Monday, July 13, 2009

Solvang - Our First Jewelry Show

We left the desert on Friday the 10th at around noon and drove north to Solvang. To my sister Julia's house it is about a four hour drive. As we drove the temperatures got milder and dried brown tumble weed landscape gave way to green hills. When you live in the Palm Springs area, you forget that so many wonderful trees and plants are growing just beyond the desert. We drove the freeway and then took the new 210 across the San Fernando Valley and dropped down into Oxnard where fields of vegetables and strawberries grew next to blocks of housing development. Hitting the coast highway, we could see the ocean and I felt my spirits lift. The smell of the sea and the blue green of the ocean call to me like nothing else in nature. I know, you're thinking so why live in the desert? It's a long story, we'll get into it another time. To be fair - the desert can be a very dramatic and thought provoking place.

(shot of pool at Marmal Radziner Prefab House in Desert Hot Springs)

We pass through Santa Barbara and head up into the central Valley where Solvang is located. My sister Julia lives in Buellton which is a sleepy little town just outside Solvang. I think her little town's claim to fame is the Andersen Split Pea Soup Restaurant that sits just off the freeway as we turn to her home. The first night we get settled in and catch up with my sister Julia and her husband, Gary. Lots of talking and good food. When we finally stumble off to bed, to our joy, we realize we don't need air conditioning. We can actually use a blanket. And when we walk our dog, Dylan Thomas, we're actually a bit cold. After weeks of triple digit heat, we're loving the cool night air. Loving it.

The next morning was cool too. We walked Dylan Thomas down at the River park and the chill set him to shivering (his coat is cut short for the desert). Here he is with my husband Steve in our desert house.
And you can see how his short hair cut He's a standard poodle. A skinny one, I might add.

After breakfast, we started setting up for the show.

Here's Steve starting to unpack the boxes of jewelry. I would have helped with this, but I had to take the pictures.

We had four tables filled with our earrings and pendants.

My sister Shirley created most of the sea glass pendants and wrapped them in sterling silver wire. They are very pretty and look lovely on a ribbon, a sterling chain, a leather thong or a silver collar. Versatile and unusual. The fourth table held our Walk About bracelets which are bracelets with a key ring jump ring that you use to attach your house key and then you go walk about. I use mine for walking the dog, going to the gym or just running next door - anytime I don't want to take a bunch of keys I slip on my Walk About Bracelet.

Walk About Bracelets are made with vintage and new beads, wooden beads, charms, key ring holder and stretch cord so they fit all sizes.

We were set up and ready by noon. The show was set for 1-4 pm. So we had some lunch and waited and waited and waited. One o'clock came and went. Then it was one thirty. I started to panic. "What if no one comes," I asked as I checked the front window for the umpteenth time. "They'll come," said my sister Julia. "Don't worry," said my husband Steve. Easy for you all, I thought to myself. Returning from my front window perch, I saw why they weren't worried.

They had started drinking! And here they are raising their Mojito Cuban drinks in a salute! I couldn't believe it. They were supposed to help me sell the jewelry and they were already drinking the guests refreshments.
(A Mojito is a wonderful drink - cool and refreshing.)
Cuban Mojito recipe
the original authentic recipe from Havana Cuba
1 teaspoon powdered sugarJuice from 1 lime (2 ounces)4 mint leaves
1 sprig of mint Havana Club white Rum (2 ounces)2 ounces club soda
Place the mint leaves into a long mojito glass (often called a "collins" glass) and squeeze the juice from a cut lime over it. You'll want about two ounces of lime juice, so it may not require all of the juice from a single lime. Add the powdered sugar, then gently smash the mint into the lime juice and sugar with a muddler (a long wooden device pictured below, though you can also use the back of a fork or spoon if one isn't available). Add ice (preferably crushed) then add the rum and stir, and top off with the club soda (you can also stir the club soda in as per your taste). Garnish with a mint sprig.
They were drinking. Dylan Thomas was relaxing by the table. And I was a nervous wreck. This was my first jewelry show and my helpers were drinking and the guests hadn't arrived. I was besides myself thinking, "What have I gotten myself into?" Finally around two o'clock, the guests started arriving. We passed out refreshments and the ladies started looking at jewelry. The mojito drinks worked their magic. And the jewelry show was a hit. We laughed and talked and sold earrings and pendants.
Fifteen women friends of Julia came to the showing. I think they all had a good time, I hope they did. They were all great women. We all chatted and looked at earrings giving opinions as to what looked good on who. Our show was a hit and we sold a lot of earrings and pendants. The jewelry show party was a huge success. Lots of sales and lots of great feedback. Many thanks to Julia's friends and to my sister who helped make it a great day.

It was about five when everyone left. I was exhausted. We cleaned up and then I sank into a chair and had my first Mojito of the day.

Coming next a quick visit to the Danish town - Solvang.


  1. Looks like it was a really great success!

    Along the lines of what you did, you guys can do is start holding "parties" where someone hosts a little get together with friends and family and you are there with all of your items for people to look at! You can give the person hosting the party incentives for hosting, like 2 or 3 pieces of jewelry! It's a really great way to get business for your type of product! :)

  2. Bravo! Kudos on your first show! I agree with Kristina, think about holding shows were you arrive at a hostesses house, offer her a lovely incentive and make some new customers! I am doing one next weekend, it will be my 4th in the past 6 months. They are always successful and I enjoy the opportunity to show off my 'wearable art' in living color.