (Okay, maybe that doesn’t always work.) However, it cheers me up just as much to create a beautiful piece of jewelry. I might not be like most women though.

It was so fun to create this pair of earrings and it helped me unwind. I think they turned out beautifully and that really helped my mood. I have to remember this and think of doing something like this more often when I feel stressed.

What do you do to de-stress and unwind? Is it a hobby? Do you read? Everyone has their go-to activity.

Thanks for stopping by!