Monday, March 31, 2008

Lots of shop updates recently!

So I've been managing to update the shop quite a bit lately, so make sure and take a look at what's new.

Click the images below to check them out:

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Updraft and Riverbed

My Updraft earrings are new in the shop today, and you can see a sneak preview for what's coming tomorrow below:

Also, here's a look at someone from my favorites:

Vintage Romance Earrings, by Ashley Hope, a fellow member of the Etsy Dallas Street Team and a former UNT Metals Club member. I couldn't have thought of a more fitting name for these earrings. Romance is just perfect.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I'm off in outer space today...

Orbit 2, originally uploaded by freeforged.

Here's another quick update to the shop, a variation of the earrings I posted yesterday. A different pattern and a different patina make a pretty big change to a simple pair of earrings.

These remind me of the orbit patterns in solar system diagrams - but with all the little rings overlapping each other.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Flame Earrings

Flame Earrings - 3, originally uploaded by freeforged.

Another new item for the shop tonight... make sure you stop by and take a look at all the juicy details. I'm hoping to keep up with more frequent additions to the shop, and since I took a couple of improved shots of these recently I thought it was their time.

I'm still not sure what kind of lighting I like best. In my metalsmithing classes, we were taught to use photo-flood lights with a soft-box, but everything I've seen about taking pictures online suggests using natural light, such as photographing stuff on a windowsill. I took these in front of the window on a piece of paper, but even with my adjusting the white balance they still ended up very gray.

As far as tweaking pictures goes, I usually use Adobe Photoshop CS3, but for people who can't afford it, Adobe just released Photoshop Express online - a free trimmed down version of photoshop!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

New earrings for the shop.

Large Molecule Post Earrings, originally uploaded by freeforged.

Expect to see these babies in the shop either today or tomorrow morning. They're solid sterling silver, with a light hammered texture and sterling ear post and clutches. These look great worn by themselves or with a simple pair of hoops. Trust me - after seeing some of my customers wearing them I just had to make myself my own pair, and I love them to death!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Shirt.woot: Moosestache

So I've been a big fan of submit your t-shirt design websites for awhile now, but this week I finally decided to submit something to one of them.

Shirt.woot is a part of, which offers really good deals on whatever they happen to get their hands on. Shirt.woot takes submissions from Woot members for t-shirt ideas based on a weekly theme. Each week the them changes, and this week's theme is Canada.

I've had this idea for awhile now of a man which his mustache hair sculpted into moose antlers, making a moosestache. I finally got it complete, and submitted it to this week's woot derby.

For other graphic artists out there, this could be an opportunity for you, especially if you're more skilled than I am. They pay $200 for the first printing, and $2 per shirt for every shirt sold after that. It can add up to be a whole lot if the design is particularly popular. Some shirts, such as The Cake is a Liar, have been up for well over a month, maybe two, and are still selling.

Good luck to anyone who enters!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Twitter and Design Contests

So today I saw an article in the Storque about Twitter - a new program that is basically the Facebook status update function, but that's all it is.
You post little messages about what you're doing, thinking about, planning, etc and then the people that 'follow' you can see them and read whats going on with you. You can actually post links too.

Apparently this is getting pretty popular with Etsians, so I thought I'd sign up and check it out just to see what the deal is. It's actually pretty cool, you can post your updates via text message or Google chat - which is my preferred method.
You can see in the side bar to the right that I now have a little feed going of my updates, or you could go to my Twitter page and check them out on person, and follow me if you have your own account.

But while I was checking this stuff out, Make happened to make a post about a design contest in their blog. This contest is by Modofly - a group that laser etches designs onto the surface of moleskine notebooks. Check out the blog entry about the contest here, then send Modofly an e-mail to for details.

Now since I've been seeing several design contests and such things around lately, and mostly just posting them on Facebook (where I think no one actually sees them) I figured I might as well start posting them here for people to see. Most of these are for screenprinting or graphic design or illustrators - stuff that's way outside my skill set. So if I can't enter, at least I can possibly tell someone who can about them.

Expect to see a few more updates about design contests and call for entries when I find them, and good luck to any who enter!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Craft Shows

So right now on Etsy's Storque there's a great article on how to set up a craft show display that looks professional but doesn't cost a lot. I've participated in one or two craft shows so far, as well as a few smaller sales on the UNT campus, so I found this article both interesting and helpful. Thanks to Paw & Claw Designs for writing the article!

You can see from the original forum threads here and here that there were quite a few interesting ideas people had. Some people purchased vintage or thrifted items such as trays and bowls, while others built their own handmade displays from hardware store materials and picture frames.

The flickr group for craft shows also has quite a few pictures of other booth set ups. It's interesting to see how people outside the jewelry craft realm set up displays of their wares.

I personally have used some chocolate boxes that are faux leather with a clear plastic window, as well as a hinged display case (bought on sale at Michaels - 50% off) however I'm not sure how successful the display case method is. It's very effective at preventing people from stealing my jewelry, however I think it tends to make people just glance and walk away. It seems to me that people are more interested in purchasing jewelry when they can pick it up and hold it and look more closely.

What do you think? Have you used display cases, or noticed anything similar to this?