Dragonfly Pendant Workshop June 30th 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Danish Princess Beads and Gifts

Let your imagination take flight!  Learn how to create this darling dragonfly pendant.  You can customize him in any colors you love?  Greens, purples, blues, yellows… whatever color palent your heart desires.   You can also take what you learn, adapt it and create other jewelry and accessories.  This little guy makes cute earrings, striking scarf pins and clever hair accessories.  What you do with what you learn is entirely up to your imagination.  Please be sure to reserve your seat today!a dragonfly

When: June 30th, 2015 12:00- 2:00
Where:  Danish Princess Beads and Jewelry (Inside of Millie’s Antiques and Collectibles) 6400 Highway 90 Milton, FL
Cost: $35 plus materials  (2′ dead soft 16 or 14 gauge wire, 8″ 26 or 24 gauge wire, three 4mm beads or crystals, one briolette drop)
Tools required:  Round nose pliers, flat nose pliers, clippers, chasing hammer, steel bench block (some tools are available on loan)

Please make your reservation in advance by calling (850) 490-0310 or contacting me directly.  Limited seats, so don’t delay.  If you have to cancel, please do so within 48 hours of the class.  Let me know if you have any questions! Continue reading

Border Wrapped Cabochon Workshop June 10th 11:00 to 2:00

It’s been a while since I’ve offered workshops to the public.  I’ve gone through a lot of personal changes since the end of last year and I needed a little time to catch my breath.  What a ride it has been!  Now I’m ready to get back to the grind – and so it begins!  The first workshop will be a Border Wrapped Pendant class.  It’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve offered a wire wrapping workshop, hasn’t it?  If you want to learn this technique, you’d better jump on this one!  Who knows when it will be offered again?  See below for the 411.
Bumblebee 2Learn the basics of setting a cabochon stone in a wire wrapped setting.  No soldering, no scary troches!  This style of pendant setting is achieved entirely with tension utilizing inexpensive hand tools.  Tools are available on loan and materials for the project can be purchased on location.

When:  June 10th, 11:00 – 2:00 (three hour class)
Where:  A Bead and Crystal House, 711 West Garden St. Pensacola, FL
Cost: $40 (materials not included)
To Reserve a Seat: Call 432-3400 today!

Tools required: (if you do not have these tools on hand they are available on loan) Round nose pliers, flat nose pliers, clippers/flush cutter.
Materials required: one cabochon (approximately 22mm wide by 30mm tall preferred), approximately 4′ of dead soft square wire, approximately 1 1/2′ of half round wire.

Please reserve your seat in advance.  A minimum of three students is required for this class will be cancelled.  If you reserve a seat and cannot make it, please call to cancel 48 hours in advance if possible as a courtesy to your instructor.

Memorial Day Sale 20% off of Everything Now Through Memorial Day

If you’ve been wanting to indulge yourself and buy yourself a little piece of Delia Stone jewelry (or a big one!) now is the time!  Now through Memorial Day you can take 20% off of your purchase using code MemorialDay15.  Enter the code at checkout to cash in on the savings!  The sale ends at midnight on Memorial Day.  Here’s a view of some of my newest work for your viewing pleasure!

Flameball Pearl from the South Sea on Leather

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Parrotwing Jasper in Gold Needlelace

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Fun Enamels in Bright Colors – Fun, Funky and Modern-Retro

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And more colors!

DSCN0588DSCN0594And something for the metal lovers!

DSCN0608DSCN0600DSCN0573DSCN0577And don’t forget about all of my fun cloisonné!  Oldies but goodies!

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Changes to Celebrate!

The New Year has brought a lot of changes into my life. With those changes came a move – and a new working space. I have to say that it’s quite an improvement over my ‘garage studio.’   I’m SO excited about my new space! It’s no longer a corner in my garage, which was piled high with every other imaginable kind of household storage items, but a space completely dedicated to me and my trade. It’s a dream come true!

happy me

I was eager to share some pictures with you of my new space, though it’s still a little disorganized (to say the least) so please overlook the mess. I had to start working well before it was even 20% unpacked, which made it a little difficult to unpack in an orderly fashion. I had orders pending and had to get things moving as fast as possible, which was a challenge considering that the move was both home and studio and during school for my three kiddos. Here are a few pics of my half unpacked, chaotic-but-coming-together space. The first bench is my main bench where I solder, fire cloisonné, etc. The bench behind it is my metals bench, where my jewelry press, rolling mill and shaping and forming tools for metal are kept.

main and metals

Under the boxes on the right-hand side were the 2 x 6’s and the 4 x 4’s that my new bench ‘Thor’ were to be built with. What a sturdy bench he would be too!

working end

When it was completed, we dubbed it Thor because it was one awesome, sturdy kick-butt bench! Better yet, the bench was built by hands that love me! A long time friend (now much more than a friend) Stephen, my best friend Jennifer and my beloved son Dakota all chipped in to bring Thor to life!

jen and koka

koka drilling

trio bench

And the final result of their efforts – Thor brought to life!

thor

One end of my new studio is working space, and the other end is for storage and casual space which at this time tends to be play space for my daughters, Hailey and Rhiannon, who frequently spend time with me in the studio while I’m working.

girls fun end

There have been a lot of changes in my life, and all of them are cause to celebrate!

