Saturday, April 30, 2011

5 biggest blunders men make when buying jewelry for Mother's Day

Share |
*Ladies, since so many of you responded that this article was helpful to your men, I am sharing it again.*

I love it when guys are buying jewelry for their ladies. It's such a sweet and thoughtful notion on their part. I LOVE to help them! Unfortunately, it doesn't always turn out well, so I wanted to share the top five mistakes guys make buying jewelry:

1. Not knowing the details. I have actually had men buy earrings for a gift and not know if the woman had pierced ears. Wow! Major gamble! Find out as much information about your lady as possible. A good start is to find out a ring size, bracelet size, preferred length of necklaces, color preferences, metal preferences and any allergies.

2. Getting her something she doesn't have. This is only a good thing if you have heard her say that she wants a ".....". For example, if she doesn't own any bracelets, there may be a good reason why. Maybe she has a job where it gets in the way or she would have to take it off frequently. Take a quick inventory of her jewelry and get an idea of what she prefers or take notes the next time you are window shopping together.

3. Not considering the "what ifs". Is your jewelry purchase sizable? Can you return or exchange it if she doesn't like it? What if she likes the pendant but wants a different chain? Understand the exchange and return policy on the jewelry BEFORE you purchase it.

4. Buying something that doesn't go with her body type. Believe it or not, how a piece of jewelry is shaped or formed impacts how it looks on a person. For example, round earrings do not look good on a woman with a round face. A small pendant on a short chain isn't particularly flattering to a curvaceous woman with a large bustline. When you're buying the piece, get the person helping you to give suggestions or even the model the jewelry if necessary to help with the decision making process.

5. Buying something that doesn't go with her style. Buy her something she will wear! If she doesn't go to a lot of fancy occasions, she may not get a lot of wear from a big, fancy cocktail ring. Inexpensive earrings may be a better fit for daily wear. If she does a lot of work with her hands, a ring may not hold up to her rough schedule, but a necklace might fit the bill

Mother's Day is coming up and I am happy to help the guys out there get a special gift for the moms in their lives. Contact me at the KMS Designs jewelry website for help getting your special gift.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding - Did you watch?

Share |
Yes, I was one of the crazy people up at 4 AM ET to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton get married today. Why? Mostly because with all the bad news everywhere, it was nice to focus on something truly happy for a few hours, even if I really should have been sleeping. I could have DVR'ed it, but really?? Do those of you who watch sports want to DVR the Super Bowl to watch it later?

No, I think LIVE was the only way to go with this.

Tea and a tiara.  What a better way to celebrate?

So in British style, I broke out the tiara and traded in the coffee for tea this morning.  I would have gotten a picture of me in the tiara, but no one else was up that early.  (Really, I'm not complaining.)

Best wishes to the happy couple!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What's up with this generation???

Share |
*This is a part of the Thursday rant series,  tongue in cheek look at my life.*

Before I get started, a few disclaimers:

  1. Type A people call me Type B.  The vice versa also happens.
  2. I have kids, therefore I am officially "old".
  3. I never do anything half baked, especially when there is money involved.
Now, on with the story.

We are losing our babysitter that we have had for the past year.  Any of you with children can relate to the fact that sometimes it's a fine line between leaving your kids with another young adult versus a pack of wolves.  When you find a babysitter you like, (at least I) try to do everything to keep her.

Ours is graduating.  (Maybe I should go with one that can't pass her classes.)

Ah, I forgot how much fun it is to look for a new one.  Here's a few of the recent adventures:

Wow, I got a TXT for an interview.  MayB I can watch the kids this way 2!!  LOL
  • Sure, my kids met you at my neighbors house and you hit it off.  Yeah, let's try this Thursday.  And I don't mind AT ALL if you come 45 minutes late, don't call to let me know, then tell me you have to leave early.  I'm only doing this as a favor to you.
  • Yes, I am looking for a babysitter.  No I don't mind sharing with you how much I'm paying and how many hours you can expect if you don't mind showing a little interest in my kids first.
  • I know you like to text and all, but can you actually answer calls with that phone?  I'm running out of character spaces to set up an interview with you.

