Monday, June 29, 2009

First set of cabs in my eBay store!

I've finished the Giant Sorting Project!

I've listed the first set of cabs in my eBay store!

I'm so excited about this. By the time I'm finished, I will have doubled the number of items for sale in my eBay store.

Some of the cab sets are so pretty. I love the blue color of this set.

In preparation for this, I've revised all of my store categories. I used to list everything under Vintage Beads, but I realized that many customers aren't looking for cabs, so I've divided them into Beads, Cabs, Rhinestones, and Glass Gems. Hopefully that will make things easier.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The sorting continues unabated.

Wow, I can't believe how many new sets I'm going to be adding to my eBay store. It's pretty amazing.

Most will be familiar, as a lot of it is taken from existing lots and just restructured (for example, the amethyst assorted lots were broken down into each amethyst-colored glass gem), but there are some oddball cabs and fascinating little bits and bobs. It will be interesting to see if any cabochon fans like these new sets.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Minature pirate treasure sorting

I woke up at just after eight this morning, looked at the alarm clock, and fell back asleep.

When I woke again, just a few minutes later, my alarm clock was off. I blinked and then realized we'd lost our power. A bit of investigation revealed that the nearly everyone in the tiny town where I live had lost power, despite the beautiful, sunny, non-windy weather.

So I spent today without the hum of my computer. No Miami Vice episodes. No Tori Amos songs. Just me, sunlight, and my sorting project.

I worked on the glass gems today. I've sold most of the large glass gems at this point. (I put them out at shows and marked them as "Pirate Treasure," and sold lots of them to kids.)

Now I'm down to the tiny glass gems, which will have the most appeal to diminutive pirates, I suppose.

They look so pretty in the dish. I love the colors. I think that making them available by color and style both is going to be a good thing. I can't wait to list the new sets!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The endless sorting

One of the things I love about selling beads and cabs is the sorting.

I have spent whole days hunched over a table, happily sorting beads and cabs into piles while watching (or mostly, listening) to eighties shows on DVD. It's probably one of my favorite aspects of this business.

It always leads to questions of selection, however.

Let me explain. This is the last portion of a huge bin of mixed cabs, glass gems, rhinestones, that I purchased a couple years ago.

At first, I simply bagged them randomly in large bags and tried selling them, with mixed results.

Then I separated the glass gems and the flatback cabs and sold those in assorted bags. That, too, had mixed results.

Then I separated the glass gems and flatback cabs by colors and sold those in assorted by color bags. They've now become steady, if not great, sellers in my eBay store.

Now I'm pondering breaking it down even further into foilback/transparent sets for the oval cabs, and perhaps by color for the rhinestones.

It's intriguing, because I don't use any of these items in my own jewelry, so having to try to guess what consumers will want--and how they will want to buy them--is a puzzle. Do they want matching sets, and if so, how many in each set? Will some people still want assorted lots?

I know from experience that people do like both. When I first started selling dollar bags of beads, I'd spend a lot of time picking through everything to make bags that contained only one kind of bead. Then one day I was rushed, so I threw together some mixed bags. At the next show, the mixed bags sold first, and so from then on I always made sure I had a few of those.

Anyway, the nice thing about today's sorting is that this is the last of these cabs and glass gems. Over the last two years I've gone through about eighty pounds of this by hand and pulled out all of the interesting funky stuff and put it aside for special lots.

My strategy for the next couple days is to separate by style and color, and then separate further into foilbacks and transparents, and see how they do. I think I'll keep the mixed lots, too. It'll be interesting to see if it makes any change in how they sell.

Monday, June 22, 2009

What a week!

My dear friends, their kids, and their poodle stayed with me last week, and a good time was had by all.

Now that I've finally recovered from Bead & Button and poodle-visiting (hee!), I can start revamping my Etsy shop and my eBay store. I'm starting to list more things, and I'm trying to keep them both restocked as well as I can. I picked up a few really cool things while I was at B&B, so check my eBay store out if you're interested--I've already listed some things!

I picked up some beautiful fern stampings that I've always admired...

...and I've bought a few more of my favorite cabs. In fact, I bought all that they had of a couple of them, and I am already happy with the decision. Vintage beads and cabs are one of my favorite things, and it's highly unlikely that I'll find more of the same (especially not at these prices), so I keep telling myself to go for it. The poodle agrees.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I'm back from the Bead and Button show!

I was working for my dear friends while I was there, and it was a wonderful (if exhausting) time as always! I love the hustle and bustle of the show. I didn't have a lot of time to walk around, but I did get a chance to talk to my awesome friend Melanie Brooks and the fantabulous Anne Choi, so that was wonderful!

I missed out on hanging out with Andrew from Green Girl Studios, which is a bummer, but there's always the next show, after all.

I'm really excited about this summer. I have a lot of stuff planned, so it'll be very busy! I'm going to have a big garage sale, and I'll be at the Metal Clay Conference, and also at shows in Arcadia, MI and Cincinnati, Ohio.

I've already put one part of my summer plan into action--I've listed lots more new merchandise in my eBay store. Then I plan on catching up on listing in my Etsy shop, and hopefully I will finally have a chance to put together my website, which has languished for so long.

I am sad about returning to my tomato plants--they did not do well. I think they might have gotten burned by the fertilizer I used. Woe! One of them is still alive, but the other two are not happy.

There's a clematis plant at the front of the house that is blooming--it's extraordinary! I'll definitely be taking pictures of it soon.

So that's the state of the Laurel. Hope you all have great plans for the summer, too!