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Rainy Day Sale 20% to 50% off of in my Etsy Shops

Well, it’s been a happy but rainy holiday season here … and while the holidays have passed the rain hasn’t. Given that I’ve been sick and am just a few inches this side of ‘well’ I opted to stay home this morning instead of setting up at Palafox Market. That’s two weeks in a row I’ve missed. :( I don’t like missing the market. I miss my artist friends as well as all of my lovely customers. I decided to go ahead and run a sale in my Etsy shops. The sale runs now through Monday, January 5th.

If you love jewelry, check out my primary Etsy shop and take 20% off of your entire purchase using code RainyDay15 at checkout. This is a great way to get some fabu Delia Stone jewelry at a fantastic price! You know you want to! Check it out: DeliasStones on Etsy

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But if you’re the kind of girl who loves to MAKE her own jewelry, then slide over to my Tutorial Shop and take 50% off of any and all tutorials available. You’ll never get a better deal than THAT on these tuts, so if you’ve been wanting on now is the best time to take the leap! New skills for the new year! :) Tutorialshop on Etsy

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Take advantage of the sale! Pop in now so you don’t forget! Happy New Year to all!

10 Things You Should Never Say to an Artist – or Should You?

I found this meme running around on Facebook today and I read over it. As I understood it, this list of questions is supposed to be offensive to artists but I found that most of these questions don’t offend me as an artist at all and I thought I’d take a little time to share my thoughts. First I’ll present the list and then address them below.

10 questions not to ask an artist

I’m going to address the questions in the order they are listed in the meme, starting with number 10.

10) “l’ll just get my friend to make me one of those.”

Well, let’s face it. That one’s just rude. There’s no way to make this one a positive thing. Just acknowledge that such a remark says far more about the individual than it does you or your work. Try not to take it personally – we all know there’s some really classless people in the world with no filter. They’re the ones you move on from and don’t waste your time with. They’ve just announced to you that they’re not your customer after all.

9) “You know what you should make?”

I actually like number nine. I’ve gotten a lot of great ideas from customers. I always listen to the customer’s suggestion and thank them for offering it. Of course there are many suggestions that I don’t use, but a few have been very helpful and inspiring. Some suggestions are ideas that I’ve already had – sometimes I say so, sometimes I don’t. If I say so I make sure to say it in a positive way that reaffirms that I think the customer had a great idea. I’m certain these people don’t mean to be offensive in any way. They were just inspired by something they saw on your table, thought they had a great idea and shared it with you. It’s valuable feedback from your customer, they’re telling you what they want. Thank you for your suggestions! That’s my attitude.

8) “Do I get a price break if I buy two?”

I understand that a good many artists are offended by this. I am not. I usually have some kind of special in my booth to direct them to if they’re looking for a sale. For example, I often offer a buy two get one free earring sale. This works well for me. I’ve had someone who only intended to buy one pair of earrings buy two – doubling my sales. I’ve had someone buy two lower priced earrings and decide to splurge on themselves to get a pair of luxury higher end earrings. Since the lowest priced one is the free pair this is good for me too as again it’s taken the sale up a notch for me and made the customer feel good about splurging on themselves at the same time. Win/win. Also in the above scenario the redirection is better than saying no. While it’s not always possible I try to avoid using negative language that ends a conversation. ‘No’ is certainly one of the most definitive enders in the English language.

7) “I can make that myself.”

Again, people who do not possess filters are everywhere. See number 10 above.

6) “Why does it cost so much?”

I am most comfortable when I’m in the studio working or when I have the opportunity to talk about my art with an interested party. While I find talking about the money the most uncomfortable part of my job I do not shy away from this question. I use it as an opportunity to tell a little bit of my story and tell them exactly how much work and skill has gone into the piece. Sometimes I talk about what inspired individual elements which gives me the opportunity to engage them fully in the details of the piece. This one hasn’t happened very often. Only twice that I recall. But I didn’t get offended, I took it as a sign they were really interested in the piece. Both conversations resulted in making the sale – at full price.

5) “How do you make this?”

I LOVE question number five. I love to tell people about the techniques I use. Not only that but I see this is a green light. The customer just gave me permission to try to sell them. I especially love telling people about my cloisonné work. I even keep a small sign on my table with pictures of various stages of a cloisonne piece in progress to provide a visual aid as I describe my technique. I try to use descriptive words that allow them to visualize me working on the piece in my studio – a little window into the life of the artist. This can be a very effective selling tool. A lot of serious buyers are often sold on the artist’s story and the story or inspiration behind the piece before they’re actually sold on the piece.