In trying to find another one, I suppose one can liken it to dating.  Find one that's not offensive, no major behavioral issues and can pass a drug test.  Wait, I forgot about driving records.  Drat.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jewelry show booth lighting

Share |
Another part of getting ready for ACRE Las Vegas is having lighting for my booth.  Ah but yes, you're thinking, didn't I have this for ACRE Orlando?  You are correct oh wise one, but this time, it needs to fit in a suitcase.

I decided to go with two foot sections of track with gooseneck lamps.  I can focus the goosenecks EXACTLY where I want them to shine light.  Quite frankly, I was pretty surprised how bright the lights got and how far the light projected.

These handy dandy little connectors allow me to bring the track together, then disassemble.

I have a total of 3 two foot tracks, six lights, and all the associated connectors and power source.

And the best news is that it all fits in a large suitcase.  I'm flying Southwest, which doesn't charge for the first two bags.  Awesome!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Resin jewelry making

Share |
In case you're interesting in trying your hand at resin jewelry making, John W. Golden has some great tutorials on his You Tube channel. Here's one here:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oh yeah, it happens in "three's"

Share |
*This is a part of the Thursday rant series, a tongue in cheek look at my life.

Thank goodness a new day is a "do-over".

Yesterday didn't go so hot.

Bounced a check.  Yeah.  Doesn't help to pay stuff online if you don't write it down.

Babysitter didn't show up.  Not cool.  I wasn't home and hubby had to leave to go to work.  Thank goodness I could drive home at 182 MPH and didn't get caught.

Entered a contest to win a Blackberry Playbook (oh yeah, THE Blackberry Playbook) and found out I WON!!  That is, until the contest administrator found out I'm from Florida.  Not eligible.  Must be Flor-i-duh.

I so need a do-over.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What I learned about the art business from going to a Monster Truck Jam

Share |
I had the fun of taking my kids to a Monster Truck Jam this past weekend.  I'm not necessarily a fan, but my kids, who came pre-wired to like anything with wheels, are huge fans of the Monster Trucks (and NASCAR too for that matter).  Part of the joy of being a parent is taking your kids to do fun things they want to do.  It wasn't necessarily my choice for weekend entertainment, but I must say that I liked it better than I thought I would.

Here's what I found intriguing: the drivers of the trucks were genuinely thankful of their fans.  I admit, I'm jaded.  Whether it's fair or not, the few celebrity entertainers that have behaved badly (Lindsay, Charlie, M. Vick et al) have turned me off to the rest of them. Needless to say, I had to rethink that this weekend.

The Swift family talking with Pablo Huffaker, the driver of Gravedigger
Hubby and I took the peeps ahead of time to the "pit party", which is a meet and greet. Fans can get up close and personal with their favorite drivers and trucks.  My boys loved getting to see the trucks.  During the live event, the drivers would take a moment in between stunts and races to engage the crowd, either to give thanks, wave to fans, or do a few crowd pleasing acrobatic truck moves.  Finally, as we were leaving, the announcer let us know the drivers would once again be meeting with fans and signing autographs. 

When was the last time you went to a major sporting event or movie premiere and saw the "players" doing all that to keep the fans happy?

So why am I blogging about this?  Going to the Monster Truck rally taught me:

  1. You can never be too big or too important to thank your fans.  
  2. Taking time out to speak with fans of your work is always appreciated.
  3. Be sincere.  Fans of your work want to learn more and appreciate you taking the time to engage with them.
  4. Be gracious.  Fans are the reason you can continue to do what you want to do.

Wow, who knew seeing a bunch of trucks do slap wheelies and big air would make me a better artist.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The "smell" in my house

Share |
I am not in any way a green thumb.  In fact, if there was a plants' rights group, I'm sure I would be on the most wanted list.  Perhaps this is why this jasmine vine and I get along so well.  I LOVE the smell of jasmine.  It's blooming now (at least in Florida) and is just heaven.  I decided a couple of years ago to get a plant and put it on the corner of my screened-in porch so that the scent would make its way through my house.  Thank goodness it can take care of itself.

