Monday, May 30, 2011

Mixing the perfect resin color

Share |
Now that I'm in overdrive getting resin and pewter jewelry pieces finished to take to the ACRE Las Vegas show this week (yes, this week!), I experimented a little with getting some unique colors.  I broke out my handy, dandy color wheel and started mixing.  Here's what I got:

I got a "baby blue" (far left), lavender (middle left), and "mud" (left).  I was trying to get a warm, red undertone, fuschia.

The baby blue isn't bad.  I'm not a pastel person, but I think if you're are, you will like the color.

I liked the lavender color.  It wasn't next on my list to create, but I went ahead and used it anyway.

This is actually what happened first.  MUD.  Ugly, mud.  I poured it in a couple of pieces before I decided I absolutely hated it.

For some strange reason, I couldn't bear to pour it in the garbage, so I put it in one of my silicone resin molds.  Still hate it.

So after three tries of getting the fuschia I wanted, I decided to hit the internet to find something that would help me get the color I wanted. 

I love wikipedia.

I found an article on Wiki How on How to Mix Colors.  I was skeptical, but decided I couldn't do any worse than I already had done.

Eureka!  I have my fuschia!  (and while I was on a roll, I went for a nice teal too.)

This is exactly the color I wanted.  I was mixing purple, blue and red, when in reality, I had to mix a bright pink with turquoise.  Go figure.

The teal came from mixing the turquoise with just an eensy, teensy bit of yellow.  Love how this one turned out too.

These colors will be ready to sand tomorrow night and will be heading out West with me!

Friday, May 27, 2011

New resin jewelry

Share |
Exciting news!

I have a new line of silver tone resin jewelry!  This has been in the making since January (with a couple of hiccups along the way), but they are looking sooooooooooo good!  So here are the details:

These pieces are like what I've been making, with a few exceptions:

They still have yummy colors and a soft, satin finish.

Here's a few random pictures:

These are a tray of mostly earrings.  There are earring singles (round or square) or earrings doubles (double circles or square/circle).

A closeup of a couple of the pewter pendants before they are filled with colored resin.

Why make resin jewelry out of pewter?  There are actually a few reasons for this:

Sterling silver prices are obnoxious.  (Get precious metals quotes at  I have created these new resin jewelry pendants and earrings to have the same artistic look as my sterling silver resin jewelry, but I can do it for about a third of the price.  The other neat thing about pewter is that it is an alloy of tin and copper.  (Sometimes it includes lead, but my jewelry does not.)  It's not going to tarnish like sterling silver does.  I love the silver pieces but with the price of silver now and the economy still on uncertain ground, my retail and wholesale customers have been asking about alternatives.  I still have some sterling silver and resin jewelry pieces and will be happy to do the new designs in sterling silver by special order.

A group of the new pewter pieces lined up and ready.

Normally, I only do one color pour a day, but since I need to get samples ready to go to ACRE Las Vegas next week, I've been doing two pours a day:  one in the morning and one in the evening.  Here, I've done an orange and a purple color pour.

These are the same orange and purple colors in earrings.

After I get done pouring a batch, I have to let it cure for 24 hours before I can do another pour (at least in the same piece).  To keep the dust off of the resin jewelry pendants and earrings, I cover them with plastic containers.

Ah, they're starting to come to life!  This is after a couple of days.  At this point, I've also done a green, pink, and yellow pour.  Notice the resin cups and dirty paper towel at the top of the picture?  I'm getting the resin all over my kitchen countertops.  It almost looks like a birthday cake has exploded.

Another closeup of the future earrings with resin.  There are a few mistakes to sand off once they're cured.

More colorful resin pendants.

This picture is the reason why I only do one color then let it cure for 24 hours before pouring the next one.  The orange was poured on Tuesday.  The turquoise was poured on Thursday.  The dark blue was poured today (Friday).  Some of the dark blue spilled onto the orange.  The orange was completely cured (hardened) so I just had to wipe off the dark blue.  If I poured all the colors on the same day, the dark blue would have mixed into the orange if it had still been wet and the piece would have been ICK.

