Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blue Moon and A Learning Curve

Before I get started just had to share this shot of Palm Springs mountains with dusting of snow. We had a big rain storm last week and voila - snow. It is warm outside today if you're in the sun, but not warm enough to swim.

Took Dylan to the dog park where he ran around in the mud and had a great time after three days of rain and no walks. Here's a shot of Dylan lounging. And a shot of his cousin Bogey up in Oregon -

Bogey loves walking with Dylan when we are in Oregon. Black and white, the color of the dogs and my new long rope necklace of black and white beads and white sea glass which you can see more of on Here's a picture to entice you to go to Etsy -

As you have already discerned this blog post is all over the board. Where's the beginning, middle, and end? I don't know, I'm in a rambling mood and trying to figure things out as I bumble around the internet today.

I titled this post Blue Moon and Learning Curve. We'll get to Blue Moon in a bit, now I want to focus on Learning Curve. Lately, everything is a learning curve for me - the jewelry, the marketing, the internet marketing etc. Designing the jewelry is really fun. Ideas just pop in my head. But once the piece is made it has to have a price point? How much should I sell it for? I try to take in the scarcity of the sea glass, the components cost and also the time it takes to make the piece. A few days ago, I started listing the sea glass rope necklaces in my Etsy store at a low price. The first one, made by Shirley, sold within the hour . Wow, that was fast. It's a gorgeous necklace, but what made is sell so fast? Was the price point too low? Thinking about it more, I realized that there is a lot of sea glass in the necklace (hard to find, and time consuming to drill all the pieces), so I adjusted the price upwards to reflect the work and components of the piece. Naturally, I should have thought this out earlier before listing, but hey, it is all a learning curve. Here is a shot of the necklace that sold so fast -

It's very pretty and can be worn in one long strand or looped over the head for a double strand look. We have other sea glass ropes on our Etsy site.

After I adjusted the prices in my Etsy store, I went on Twitter and posted a few tweets. I've been gathering followers and finding people to follow. Sometimes, I click on a person's tweet and read their tweets and even go to their websites. If I do go to the website, I'll go back to Twitter and make a comment to that specific person. Everyone is tweeting and most are tweeting about their products or businesses. I'm wondering what percentage of people on Twitter actually go and look at my store or blog? Is it worthwhile to be on Twitter? Is tweeting helping my jewelry business? All unanswered questions that bounce around in my brain. And the biggest question of all is - Am I even tweeting correctly to really interest others to stop at my store or blog?

And I'm on facebook and again, is this social networking site reaching anyone out there or is it just another place to go and post. Do people see my Facebook page? Do they click on my Etsy logo from Facebook? Are we really all connected? Again, I feel that I don't use my Facebook correctly or even know how it all works, yet I'm on there posting and sharing like crazy. Again, the learning curve comes into play. Is it for naught? I don't know.

I'm even on several nings like Handmade Artist Hangout and I finally figured out if you're in one ning you have the same password for all of them! Geez, what I don't know could fill a book. It's all trial and error with me. I'm like a character in Alice in Wonderland stumbling around the ether world - bumping into this and that.

I could go on and on about the learning curve with topics like Art Fairs and Shows - what is needed, how do you get in, what kind of display do you need and so on. But I want to get to the Blue Moon part of the title - Blue Moon is the title of one of my favortie songs, I especially like how 10,000 Maniacs sing it and it is the name for my latest long rope necklace just listed in my Etsy shop
Any suggestions or help on learning my way around the social networking sites, please email me or comment here on the blog. I need all the help I can get. In the meantime, please check out my Etsy site at P.S. I should have labeled this post All Over The Place, but I won't because it is too hard to redo this darn blog and get it to look right - LOL.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Quartzsite - Rock and Gem Show

We just spent two days in Quartzsite, Arizona - a dusty, flat place that has for most of the year a population of about 200 people, but in January of each year it becomes the third largest city in Arizona. January is when vendors from all over the world descend on Quartzsite to sell their wares which range from beads to bananas. There are three venues, one right in Quartzsite on the main street behind a huge metal building called Gem World, then if you go down the street and cross over the over pass you'll find two more venues which are so big all you see are tents for miles. The venue we went to was called Tyson Wells. We were looking for beads and jewels to use with our sea glass for necklaces and bracelets. There were so many bead sellers our heads were on swivels - looking, looking, looking.

There were tents and awnings and booths and some metal buildings for the big sellers. There were people selling giant slabs of rocks, crystals, marble. There were tool sellers, fashions, roots, nuts, silk, tribal treasures, jewelry, opals, paintings and more. And in the middle of all the aisles, there were food vendors selling all those greasy and inviting foods with thousands of calories like corn dogs, home made potato chips, carmel corn, burgers, lemonades, and everything fried you can imagine. We had hot dogs and fried onion rings and French fries and a stomach about 20 minutes later. When we went back the second day, we had sandwiches from a deli before hitting the vendor area. Here's Steve with a corn dog for breakfast that first day. Later, he ate a burger. What can I say? Men are always hungry.

The venue we went to was called Tyson Wells and they have had this event for 32 years at Quartzsite. Some of the events there are as follows, just in case you want to venture over there - Rock and Gem Show - January 1-10; Sell-A-Rama - January 15-24; Art & Craft Fair - January 29-February 7, 2010. If you want to visit or even sell next year you can contact the promoters at

Across the highway is another venue called Rice. We didn't get over there. Shoot, two days and we didn't even see all of Tyson Wells. It was fun and exhausting and dusty. Quartzsite is the desert so it is dusty and in this area very stark. We found wonderful beads, crystals, turquoise, glass beads and more so the two day trips were a success. A two hour drive from Palm Springs so another two hours to get back home each day which was tiring. You're probably thinking why not stay over night? There is no place to stay in Quartzsite unless you have a tent or RV. We saw hundreds of trailers, rvs, tents and camping sites all full of people. But we don't camp or trailer so that's why we did the drive each day. Just a few of the beads we picked up. If you work with beads and semi-precious stones, you'll want to go to the event next year - it truly is amazing. And the prices are so low compared to sites on the internet or those large catalogue companies. Great deals and savings.

This last shot is of us - two sisters tired yet still smiling at the end of the day shopping in Quartzsite.

We love making sea glass jewelry and finding natural stones and crystals and beads to use in our necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Here are a few shots of pieces we've created with some of our finds.

Please visit our website on Etsy to purchase Sea Glass jewelry hand made by Sisters Jewelry Design -