There are hundreds of these little scented blooms all over the vine.  Open up the windows and the porch doors and I have instant scented candle without the fear of my kids starting a fire.  (Don't ask...)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Revisiting jewelry designs

Share |
In case you missed my blog post from Friday, my next line of jewelry hit a rather large speed bump on the production highway and to say the least, I wasn't happy about it.  I had the weekend to regroup (and enjoy some wine instead of going postal) and decide what needed to happen next in order to get jewelry pieces into production.  The good news to share is that the pewter caster is seriously motivated about getting my pieces suitable for jewelry.  We're faxing and emailing sketches back and forth and hopefully this all will work out.  I'm a bit relieved as they're trying very hard to make these jewelry pieces suitable for my next line of resin jewelry and help me with my deadline of having finished jewelry to go to ACRE Las Vegas.

The other interesting thing about this "incident" is that it made me realize that you need different friends for different situations.  In my crankiness, I called a good friend just to vent.  This just turned out to be another incident of "I should have know better".  This friend is one of the few that I have that will be honest, and brutally so, if necessary.  I already knew I had been too stupid and trusting of the others involved in the process and took a risk by not inspecting each step after completion. Yes, you're already thinking it, I got the infamous, completely unhelpful, "I told you so" speech.  Yeah, not anywhere close to what I needed at that moment. 

So this entire situation begs the question, do you have different friends for different moments? 

Friday, April 15, 2011

(Apparently) there is a need to micromanage

Share |
Ordinarily, a post like this would end up in the Thursday rant section, however, this unfortunately isn't a comical rant.  Back at the beginning of the year, I decided that it was important for me to delegate more of my jewelry making tasks.  Time is a pretty precious commodity in my life, and if I was going to expand my art jewelry business into the wholesale arena, I was going to need help in some areas.

Now, I'm letting the cat out of the bag a bit here, but I'm working on a new line of resin jewelry as an alternative to the increasingly expensive sterling silver variety.  Based upon the feedback I got from the ACRE Orlando wholesale show in January, I had my ideas and decided to make a line of resin jewelry based in pewter.  (similar look, lower retail price). 

Now I will cut to the chase here and just say in gathering my information and doing my research about pewter casting, it was going to be cheaper to have someone make models out of wax, then have those models sent to someone who could do bronze casting.  Once they were cast in bronze, they would be on their way to the pewter caster.  (All of this versus me making master models, then sending them to the pewter caster.)

I started this process the third week in January with the ultimate goal of having finished pieces for me to work with the resin by May 1.  I want to have these ready to show at the ACRE Las Vegas show in early June, not to mention there was interest in customers from the ACRE Orlando show.  I only need a few samples for Las Vegas, so as long as I have something to show shops and galleries, I'm good.

What is Murphy's Law again...."If it can go wrong, it will".

(I would type lots of expletives here, but my kids might read this years from now and think their mom has a serious potty mouth.)

I get pieces back from the pewter caster today and there are two major problems.  One is not salvageable at all (piece won't hang straight) and the other is hopefully salvageable (chain won't fit through the bail).  I need to take responsibility right away and say that I trusted everyone in the process to do their job correctly.  All came with recommendations and good samples and I thought this was a job I could completely delegate and expect it to be done properly.


Here's what I have learned:

1.  I should have had each person mail me their piece work in between each step.  I didn't, for the sake of time.  Two to three days coming and going would have added 2 to 3 weeks to the overall process time.  I'm going to be at that now and an additional $500 in the hole.

2.  You can't assume you have anything but drones working on your stuff.  I don't mean that people are stupid, but, especially for the the piece that was unbalanced, I have a hard time believing no one noticed it, when I did only after having the piece in my possession for 30 seconds.  Did people not look?  Didn't notice?  Noticed but thought it was part of the design?  Maybe they all thought I was a two-headed monster that breathed fire and would vaporize them and their elderly grandmother if they approached me about a "problem".

