Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dec ABS, Year in Review, New Year is Upon Us

This is a long post, so grab a cup of coffee, coco, or a glass of wine and enjoy the ride. 
The Captive Robin, John Anster Fitzgerald
Yes, we know we are a little late for December's Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge, but better late than never!  There were some unforseen issues that arose this month, so this piece didn't get done until today.  I really like how the piece came out and I did post pictures out on our Flickr site if you want to see them all.

I won't bore you with the details on how the piece was made.  Like I said, I posted more pics on our Flickr site and I also posted how we made the necklace.

Wow - this year was a whirlwind for us and the jewelry business.  I am really impressed with mom and I (I am wrenching my shoulder out of the socket as I pat myself on the back).

This year I wanted to focus more on the business.  I knew I was going to be done with school after the spring semester so I started doing more with the blog.  Can you believe I had 181 posts in 2010.  Who would have thunk I would have had that much to say.  Though there are some posts I did that were about giveaways, the majority of those posts were about us or the aspects of the business.  Phew - congrats for sticking it out with us!

This year mom and I also wanted to be accepted into juried shows and move away from the craft shows.  We met our goal and then some.  We were accepted into five juried shows.  I think we want to try for two more juried shows, that will make seven for 2011.  This year we also tripled our sales which will make our accountant ecstatic, but of course that money turns around to go right into buying supplies, oh well, you all understand that!

In January, I found the blog Art Bead Scene and we participated in our first monthly challenge.  If you want a laugh, you need to hit the blog post: Cold, Cold, OMG Cold! of us working on beads for the January Monthly Challenge piece.  Looking at our pieces from January up to now I can see a vast improvement in a year.  I can even tell you when the change happenend - it was the June's Monthly Challenge, Dancing the Bolero.  I think what did it was that we started incorporating our enameled pieces with our lampwork beads.  I think that may have helped us to be picked for November's Monthly Challenge - Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt.  Art Bead Scene has a Year in Review of the winners.

I also found Lori's blog, Pretty Things, and the Bead Soup Blog Party in January though I was to late to sign up for it.  I was bound and determined to sign up for it if Lori had it again.  Lori did have another Bead Soup Blog Party and this one was in June. 

Wise in the Ways

Our swap partner was Christine of A Hot Piece of Glass.  What she made with the pendant and beads we sent her was fandamntastic! 

What Christine sent us was fabulous and so drool worthy.  It was also out of our comfort zone, but that is the reason for this swap - to push us to making something great with the wonderful goodies we receive.  If you would like to read how we put the necklace together go here.

This year mom and I also participated in two bead swaps with two of the most wonderful, awesomeist ladies ever:  Juls at Julsbeads and Kristen at My Bead Journey.

For Juls mom and I made here a hand bowl and a sunflare pendant and we received from Juls some of the most mouthwatering beads evah!

Mom's Necklace with Juls Beads

My necklace with Juls beads
For Kristen mom and I made her an enameled bird pendant, and I made her some of mom's favorite lampwork glass beads.  From Kristen we received some of her beaded beads, beaded snowflakes, and beaded Christmas ornaments.

What we made from Kristen's goodies
This year mom and I also tried using a credit card machine for more sales.  We had some highs with the knuckle buster, more sales.  We had some lows, which boy how was mom pissed one night at the credit card company.  Now that we bought an iPhone, we are going to try the Square with the credit cards.  I hope this goes much better than the knuckle buster and much cheaper.

Another big thing we did was participate in Lori's Cup of Bead Soup.  What we did was send Lori some of our lampwork glass beads and an enameled copper Lotus pendant.  I know that sort of put her outside her comfort zone, but the piece she made was show stopping!

Just one more big thing for us - we are now in double digits on our Etsy site.   I really didn't think that day would come.  I think our pieces are awesome, but I know that doesn't mean other people think the same thing.  I am just so excited that we hit double digits before the end of the year.  Another awesome thing is that we have sold to three great customers in Norway, Finland and Ireland.  How cool is that?  We have pendants and a bowl in different countries - AWESOME!

Now that we are in 2011, wow, mom and I have some goals we have set ourselves.
  • Be published in a magazine - this is mostly my goal for us
  • Double sales in Etsy 
  • Work on patina - goal for me
  • Work in enamels and torch (make beads) again - goal for mom
  • Make more Viking Knit - mostly in Sterling Silver (hint hint mom)
  • Work on making our own clasps
  • Make a breast plate pendant - goal for mom
  • Remotivate mom - mom's goal
I guess that is it.  I know, a long post for the first day of the new year.  I hope you all  have a wonderful new year.  Mom and I wish you all good health and happiness.


  1. Great post...hope you make all your 2011 goals...Happy New Year!

  2. I love seeing all the growth that people do through the year. It really is a lot isn't it? You two are very talented and I think that 2011 will be a great year. You have to believe it with your whole heart to make it so.

    Enjoy the day!

  3. Those can't possibly be my beads! That necklace you made is incredible! I needed this today so much more than you know! I am so incredibly blessed to have made such a good friend in you and watch your progress. I look forward to many many more years!

    Happy New Year!

  4. I likey! Seeing some terrific lists today as I catch up on my blog reading and yours is no exception. AND Congrats on being accepted to the juried shows! That's quite an achievement. I'm impressed that you're setting business goals to move ahead - so smart. Note to self. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...