I've always been a "crafty" person.
In high school I would skip my science and gym classes to hang out in my ceramics classroom where I could sculpt a wall-hanging or throw a pot on the wheel. My ceramics teacher, bless her soul, didn't mind. Her theory was that if I was going to cut class I was going to do it regardless of where I went and she would rather see me making a pot than smoking it.
Since high school I haven't had access to a potters wheel or kiln, so my hobbies have changed.
Now, I occaisionally enjoy photography, once every few years I'll take a brush to canvas and attempt to paint something thats not hideous, I knit and crochet practically daily, and I do still make beaded jewelry from time to time.
Before I learned to knit last year, I would make beaded items regularyl. Most often, gifts for my cousin Erin. Being that she has extreme metal allergies and turns into a walking hive if anything is less than 24k gold, it would be of great cost to her to try to have any kind of jewelry collection. But, she still loves to wear necklaces. For several years now, its been standard for me to make her at least 2 or 3 beaded necklaces for her birthday gifts.
It pleases me to see that she wears these necklaces practically daily.
What pleases me even more is when she tells me that people compliment her on them frequently as well. Even when she was attending UC Hastings, which is primarily populated by trust fund kids who go to Greece on shopping trips. I wish I were kidding on that last bit. That statement is based upon an actual conversation I overheard in the elevator of the building she lived in in San Francisco.
Friday night Erin and her husband, Jeremy, joined me at the pub. She was wearing a necklace I had made her for her birthday this year - copper colored freshwater pearls with amber swarovski crystals. Once there, she received a compliment or two on the necklace, and in response she told everyone that I had made it for her.
Turns out that one of the other regular patrons has a daughter who will be going to Europe on an exchange program in January and it is customary for exchange students to trade gifts with their host friends and families. He commisioned me to make at least 10 necklaces for him to give to his daughter to take with her as exchange gifts.
Hearing that I was taking commisions, a couple of other patrons requested necklaces.
I believe that I will be busy with beads and wire for the next couple of weeks, thanks to Erin wearing my necklace. The best marketing possible.
All of this ties in with my recent decision to open a shop on Etsy.com .
i don't have any items listed yet, but as soon as I do I will be posting a link in the sidebar.