This picture was after today's pour.  You can see that in addition to the previous colors, there are some reds, pinks, turquoise and yellow/green.

Don't they look good enough to eat???  I will try to have some finished pictures up next week. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Is it okay to bring uninvited kids to a party?

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

Warning, this is another of a "not really a rant" posting.  This one is somewhere between an etiquette concern and overreaction to how a party invitation was addressed.  Please comment.  Seriously.

I took my oldest two peeps to a birthday party this past weekend at a kids recreation center.  The birthday invitation came with the oldest two peeps name on it, not my youngest peep.  My older two peeps are in the same class in preschool; the invitation was for everyone in the class.  I had no expectations that the youngest peep would be on the invitation.

I got a gift to take and the older peeps were excited to go.  I lined up a babysitter for the youngest peep.

I was a bit surprised when I got to the party.

Their classmates were there, along with some of their classmates' siblings.  Now I don't know the full story; maybe the other siblings were on the invitation.  Maybe those families are all good friends and were not.  (not crying here -- I'm a big girl.)  Personally, I just wasn't going to bring my child to a party he wasn't specifically invited to.  I'm sure the family hosting the party had to pay on a per person basis for everyone in attendance and I just didn't think it was appropriate to save me the cost of a babysitter and bring baby peep.

Am I overreacting?  Do you ever ask to bring the other child?  Do you ask and offer to pay the difference?  Or do you just assume it's okay to bring extras?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Checklist for wholesale jewelry show

Share |
I'm heading out to the ACRE Las Vegas wholesale show next week.  This is my checklist I'll be going over for the show.  (Actually, this is the same checklist from the ACRE Orlando show, with a few changes and improvements.  My "lessons learned" are in italics.)

Jewelry.  I'll be taking a large sampling of the scrabble tile jewelry and the new pewter and resin jewelry line.  After attending my first wholesale show in January of this year, I've got a better idea of how much of each style to bring to give shop and gallery owners and idea of what the work is like.

Large duplicate invoice pads.  I need to make sure I have plenty of room to get all the contact information and the specifics of the order.  Plus I need to be sure I keep a copy for myself.  I brought too many for the Orlando show.  I won't bring near as many to Las Vegas (which is especially important since I'm packing to go on a plane.)

Fact sheets about me, KMS Designs, and my jewelry.  Knowing that many of the attendees are coming to gather information and (hopefully) place orders, I need to give them pertinent facts that they can review later and place and order.  I also overdid this for the Orlando show.  I take about a third of what I did before and make more copies later in case I need to.

Mailing list signup.  I need a list and method to collect email addresses for vendors to receive contact from me about what's going on within my jewelry business.  I had forms for vendors to fill out, but actually found that getting their business card was sufficient.

Laptop computer.  This will allow me to coordinate the orders with my account on the ACRE wholesale crafts website.  It will also give me the chance to show gallery and boutique owners my Flickr jewelry page, which has pictures of me doing works in progress.  (There is wi-fi at the show.)  I'm glad I had my computer with me more than I thought I would have.  Definitely will be taking this item with me to Las Vegas.

Business cards.  I need people to have a way to contact me, whether by phone, email or my twitter and facebook pagesYep, those were good to have.

Signage about the jewelry prices and a bit of information about how they are made.  This might be overkill, but I like people to get information without having to feel "embarassed" to ask.  I'm taking it one step further this time and am going to have pictures of my jewelry hanging from the walls of the booth.  I need something that people can see from across the aisle to draw them in.

Jewelry display materials.  This includes my velvet displays, tablecloths, and risers.  I'm also taking some DIY wooden shelves to set up as well.  That means I'll need to bring a screwdriver set.

Track lighting, zip ties, and extension cord.  Since the show will be indoors, I need to bring extra lighting so people can fully appreciate the jewelry.  I'm bringing a portable light system this time along with the ties and extension cords.

