Frugal Jewellery Designer: Buying Supplies

Written on February 19, 2010 at 12:27 pm
Filed under: Article,Frugal Jewellery Designer with tags:

Making jewellery is one of my hobbies that I’ve had for the longest period of time and over the years, I have spent a lot of money on beads and other materials. What I do like about the hobby is getting a good deal on my supplies so I don’t pour all of my money into the materials that I need. Here are some of my bead buying tips:

Craft stores and craft departments for general shopping needs
When I was 12 and going to stores to buy beads, it was difficult for me to go find non-plastic beads in places other than stores dedicated to selling craft supplies. But since then, the interest in making jewellery has grown and many other people make jewellery too. Craft departments in department stores have some pretty good selections for seed beads. General crafts stores (like Michaels) do carry decent bead selections. I also like to check out the clearance sections – I’ve bought strands of glass beads marked down from $10 to $1.50. Good deals can be found, if you’re willing to search for them as well as using coupons (they can come in weekly fliers or online).

  • Always check out the clearance section/aisle for more good deals
  • Join the mailing list on the store’s website for coupons, if they have them available

Some of my favourite beads have been found at craft stores, especially after my local chain craft store was given a makeover. Now I purchase freshwater pearls and turquoise beads when they come up on sale. I never pay full price on the beads that I buy at the craft store, never. I even bought my pliers with 40% off coupons at the same store. It’s a great resource and there’s no excuse to be paying full price at chain craft stores.

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Blythe swap package (progress!)

Written on February 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm
Filed under: Crafting with tags: , ,

I signed up for a Blythe-related swap, send out date is March 1st. The theme was spring and the criteria that I imposed on the swap was that everything had to be handcrafted by the sender. I clearly have issues regarding what is considered to be ‘spring’ though.

Item #1: Flower hat! Modeled by Belarus. Side view:

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Why I say no

Written on February 14, 2010 at 9:52 pm
Filed under: Reflections

I was recently asked by someone that I know to make them something. Actually, this person pointed to a hat that was in the window of a store (it was a knitted hat) and asked me if I could make something like that, but for less than what the store was asking for. I politely told this person no and when pressed, I gave the following reasons why:

  • The hat was knitted – I’m far more competent with crochet than knitting and therefore would be spending far longer on a knitted hat that I would ever want to (for someone else other than myself or a gift of my choice).
  • The yarn was, after inspection, was really nice – this person wanted an exact replica. The yarn was nice, a blend of wool, merino, alpaca and yak.
  • The hat had colour-work. I barely do colour work for my own stuff (lol). Not because I don’t know how, it’s that I hate weaving in ends (although lately I’ve killing two birds with one stone and just working over the ends – if I can)
  • The hat was nothing like I’d seen before – I probably would have had to make up the pattern myself. Did I mention that I’m more competent with crochet than knit? This applies to winging my own patterns.
  • The store was selling the hat for $30. Cost of yarn alone would probably be upwards of the same price at retail cost, if I wanted the exact colours and fibre content.
  • As the yarn would cost about $30 (estimate), and I’d be spending at least 5-6 hours alone on this one hat at $15/hour, the hat would suddenly cost around $105-$120.

Of course, this completely turned this person off from getting me to make the hat. “At that price, I might as well buy it!” Well good, buy it. It’d be far easier than for me to a) track down the yarn and b) figure out how to make it. This same person told me that there were hats (knitted and crocheted) for far lower prices on sites like etsy and Artfire. I mentioned that people were clearly underselling themselves.

I don’t understand how someone can knit a set of 3 dish towels (with really nice, intricate cables) and price it at $12. I don’t understand how someone can crochet a scarf that is 9 feet long and set the price at $25. I don’t understand how someone can make a beautiful pair of earrings that clearly have detailed wire work and gorgeous beads and then price it at $5 of all things.

Handcrafted and handmade are words that are not synonymous with cheap or low quality. Handcrafted and handmade means that there was a real person making something, not a machine. It means that someone put their time, their effort, their talent and their skill into something.

In complete and utter shock

Written on February 6, 2010 at 10:56 pm
Filed under: Project Planning

So I recently checked on the stats on number of visitors and hits for the month of January 2010 and gosh, was I ever surprised!

In December 2009, I had a total of 28,589 hits. In January 2010, I had a total of 69,717 hits. That’s more than double in one month alone and since revamping into my crafts site, I’ve averaged 20,000 to 25,000 hits per month. And I would very much like to say thank you, thank you, thank you! For all the interest in this site and my work.

Part of the huge jump in visitors, I will admit, is due to the two free patterns that I have here (Crochet Ribbed Cowl, posted December 2009, and Ruse – A Cloche-Inspired Crochet Hat, posted January 2010). However, much to my pleasant surprise, some of my articles that I’ve written have also gotten their fair share of hits! Two of the frontrunners would be my articles on amigurumi and finding free patterns.

Despite my, ahem, lack of posts so far from mid-January to now, I’ve been busy with schoolwork as well as working on some projects which include a lace-work scarf (crochet) and a preemie hat (crochet, for donation). I also plan on getting a few preemie hat patterns (free!) to encourage others to make hats for donations to their local hospital as well.

I hope everyone’s been having a lovely February so far! Feel free to suggest article ideas or projects for me to try, I always like getting suggestions.