Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Sometimes it would seem wise to give up, but I can't seem to do that even though I've had very little success to date. I guess that is the nature of marketing...keep trying until you find something that works! I am convienced that lanyards can be fun and/or pretty to wear, therefore, a profitable commodity. I just need to figure out how to match product to customer. I've had good success with personalizing my cedar signs, so thought I'd try the same with lanyards. It is my plan to use clip art to create a unique and personalized lanyard. It will take a little time to polish my craft, but I'm off and running. I can't say I like every piece I've made so far, but I'm getting better at working with polymer clay to get a desired creation. Price will factor into each piece once I feel confident I can provide a consistant product. Right now I'm simply challenging myself to be creative. It is what I love best....

If you want me to create a customized lanyard feel free to contact me via my Etsy shop or through my email link. I will post the finished product on my Etsy BachsCrafts. No obligation to buy until you see something you like. Consider providing the following information when ordering:

  • design (logo, or simple clip art works best)
  •  shape (heart, circle, oval, square, flower, etc.)
  •  colors of braid (up to 4 colors though 2 work best)
  •  metal: silver, gold or copper
  • spelling (if applicable)
  • length, usually between 28”-40” (double the length from back of neck to where you want the pendant to hang)

Dragonfly Lanyard
Sun and Moon Lanyard

Stick Figure Nurse Lanyard

Squirrel Lanyard

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Consignment Anyone?

     Now that I'm back among the ranks of the unemployed I'm looking to make a little extra money on my jewelry. I'm finding that jewelry (or at least my jewelry) doesn't sell well online, but does great at craft shows where people can see, handle, and try on my pieces. I'm hoping to find a shop or two around Spokane and/or Coeur d'Alene that might be interested in showing/buying/consigning some of my handcrafted items. Since my mix of jewelry is rather eclectic, handcrafted wood, polymer clay, wire wrapped, etc., I am willing to make whatever you feel would best serve your clientele, whether necklaces, earrings, lanyards, or bracelets, etc.
     I've created a new slide show of "My Favorite Pieces" that I've done over the last few years to give a sample of my work. I've included a couple of my contest winners. I'm not into creating exact replications or mass producing any one item--I enjoy creating one-of-a-kind jewelry--I can reproduce style and color so to accommodate some custom orders. If you're interested, or know of anyone who may be interested in hosting some of my pieces, feel free to contact me through my email links. I would be happy to bring samples by your place of business to let you see my product.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

     I'm afraid my jewelry endeavors went on hiatus because of my year-long employment (which is now completed). Now that I'm back among the ranks of the unemployed I reflect back to my year long struggle to create an online jewelry business and ask myself if I want to try again? It wasn't my first time running my own business; I did well with my sign business, and ran a golf course/restaurant, many moons ago, but my BachsCrafts was different. Though there was some sense of financial necessity, it was really more an inner expression of self--as art usually is--which makes it personal, especially when it doesn't sell. I  thought it was because my jewelry designs were not very good (and some aren't), or people just didn't like what I made (and some don't), but when I attended a few craft shows I received feedback that was very informative and helpful. I was left to conclude that the jewelry I make is something that has to be seen up close to be appreciated. People like to try pieces on, and having a wide selection to choose from allows for the nuanced preferences of the individual. Having that kind of inventory is difficult for the one-of-a-kind artist. My whole selection, which took me months to create all fit into one small box!
     Craft shows are an interesting way to show one's craft. I sat three days in 100 degree temperatures and sold enough to cover the cost of the booth, but hardly enough to pay for my time and weekend long discomfort. On another occasion, I participated in a farmer's market and spent a pleasant afternoon overlooking Puget Sound; I did quite well selling my wares. It was a great way to find out what the market was interested in, mostly my copper wire wraps.
    Though I can say I ran a "business" (I did have a license and .com), it was hardly a success. It took me months to learn how to create an eshop, complete with SSL certificate (credit card security). It was always curious that the greatest number of "visitors" to my sight were Russians--especially in the light of their most recent incursion on US Banks. I spent hours and hours taking and editing pictures, writing descriptions, and posting products. Jewelry, unlike...let's say...a lawn care business, is quite different in web design. Where a lawn care business web site is stagnate with a main page and couple of links to products and pricing, my jewelry eshop required detailed attention to every item posted. And since I only make one of a kind jewelry, it was a lot of work for every good designed and posted. My eshop required constant attention, sadly, it was only the Russians who paid it any mind!
     Overall, it was fun to create a shop, market goods, and at least have the illusion I was building something. The profit was not in the dollar value of the goods sold, but in the experience of having attempted a dream, even it it didn't fly. I learned what not to do, and how expensive a simple .com at only $1.99 a month can run! The behind the scenes cost of maintaining an eshop was enlightening. The costs included: monthly hosting site, SSL (security for credit card users), templates, and a mess of apps to make your postings easier. This doesn't even begin to cover what it actually cost to get your web site to the top of a search engine, something one doesn't even consider until well into the project. It's a stark (or shark) discovery when you find out that all your hard work isn't even going to be discovered unless you buy Google power--that privilege of having your post listed on the first page, because, really, how many of us every make it to a second page in our search attempts?
     The margin for an artist between cost and profit is slim. Most artist starve or have partners willing to support them in their art. My husband was very generous in his support of my efforts, despite the fact I spent
far more than I ever earned. But, good times have to come to an end. I spent my year basking in my creative juices, then on to get a "real" job. Now that I'm back to being unemployed, I don't have the fortitude to attempt another business run at making jewelry. I'm content to keep it a hobby and sell an item or two on Etsy, or take in a craft fair or two. It's much simpler and less stressful. I make what I want, price it out for what it is worth, and relax if it doesn't sell. I'm not forced into mill production of products I don't care about. As my newly retired sister-in-law says, "I do what I want..."