Cart and associated bungee cords.  It's not going to be a short trip between my booth and my vehicle.  No cart and cords this time.  All but one of the suitcases has wheels.  I'm hoping I don't hate myself in the end for toting all these suitcases around. 

A few new items to go on this trip:  

Table risers.  This will add an extra 6 inches of height to the table.  It will be taller than a kitchen table, but not quite counter height.

Bird netting.  No, I'm not going bird hunting while I'm out there, but I need something to put across the booth to make it "secure".  In Orlando, I draped everything with a sheet, which shuffled everything around daily.  

Fishing line.  I need it to hang the pictures.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Send me your old gift cards

Share |
Yes, you're reading that correctly.  I'm working on some new jewelry designs and need old, used up, gift cards.  (Well, I guess they don't have to be used up -- I'm happy to spend what's left.) 

Any color or pattern will do.  Here's what you can do:

  1. If you're local, email me at  I can set up a place for you to drop them off.
  2. If you're not local, when you get about 10 or so, email me at and I will be happy to send you a prepaid envelope to put them in.

Either way, I will be sure to show some GRATITUDE. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Art show table covers and fabric walls

Share |
My fireproof fabrics for my jewelry booth at ACRE Las Vegas arrived this week.  I'm still happy with my color choices.

This will be the table cover.  It can fit a six foot long table, but can adjust to a 4 foot table as well.  It was slightly less pink than I was expecting, but still a good fit.  I think it's going to go great with the green floor.


The ivory panel walls are nice too.  I ordered them with clips and a velcro strip at the top the panels.  That way, I can put clips (which also have a velcro side on them) over a bar and velcro the panels to it.

Down to the wire!!  I'll be traveling to Las Vegas two weeks from today!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Don't tell me, ask me how you can help

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

While the Thursday posts are meant to be comical, this one is a bit more serious.  I consider myself to be of above average intelligence.  Not because I'm just naturally that way, but something happened when I hit thirty something:  I had enough life experiences, combined with an awakening of critical thinking, that I learned how to learn and listen.  That listening part is what makes you smarter (in my opinion).  Listening is a very hard skill.  Very hard.  I constantly have to remind myself to listen and sometimes it goes better than others.  I have learned (and tried to learn) things outside of my traditional schooling by listening and realizing others had experiences that I could learn from.

One of the things a former professor used to say was, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do.  Once you're a Roman, build it to suit yourself."  That's just a trumped up way of saying the more often thought of, "Seek first to understand, then be understood."  That mantra, along with intense listening skills, has in great part gotten me to where I am today.

There really is a point to all this I promise......

I own a couple other businesses.  (That's another blog post in of itself, but for another day.)  I have been lucky enough to hire a very highly qualified and motivated intern for one of them.  I say lucky, because I've been looking for someone who can afford to get paid with experience instead of a fat paycheck, and quite frankly, I've been coming up short (something I have a hard time understanding living in a college town).  There have been several projects on the back burner for this other business that I was excited to be able to give to the intern to make her own.

Alas, managing people is never easy. 

In our first meeting, where I had already given her a heads up of the first project that I wanted her to work on, she instead spent the first forty-five minutes going over a list of items that three-quarters of:
  1. I had already done and determined it didn't work.
  2. Wasn't a priority and didn't see why anyone else would think it was a priority.
  3. I was already doing (which I would have the expected the intern to have known that if she had done some research on the business)
Now don't get me wrong.  I'm very excited to have this intern on board.  However, it looks like the first project I should have given her:  listening exercises.

So this brings me to the moral that my husband hears me mutter from time to time (and maybe this will be your takeaway message from this blog post).

