Sunday, 24 May 2009

Adjustable rings:- good or bad idea?

Yesterday I decided that I was ready to start a new thread on Etsy. I have spent quite a long time contributing to the threads of other people.
As I have been commissioned a few times to make the ring designs that I have on my online shop in different sizes, I wondered if there was any kind of a market for adjustable rings.

The first few people to post on this thread said that it was a cheap look. Not for the quality jewellery market. They certainly would not pay more than $20 for an adjustable ring.
Others said that it pinched the finger....which is what I've always found.
I started to think that everyone was of the same mind until I read the post saying that they were always of the same point of view as the others until the day when arthritis reared it's head.
The fingers stay the same size but the knuckles swell enough to make the wearing of rings difficult at best.  They then went on to say that a good adjustable ring would be a good solution.

Another poster reminded me of my own affliction, one which means that you have to be vigilant on warm days.   Saying that your fingers swell doesn't sound like much of a problem Mine swell a couple of sizes as soon as I become warm. You only have a couple of chances to get the thing off your finger before the very act of trying to remove it makes it swell even more.  So I can see the value of it.

At the end, the last few posters were in agreement that the idea reminded them of rings they wore as a child....from a cracker or a bubblegum machine.

That was it.

They had thrown down the gauntlet.

I couldn't back away now. Not now the challenge had been levelled. I had to make something that was going to turn their heads, something that didn't repulse or pinch, Something that could be both practical and beautiful.
So today saw me in the shed (during the hottest day we've seen so far this year)
The adjustment system that I used was a thickish round wire, soldered at one end to the underneath side of the bezel, forming a ring shape and then overlapping at the top.
It's comfortable, chic, an invisible join and most of all...adjustable.
Now that I have it made, I promised the people on my thread that I'd post it in another forum for their delectation. Or not. Give them the chance to tell me if  it's rubbish or brill.
I'll let you know the verdict.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Hi there,
is anyone else feeling let down by the weather?  There were many hot days in April and I was sure that summer would have started by now.
 Not monsoon season.      
  I sit working in my garden studio, rain beating on the roof,  clouds blocking out the last rays of sunlight, wind whistling under the door and I wonder where I dumped my old ski salopettes. I'm not joking here. The salopettes I bought twenty years ago for my one and only ski trip have come into their own.
Every year when I tidy out the loft, I wonder if I should throw them out but there they remain. They are quite a bit tighter than they used to be and they're not pretty.  It;s like slipping under a duvet albeit a duvet that pinches around the waist lol.
I look like a goth version of the abominable snowman.
I pray for warmer weather when I don't have to do a quick change when the doorbell rings. My postman is of a delicate constitution and I won't be held responsible.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Commissions, it feels good : )

How good it feels considering the current econonic climate and  the competition there is out there, that I have three new commissions...all at once.
The first  to come along was for a set of five stacking rings made in sterling silver. Different textures and oxidising one made the set really different and exciting. These were all made to a customers specs and although I thought the style didn't appeal to me, when they were finished I had changed my mind, they looked pretty special.
Even though the girl mistakenly gave me the wrong size,  it just took a day to make the five, resize four of them and polish and finish them. When you're in the zone.....

The next one was a set of three stacking rings, one plain and two twisted wire. These were quite simple to make. I like these rings as they are quite twinkly. The top of each twist has a hammered flat which acts like a facet and catches the light.

Now I'm working on a pendant which is going to be set with a large heart shaped tigers eye. This one isn't gonna be easy as the heart is a double cabochon and needs to be set like a spectacle glass. That is where the setting is wrapped around the stone and riveted closed at the bail.
There's nothing like a challenge to keep you fresh.
I have really enjoyed the unexpected turns my working week has taken and I know that it's not always gonna be this way so I enjoy it all the more while it lasts.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Google Analytics

Hi there,
does anyone out there use the free service provided by Google to track the traffic passing through their website? If you use Google Analytics you will already know just how addictive it can be.
Since the dawn of the internet, it has been called the 'worldwide web' and although I know what those words mean, I didn't get the full implications of it until trawling all the statistics gathered by Google.
I'm fascinated how I photograph an item that I made in my shed in Coventry UK, put it in my online shop, and someone from the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean is sitting at home looking at it ( hello to you if you are reading this!)
There have been 'hits' from places like Mongolia, Guam and Panama as well as Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
I find it all so exciting.
My geography skills are getting stronger too because of this. Now I can look at a map of the world and tell you which countries are which. Unfortunately, this has come along twenty five years too late to be of any real benefit to me.
Such is life.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

What will be next? Hair nets?

For a couple of months now I've been  sounding out a few discreet friends to figure out if this idea of mine is worth pursuing.
I know it makes perfect sense, but I can't decide if I have the bottle to follow it through. I wonder if I'm just old before my time.
Gotta have it.

It arrived today. My brand new, lime green, super shiny, PVC shopping trolley.
There. I said it.

I took it out on it's maiden voyage this afternoon, lots of people were super-smiley on the high street,  but we bonded, my trolley and me.
 Don't know about you, but I have to admit to being a bit dubious about going out pulling a trolley,  maybe my ego is too fragile.
The urge to dress up and put on high heels is quite strong. No longer do I pull on my old faithful coat and the practical dolly shoes (that hurt) to pop to the shops.   So you see, the benefits are enormous.  And add to that the advantage that a load of shopping weighs nothing at all when it's packed into your trolley.
And....this is a big AND there is always one child or the other who is begging to be allowed to have a go.

Try it for yourself.     Change your life, swear to God.