Thursday, November 27, 2008

Charms revisited

Remember a few weeks ago I mentioned that I was making little charms? I made over 100 of them; cupcakes, donuts, bears, bunnies, etc.

They turned out really cute until I did the finished work. What a fiasco!

If I wasn't such a mild mannered gal, I would have been pulling my hair out.

Here's what happened.

I know that polymer clay is durable, but I was concerned with the findings staying in the charm. Charm bracelets take a beating, so I wanted my charms to last for years.

After they were baked and cooled, I attached a split ring, applied super glue to the finding, and dipped them in acrylic to give them a nice shine. I had a laundry rack set up so I could hang the charms. I would dip them, attach them to a piece of wire, hang them on the rack, and go on to the next charm. I had about 50 finished when all of a sudden, the rack tumbled over, hitting me in the head. Charms went flying everywhere; I even had some hanging in my hair. There was acrylic finish all over me and the floor.

Disgusted, I cleaned up and went to bed. The next day I discovered that the super glue (gel) had dried white and crusty. The charms looked horrible and were ruined. I now have a box of about 60 charms that I can't sell. I have been using them in my child care program as incentives, the kids can't really tell the difference.

I thought I had done a lot of research on how to make these charms, but I guess I missed something. I do know that some people push a headpin up through the charm, then form a loop to attach the split ring. I wished I would have done that.

So, my little venture in charm making didn't work out so well. Maybe I'll do some more investigating. Any advice? Feel free to leave a comment on how I can make charms that are durable, long lasting and look nice.

For now, I'll keep working on my ornaments.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hello Again

It's been two weeks since I posted and for that, I feel really bad. As I explained before, I'm taking three classes at Madonna University. Two of the classes are Graphic classes and, for me, pretty easy. I went into these classes having a lot of information and experience under my belt. But the third class, Web Fundamentals, is another story. It involves building websites from scratch, using HTML coding. Although, I'm getting it in bits and pieces, there are a few things that have stumped me. I've spent hours and hours a day working on homework. When this class is finished, (in a few weeks), I'll know more about HTML than I ever thought I would. When winter semester starts, I'm taking two classes, Graphic Arts 2 and Lithography, so my world should calm down.

I do have good news. My last show was a great success. Last Saturday I did a show in Shelby Township at Eisenhower school. What fun! I almost sold out of my product. I wished I would have taken more, but, too late for that. My other shows were so bad, I wasn't very motivated to load up on tons of stock. Big Mistake! There were times that there were 5 to 8 customers with clay in their hands. It was the shot in the arm I needed, both emotionally and financially.

What sold?

My biggest sellers were snowmen families and snowmen. I personalized a lot of ornaments. I sold a lot of baby's first Christmas ornaments too. Penguins were a hit too.

I thought it was great that so many people have a lot of Christmas trees in their homes. For instance, one woman had a Christmas tree in her daughter's room. It was completed decorated in pink, so she purchased a pink sock monkey ornament. Another customer had a sock monkey tree at work and one had a tree in her kitchen. (I'm so busy, I am looking for a ceramic table tree to put in front of the window! Easy up, easy down, easy storage!)

I'm so happy and grateful to everyone who purchased ornaments from me. I learned a few things (again), after doing a good show.

  • Always have a lot of stock on hand
  • Always have a lot of change on hand
  • Only get into the best shows!!
When January rolls around, I'm going to try really hard to get onto mailing lists of the top shows in Michigan. I already have done some of these shows in the past, so I know which shows those are. I'll have to have a special account just for the shows, since one that I'd like to do is $250 but, I bet I could make 10 times that if I am prepared.

It's a bit difficult to do big shows by oneself, and that's the problem I have. But, if all goes well next year, I'm sure I can find someone to help me out at those shows. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

For now, I promise I'll be back on a regular basis. I still have a lot of homework to do, but I think the worst is over. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


You may not hear from me for a few days as I have a lot of orders and homework. In my web fundamentals I have to build three websites (two are due in one week). It's a lot of work and it's very important for me to do a good job. (Want to stay on the Dean's List).

I also have three cake toppers and several ornaments to make, plus a craft show next Saturday.

(Not to mention my Graphics class assignment)..

I'll be posting soon..Just need to catch up a little.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Here are some better pictures of the little charms I have been making.

This is a chocolate bon bon.

Dime shows the size. I have some smaller too.

Yum! Bagels and Cream Cheese!

Do you need some ketchup with your hot dog?

How about a donut for dessert?

These still need the charm ring added on, (which I plan on doing this week.) I made about 65 charms in the last week. These are just a few of the charms.

There are a lot of steps to the process. Form the clay, put an eye pin in it, bake it, shine it, add paint and details, glue the eye pin for extra strength, then add the charm ring.

But, I had a lot of fun doing these. I have a lot more ideas!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It's a small world

Just a quick update. I've been working on a lot of miniatures for charms.

I started off a long time ago making miniatures. It was really something I was good at and I enjoyed. In fact, I had my minis in over thirty stores, then slowly, over the years, shadow boxes and shelves became less popular, and I started making the cake toppers.

Lately, I see that clay charms are really popular and etsy now has a miniature section, so I'm going to dust off the miniature ideas and start making them again. At first, I thought that maybe there were enough people making them, but that's unproductive thinking. I'll make them also, and I'll try to find different ideas and better designs.

Making Frosting...

I don't care to make jewelry, however, I don't mind making charms for people who like to make jewelry for themselves or to sell. These can be used as charms and pendents.

These little bears need features like eyes, mouths and blushed cheeks. I'll paint those on later.

The charms are made from premo and fimo and liquid sculpey for extra strength. I put a little drop of super glue where the eye pin is inserted, making them very durable.

As soon, as I finish these, I'll be back with more photos of the finished product.

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