"I know what needs to be done.  I don't need people to tell me.  I need to hear people say, 'How can I help you get done what needs to be done?' "

I mean do you think if you're dealing with any other profession or business, they wouldn't want you to take the same approach?  How many teachers have had parents ask 'What can I help you with?'  I mean really, have you ever heard a teacher say I need LESS parental involvement.  I need FEWER people to listen to me when I ask for help!  Do you think your physician doesn't want to hear you ask what else you can do to help him or her take care of you?  I certainly don't mean from this post that people shouldn't be speaking up with their thoughts and suggestions, I'm just saying that maybe there is a reason we have two ears and one mouth.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Science activities for kids

Share |
My sister called before Easter and asked what my boys wanted for a gift.  The first thing out of my mouth was what they didn't need:  MORE TOYS!  Our house is exploding at the seams and I look for every excuse possible not to bring more things in.  My suggestion to her:  a butterfly house.

The house came by itself a couple of days later.  There was a coupon inside to redeem for caterpillars.

Two cups of caterpillars came with their food inside.  Within a couple of days, they formed chrysalids and hung from the lid.  (You can see top of them in the picture if you look hard enough)

Once the chrysalids are hanging from the paper, you take the lid off the caterpillar cup and move the paper to the inside of the house.  I clipped them in there with a wire.

About three days or so after that, we had beautiful orange and black butterflies.  We've been feeding them fruit and the boys have loved watching them (along with the cat).  I'm trying to talk them into letting them go.  Yeah.  Haven't gotten that far yet.  The whole process from start to finish has taken about 10 days.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jewelry pictures for my art show booth

Share |
Last Monday, I showed you pictures of jewelry that would end up hanging in my jewelry booth at the ACRE Las Vegas show.  I ordered plastic poster clips from Displays 2 go to hang them with.

If you look at the top of the picture, there is a clear clip.  I put the picture in and clip it shut.  There is one to go at the bottom as well, although I didn't put it on the picture.

I didn't get them all out to try (I may regret that later), but just went ahead and packed everything away.  My fireproof fabric is in transit, so I hope to have pictures to show of that by the end of the week.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Summer family activites

Share |
With summer travel plans being discussed, why not add an art museum to your list?  I found Artcyclopedia has a directory of all the art museums in the United States. You can select a state to look at all the museums by cities within that state. The museums are also listed with their website links.  Cool.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Find me in a puddle

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

Can't stand to write for long folks.  See, I'm a bit of a cheap-o.  I hate "making donations" to the utility company and don't turn on the air conditioning until I have to.  Which was yesterday.


I mean from the a/c unit.  No cool air, no fan, no nothing.  I am cranky and almost in a puddle. 

"I'm melting" (in my best Wicked Witch of the West voice)

An igloo sounds good right about now......

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A creative time waster

Share |
What do you get when someone is creative, has some extra time on their hands, and is a little "warped upstairs"?  You get the Bent Objects blog.  I won't spoil it for you, but let's say it's good time buster some afternoon when you're looking for something to do.  (or even if you have plenty to do, it's pretty funny)

Here's a hint:  Author Terry Border has this listed as his profile picture.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Photographing resin jewelry

Share |
This past Saturday, I ventured out midday to photograph some of my resin jewelry to be used as a photo enlargement to display on a wall in my art show booth.  The idea is that customers and art gallery and boutique owners can see the photographs from a distance and will be at least intrigued to come into my booth.

I made my own light box by cutting out the sides and top of a cardboard box and replacing the cutouts with white computer paper, which serves to diffuse the light.  The background is a white to gray to black photogradient paper.  This is an industry standard when photographing anything for show entries or magazine advertisements.  (Kind of like that brown/gold background when you get elementary school pictures.)  I used a piece of aluminum foil to reflect light back onto the piece of resin jewelry.

So here are the finished pictures:

Per some other artist recommendations, I am getting these printed at Costco (in a 12 inch by 18 inch size), and will hang them with poster clips.  The Costco price for printing was very affordable, so I'm hoping the pictures will turn out well too.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Wholesale jewelry booth - ACRE Las Vegas

Share |
Wow!  It's coming together! 