3.  I either need to do things myself, or I need to micromanage.  I REALLY hate this one.  I have been looking for another assistant (my current one is graduating college at the end of the month and leaving town), but now have put that on hold.  I'm trying not to let this situation ruin hiring a new assistant, but it's hard not to.

So, at this point, the unbalanced piece is being reworked by the bronze caster, and the pewter caster is going to try to rework the bails.  I'm on my second glass of wine and it's not even 4 PM yet. 

Is it tomorrow yet?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Technology - love it or hate it? take it or leave it?

Share |
*This post is a part of the Thursday rant series, a tongue in cheek look at my life.*

My rant for this week is that I couldn't write last week's rant because my computer was, well, ... "ill".  Apparently all the dust and stuff that flies around my house and studio had piled up on the inside like a Colorado avalanche and had brought things to a almost grinding halt.  Add to that my (mostly unintentional) neglect of using an air can to blast it out from time to time, and a trip to the computer care place was needed.

Things break.  Things need maintenance.  I get it.  What I don't like is that I've come to depend on something so much that it wrecks havoc with my business when I don't have it.  Like I found a box of checks and bank statements from 19 years ago (yeah, don't even ask me why they had been moved four times and were hiding in my garage) where I had reconciled the account by hand.  Seriously?  No way I could do that now. 

Not really me eating my computer, but apparently shows that you can use it for dental floss in the case that it quits working.
Anyway, the computer is back and functional.  It's lightnin' fast...(thanks guys).  Phew.  Glad to be back in the 21st century.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Picking colors for my new jewelry booth

Share |
In getting ready for the ACRE Las Vegas wholesale show, I've been working on a new jewelry display.  I came up with a new jewelry booth design using Google Sketch Up a month and a half ago.  After letting the idea "simmer" in my head for a few weeks, I decided I liked how it looked and started buying the display items.

 I really liked the lime green floor.  It's bright and inviting.  I ordered 25 two foot by two foot soft cushion tiles (enough to do a 10 foot by 10 foot booth space).  I don't know what I was expecting, but the box they came in was huge. 

The tiles lock together with edges similar to a jigsaw puzzle.

They were really pretty easy to put together.  (Yes, even a two year old can do it.)

My prior sketch showed an ivory panel backdrop, fuschia hot pink tablecloth and purple pedestals.  I had gotten fabric samples from a company that specializes in fireproof trade show fabrics and put them up next to the floor.  I still like the colors pretty well and will continue to go in that direction.  The only exception is that I'm holding off on the purple pedestals.  Not because I don't like the color, but because I'm not sure how I can get them on a plane to go with me to Las Vegas without them getting destroyed or me paying overage charges.

What do you think about the colors?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner in April

Share |
Yes, you're reading that correctly.  Last Thanksgiving, when hubby was buying ingredients for our Thanksgiving Dinner, he stocked up on turkeys.  We've been enjoying a turkey about every other month since then.  I got one out last week and made a "mini" dinner:  turkey, green bean casserole and a bread stuffing with sage, onions and a bit of thyme.  Yummy!!!

What's your favorite meal you like to have "out of season"?

Monday, April 04, 2011

Little baby oranges

Share |
Remember when I blogged a couple of weeks ago about orange blossoms?  The blossoms are gone, and you can see little eensy-teensy oranges.  Yes, I promise you, these will be the oranges that will grow up to make us juice next March.  Promise.

They all won't necessarily get there.  Some fall off. Some just don't develop.  Overall, though, the tree will be loaded with juicy fruit.

Just to give you some perspective, those green "buttons" are about the size of a pea right at the moment.  They will be "full grown" in late fall, then will start to turn orange.

(And while I was taking these pictures, my little tree reminded me to fertilize him.)
Related Posts with Thumbnails