Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Last Week of the Year

Whew! Christmas is over, and what a whirlwind the last couple of weeks have been. Here's a few random thoughts of what's been going on with me:

I started experimenting with polymer clay, and it's not as easy as I thought it would be. It's so totally different from metal clay, and even after watching videos and reading about it, I still don't have anything worthy to show. One thing I discovered was that I was just not using enough of the clay. It's not expensive, so I don't have to be stingy with it like I do with silver clay. Another thing I've discovered is that although there's a lot of information out there about polymer clay in general, there's not much about polymer clay jewelry specifically. Of what I have found, there's only a few people doing exquisite work. Most is cheap and cheezy looking. Liz Hall sure sets a high standard!

I went to Raleigh on Christmas Eve and spent it with my Dad, Sister and Brother-in-law. In the three years since my Mom passed away and my Dad sold the house we grew up in, we've been trying to keep traditions alive as best we can. We gather at a friend's house and cook standing rib roast and Yorkshire pudding just like Mom did. It's always nice and we all get along fabulously, but it's just not the same without Mom. I got to see my step-son and his family while I was there, too. My two granddaughters just get bigger and more beautiful every time I see them.

On Christmas Day I drove up to Lynchburg, VA to spend time with my step-daughter's family. There was a huge snow storm predicted for most of NC and VA and I arrived just as it started coming down. They only got a couple of inches of snow in western Va - enough for her two boys to try out new sleds and snow boards - but the whole east coast got slammed, including Raleigh. I had originally planned to come home on Sunday, but knew that it was going to snow here at home so I extended it to Monday. Then I got word that there was a blizzard here, so I ended up staying until Tuesday and I was glad I did. The roads were clear and I got to spend more time with some fabulous people.

I ate lots good food, played many video and board games, and gave and received lots of nice gifts.

I decided to place an order for supplies today so that I could include it in this year's books. Silver is so freaking high that the total bill took my breath away and my poor credit card is groaning under the weight.

Etsy sales were good this holiday season, but there were a lot of glitches with shipping. I was offering free standard USPO shipping and a couple of packages didn't arrive. One was returned and had to be re-sent Priority Mail. I had to send out a replacement order for the other one. And, with the horrible weather, it was hard for me to get to the post office on time. I'll have to re-think this next year.

I have no plans for New Year's Eve. My neighbors will inform me that the year has turned over by setting off fireworks and shooting guns. I'll probably wake up, tell Lola happy new year, and go right back to sleep. I really don't like being out on the roads with a lot of drunks.

I now have a head cold (from being around a lot of people, especially children, I'm sure). And, as my grandpa used to say, a "hitch in my get-along" from sitting in the car too long. I'm ready to go back into hermit mode and get some jewelry made.

I hope you have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011!


anne beach said...

Happy New Year Zoe! We too will be hibernating New Year's Eve at home with a couple friends and lots of animals -- and i'm sure the fireworks and gunshot will be close by as well LOL. I'm sorry to hear you had shipping issues, was a big fear of mine but luckily - knock on wood - our shipments arrived on time : ) Can't wait to see what comes out of your studio this year!

Lora Hart said...

Fireworks and guns seem to be a regular theme around the country. I thought it was only in my redneck beach community. Have a wonderful New Year Zoe.

cindymorrison said...

I read this last week, and thought it would be something I could let go, but it's been playing on my mind.

I probably fit into the "cheap and cheezy" category with my polymer clay jewelry, but I also don't charge in the hundreds of dollars for it. I checked the link for Liz Hall and it is truly impressive, but it is also out of price range for the majority of people in the world. (My personal favorite polymer clay artist is Betty Jo Hendershott - - and her Etsy shop features inspired work at reasonable prices.)

For some people, having a piece of jewelry that is unique, handmade, eye-catching and inexpensive is enough to set them apart from others, and is a niche many polymer clay jewelry makers carve for themselves.

I, personally, don't care for polymer clay jewelry that look like foods and animals, but I also know that this appeals to a lot of people, and am not one to categorize it negatively.

I'm afraid that I took your comment as a rather elitist one. You may not have meant it as such, but it came across that way to me.

P.S. I checked your Etsy shop and your work is lovely.

Zoe Nelson said...

Cindy - Thanks for your feedback. I'm sorry if you took my comment the wrong way. I was merely reflecting on what I've seen in my perusals online, looking for "How To's". I also like Betty Jo's work and would welcome your recommendations of other artists to look at.

I don't usually create my work based on the finished price. Yes, I am currently researching less expensive materials, but most of the cost of my jewelry is based on labor. I doubt that anything I try to sell that has polymer clay in it would be priced a whole lot lower than what I currently do.