I'm on the downhill slide of my new resin jewelry booth that will be at the ACRE Las Vegas show.  Here's the list and here's how it's going:

Floor tiles - here, packed and ready to go
Portable track lighting - also here packed and ready to go

Here's what I ordered today:

Table cover, clips to hang photographs on the walls, ivory colored panels to hang for walls.
Brackets to allow me to make portable risers (pack flat, assemble when I get there)

Here's what's left to do/get:

I need to get table risers to put under the table.  This will bring the table up to about 36 inches tall (a bit less than counter height)
I need 4 photographs of more work printed BIG.  I hope to get pictures taken tomorrow.

So you may remember that when I first talked about doing the booth, one of the designs had purple pedestals along with the pink table.  I still like that design better, but don't want to deal with some of the issues of getting all of the display items across country on a plane.  I found some "portable" pedestals that were pretty expensive, so I decided to save my cash and go without.  Maybe next year.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Moms can never be off duty EVER

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

Let me bring you up to speed:  I have 3 boys, all aged four and under.  It can get a little crazy here.  A big ninety-eight percent of the time, if I'm lucky enough to get ALL of them to take a nap at the same time, I get to work uniterrupted in the studio.  I'm either pouring resin, or I'm making phone calls:  both things that I don't need little people distractions for.  The exception to this is Saturdays.  Sometimes I work on Saturdays, sometimes I don't.  Mentally for me, it's my day off.  I might get caught up on my magazines, see what the DVR has recorded for me this week, or ever so infrequently,

I take a nap.

Last Saturday was one of the those days.  Two of the three peeps were already worn out.  It was a really, really nice day here -- moderate temperatures and little humidity.  It was also really, really quiet.

Yeah, let's go for it.

Peeps one and three were down.  Peep two seemed tired, but was playing with his cars.  He assured me he was going to nap too, eventually.

So, comfy jammies and a fluffly pillow was all I needed to get started.  Sometime a few minutes later, the phone rang.  My first thought, "I can't believe I forgot to take the phone off the hook."  When I didn't answer, and the caller immediately called back, my next thought was, "Sorry mom, whatever it is, it can wait."

Apparently not.

A few minutes later (not really sure of the exact time here because I was doing everything possible not to open my eyes), there is a BAM BAM BAM at the front door.  "Oh, like now what??  I just want some quiet time.  In fact I've been really bad today and need a time out."

I put on my fluffy pink robe and head to the door.  I open it and stare at the two sheriff's deputies who were wondering why I looked like I was a mom on a mid afternoon bender.

"Ma'am, are you okay?"

With one of the slow blinks (you know, the ones where you take an extra .4 milliseconds to allow you that extra time to think), I answered, "Yes....."  I'm looking past them while they're asking, expecting to see one of my neighbor's houses has exploded or is in the middle of a hostage situation.

"Ma'am, someone here called 911 and hung up."

Once again, blank stare, while I'm thinking to myself, thanks kids, I didn't really need that afternoon off.

"Ma'am are you alone?"

"No, I have 3 kids with me."

"Ma'am, did you hear the phone ring?  No one answered when we called back, TWICE."

By this time, I'm a little punchy.  "Do you answer every phone call that comes to your house??"

Whoops, maybe I shouldn't have said that.

"We need to speak to the child who made the call."  Actually, this turned out to be a good thing.  Deputies in the their cars with flashing lights can be quite a motivator for a four year old to never call 911 again.

They left, last peep took a nap, and I went back to work in the studio.  That will teach me to take a day off.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

New resin jewelry

Share |
Just a few pictures today of some new patterns I'm working on.  Flowers and birds.  Seemed perfect for Spring!

It's a few basic patterns with mostly color changes from pendant to pendant.

The bird of paradises are my favorites of the florals.  Love the bright colors!!

By the way, did you notice that I spiffed up the blog?  What do you think?

Monday, May 02, 2011

How to Hang Pictures on a Wall

Share |
For any of you doing some home redecorating or you're looking to hang some new art, check out this video. Useful information from Lowes about hanging pictures AND the tools and hardware necessary.

Related Posts with Thumbnails