4) “Can you donate your art to our event? We can’t pay you but it will be great exposure.”

I donate my work to charities often. Not so much for the exposure (because I’ve never really had a sale result from a donation that I know of) but because I like to feel like I’m giving back and contributing to my community. However sometimes the sheer volume of donation requests an artist gets can be overwhelming. I can’t accommodate every request but I do give careful consideration to each request and the cause. Just in case you’re one of the people out there who works to gather donations, please understand that this kind of request is made all of the time of us artists and while I am happy to give I have to draw the line somewhere. If I don’t donate to your cause this time, check back with me next year. However, also know that if I donate to your cause and find myself immediately contacted by two other people seeking donations for other events who tell me that you gave them my information right behind my donation to you I will feel like I’m being pimped out and strike you off of my list next year. Don’t pass my name around on the ‘sucker’ list. Trust me when I say I am already inundated with a multitude of donation requests. Realize that just because I gave to your cause doesn’t mean I’m a bottomless well of free jewelry. I’m an independent artist who is trying to support three children and maintain a home. Don’t abuse my generosity.

3) “My nine year old makes this stuff too.”

I’ve never had anyone compare my work to their nine year olds craft. Rather, in my experience, this question usually goes something like this: ‘My (insert relative) makes this kind of stuff too.’ Now in this case, I do want to distinguish myself and my work from your niece’s hobby so I have to address this. I am going to remind you politely that I’m a professional. I usually respond something like “Really? That’s great! What galleries does your niece show in?’ (thanks for that one Bruce Baker!)  In this way I have responded in a positive manner and managed to distinguished myself as a professional all at once. Of course, on occasion you’ll find that her niece is also a professional. Keep the dialog positive and know that your customer is probably just proud of her niece and wanting to brag on her as any good auntie would.

2) “Kids, this is what happens when you don’t go to college.”

Okay, so we all know that’s not intended to be a compliment – but take it as one anyway. It’s either that or you accept the poison stinger the wasp just extended. I just respond exuberantly “That’s right! You get to earn a living being creative and doing what you love instead of being stuck in an office or a job you hate.” And by the way Mrs. Wasp, you shouldn’t assume that an artist hasn’t been to college. Some of us may be better educated than you! I know brilliant engineers, scientist and technological innovators who are artists.

1) “I can buy that at Walmart for $3.99”

If you’ve ever said this to an artist you really should be ashamed. The fact that someone doesn’t know that already tells me a great deal about the individual. The first thing you should take away from such a remark is that this person just announced to you that they are not your customer. Thank you for the heads up! That’s what you should be thinking. Move on and don’t waste your time on them. As I said before, there are a lot of classless people in the world without filters. Yes, some ARE actually out to get a rise out of you – and that’s exactly why you shouldn’t let that happen. Don’t reward and reinforce the negative behavior in any way. Sometimes they just want attention and this is their way of trying to get it. I rob these individuals of the attention they seek by leaving them to be their own audience.

In the end, I suppose what I want other artists to take away from this is that ALMOST all questions are good questions. Most can be used as a tool to engage your customer further, to humanize yourself to them, to tell them your story and ultimately to make the sale. The term ‘green light question’ was coined by Bruce Baker. He defines it as any question that gives the artist the go ahead to begin to sell the customer on your work. As Bruce Baker says, it’s important to recognize the green light questions and act on them. I also think it’s important to recognize that a yellow light question is an opportunity to turn it around into green light question and close the sale and possibly build a relationship with a soon to be repeat customer.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/deliasstones clois beach bracelet lp 4

Torch Fired Cloisonne Workshop September 14th

Here’s your chance to catch the Torch Fired Cloisonné Enamel workshop again. It’s been a couple of months and I’ve had endless inquiries as to when the next one will be. Well it’s this Sunday boys and girls! Sorry for the late notice. September has flown with school back in, Soccer practice for two kids, and so much custom work my head is still spinning! You MUST reserve your spot for this class in advance as seats are limited, so please! If you’re all in – contact Patty at Danish Princess Beads and Jewelry in Milton, FL right away. See below for more information.

mermaids dance

Learn the art of torch fired cloisonné enameling with Delia Stone. In this one day intensive you will learn how to counter enamel, create and layout a design in fine silver to create a collection of cells, ‘paint’ or apply color and torch fire using an inexpensive handheld torch as well as grinding back the stone. Settings are not covered in this class. It is focused solely on making the cloisonné jewels for use in your own settings.

trio clois jewels

Date: 9/14/2014 Sunday Time: 12:00 – 5:00
Location: Danish Princess Beads and Jewelry in Milton, FL (850) 490-0310
Instructor Fee: $125
Note: Contact Patty at Danish Princess for a list of tools and supplies necessary.