Wednesday, June 19, 2013


     Working with polymer clay is so much fun, but challenging on so many levels. This pair of checkered patterned earrings would seem to be a rather easy task, but getting crisp squares and even slices will take a little practice. So I'm giving away my practice earrings working with this pattern. To be entered in the drawing to win this pair of pink and white checkered earrings leave a comment on my blog or go to my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bachscrafts and leave a comment on June's give-away post. The drawing is to be held June 30th. Good luck!

Friday, June 14, 2013

      It seemed a rather simple endeavor—building a web site. Templates are supposed to make it easy, just fill in the blanks…right?! When I saw the picture of this mouse I knew I had to post it as this was what I looked like at various points while building my .com! Web design seemed like a bottomless pit of possibilities and, being the creative person that I am, I felt compelled to explore as many of those possibilities as I was able. At some point I realized I would never create another piece of jewelry to post on my .com if I didn't back off a little and let it rest…as is…
     SEOs, CSVs, SLLs, SQLs, URLS—and the list goes on—of acronyms that I was clueless about. Working with my computer, a server host, a theme host, and various modules sites proved to be rather complicated, and when I finally thought I might have some small handle on the whole process I found that different browsers...taaaa, daaa...work differently. I spent two hours working on making a voucher box appear at check out--a relative simple, straight forward task--when I stumbled upon the fact that it would appear in one browser, but not in another. There was no “fix” to be made! There went two hours I could have been working on jewelry!
     As it stands, I now have a dot .com--www.bachscrafts.com. I've managed to keep my costs down on my “free domain.” After buying host time at $1.99 a month—to get that rate you have to buy several months at a time—I needed to buy an SSL (secure site lock) to encode and protect credit card purchases. To add any of the bells and whistles to my “free template,” took all my will power to resist. On several occasions it possibly floated around in the back of my mind that if I would upgrade my template or add certain modules some of the problems I was having would disappear. I was able to find free modules to satisfy my desire to expand my template beyond the basic Prestashop mold and tweak some of the features without having to risk all by rewriting the html coding. One misplaced comma can dismantle a whole site!
     What really saved me from becoming a totally bald mouse were the Nemo tutorials on You Tube: a step by step guide through the drop down menus in the back shop (as opposed to the front shop which you view on the web.) Prestashop’s back shop has a menu bar of 11 different items, and sub menus beyond count, and that expand with every module added. The drag and drop features of this blog are NOT to be compared to the eCommerce back shop that exists with both the domain host and in the template design itself. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I cried when I came across Nemo’s step-by-step easy to follow—let me emphasis here—visual instructions. And I loved to hear him say that some features were not intuitive, or not working properly--“bugs”—and to realize that I was not a complete imbecile when I did A, then B, but C did not fall into line…so I’ve learned to live with bugs. I guess I could upgrade to a “better” template, but I doubt even that would get ride of some of those pesty bugs!

     I hope you’ll visit my web site (and make a purchase), and though it doesn't stand out as anything terribly creative, I’m rather proud of my accomplishment. From start of project to launch of web site only took me three months! Once I started to figure out the basics it went a lot smoother…thanks Nemo! And thanks to the complication of figuring out shipping costs and linking to the USPS, I found it easier to just offer free shipping for now
. I hope to figure out that module sometime this summer, so while I’m doing that I’d make use of the free shipping feature on my site! Happy shopping!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jazz Proof!

      I couldn't resist taking a small photo shoot of my granddaughter playing with one of my old test pieces of jewelry. Of course I watch her very closely and would not leave her alone with any necklace at such a young age, but I was curious to see just what she would do with it. She figured out how to get it around her neck and to parade around with it like a queen. Quite an accomplishment to secure such a treasure all on her own!
     This last year I've made several Jazz-proof pieces of jewelry for her mother. My step-daughter—herself with three young children--first introduced me to "momma” necklaces and I've made several using polymer clay. My daughter favors the glass pendants that double as a teether and wearable “toy.” I wire wrap the pendant, double and triple thread, crimp at multiply places, and use a mixture of very large and small beads (just in case it breaks). On a rare occasion my daughter will bring me a pre-Jazz design that needs reassembling, but most of my pieces have held up very well. I really do want my designs to last!

     My new motto is: Is it Jazz proof? Of course some of my more delicate pieces will never be totally baby proof, but over all I strive for an excellence in my craft that I hope will last through the generations. My daughter’s newest piece—a Valentine’s Day heart—was a big hit with my granddaughter…you’d think I had made it for her.

     I can't wait for the day my granddaughters can wear their bling with pride--unsupervised!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Two Hearts Become One

In making this design--as is typical--it took on a life of its own. It was a very meditative piece and caused me to reflect on the purpose of having a holiday such as Valentine’s Day and the love it symbolizes. This piece did not come out as I envisioned, and in creating this sturdy piece of jewelry it spoke to me in several metaphors. This design started with two separate hearts, one smaller than the other and thought I could carefully lace them together. But I found that when bringing two hearts together you need much stronger wire. Lightweight and lacy will not suffice to keep them in place. Love needs something that is solid and strong. During the constructing I had to undo some things I did not like. Love must be willing to change and remake itself as necessary or desired. Love will rarely be what we envision it to be. And there were times while in the making I thought this a very dreadful piece and I contemplated scraping it, but again, with a little patience I was able to make it into something beautiful. Love is like that; sometimes it looks revolting and other times it looks amazing. When it is all said and done, love—even at its best--is complicated.