Monthly Archives: November 2013

A little bit about myself

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A game has been doing the rounds on Facebook lately, no doubt you’ve seen it. It’s where you’re allocated with a number, and which ever number you’re given, that is how many facts you have to share about yourself. You then have to give a number to everyone who ‘likes’ your post. They in turn share that number of facts about themselves. I thought that this would be a fun idea to steal for my blog, to share with you, dear reader, a little about myself. I chose the number ten, for no other reason, than it’s a good, round number. Here it goes:

1. I have two children who are clever, funny, mischievous and drive me up the wall because they’re always two steps ahead of me.

2. I have several tattoos and piercings, and would love more tattoos when time and money permits.

3.  I love rock and metal, but also classical music. My favourite live acts in equal measures are Slayer and Alice Cooper. I wish I could resurrect Freddie Mercury.

4. I’m boring, I go ‘out’ about once a year.

5. Mints make me sneeze.

6. I love rats. I’ve had 7 pet rats and raised a litter of 13. They’re clever, funny, affectionate personalities who are under-rated and often thrown to the mercy of children because people think they’re an ‘easy care’ first pet. Poor wee souls. I don’t have any rats right now, because I feel that I don’t have enough time to devote to their needs.

7. I believe that I’m a naturally selfish person. Having children has helped make me less selfish, but I still get upset occasionally that I can’t go to the bathroom without a child-related interruption.

8. I use the ‘C’ word. A lot. I can’t help it, it just comes out.

The C-word.

The C-word. I really don’t have a problem with it.

9. I get tremors. I always have. Sometimes its because of nerves and social anxiety, other times there’s no reason. It always happens in my hands, but sometimes it’s so bad that my whole body – even my face trembles. It’s horribly embarrassing, especially because people seem to like pointing it out.

10. I love art, clever art. Dali, Banksy, Terry Border, Jennifer Maestre, Oleg Shuplyak. Google them and broaden your mind.

Get to know me even better by following me on Twitter

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A Christmas Sale

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On Thursday night I attended the Hawera Ladies Night market and what a roaring success. There were 37 stalls in total, all of which were small home-based businesses, and over the course of two and a half hours we had 467 people through the door. The entry fee was a gold coin donation, with all proceeds going to the South Taranaki Parents Centre, raffles were also held and in all, $913 was raised for the cause. I’d like to give a huge thanks to Rocky and her team for putting this night together and I look forward to seeing it all happen again at the Bell Block Ladies Night in February.

My next piece of news is the CHRISTMAS SALE! This was intended the begin the day after the Ladies Night, but was postponed due to my waking up with a horrific head cold. I could not even begin to think straight, in fact I suspect this particular virus may have permanently reduced my brain function; I seem to be doing a lot more stupid things than usual. But better late than never, right?

The New Zealand only sale applies to all of the jewellery listed in the Facebook Sale album. The photos have been updated with the sale prices. To purchase, email me at sales@jennysangster.co.nz or send me a private message on Facebook. Let me know which item you would like (include a link to the image if you can), include your mailing address and I will reply with banking details. Postage is a flat rate of $3 for as many items as you like. I will try to keep things updated as quickly as I can, but please keep in mind that some items may become unavailable due to the time it takes to clear my emails and update the listing, it’s first in first served. The sale will run until midnight Sunday 8 December.

Pohutukawa

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There a certain reality in our world, that blows my mind because it undeniably confirms the fact that each one us is entirely unique. It is that no one, NO ONE, on this tiny blue ball that is rocketing through space toward oblivion, is experiencing this moment in the exact same way that you are. They could be doing the same thing as you, looking at the same object, listening to the same song, but they are not experiencing any of it, in the same way that you are right now. That moment is yours and it exists only between your mind and the ether.

012This spark of a notion always gives me joy in the small things. Take this bracelet that I made for example; after completing her and spending a day looking at her, I couldn’t come up with a name for her. To social media I turned, open to suggestions. Every single suggestion was unique, each person saw the bracelet in a slightly different way. Some of the suggestions included Christmas Rose, Rubies in the Smoke, Raspberry Parfait, Stardust, Poppy and Southern Floral.  I decided to go with Pohutukawa, which was suggested by Lesley McIver, who is an artist herself, working with molten glass in her workshop in Takaka.

Pohutukawa is a very fitting name given the Christmas-y feel of the bracelet; for those of you who are not New Zealand based, the Pohutukawa is a beautiful native tree which has masses of spikey red flowers during summertime.  It’s known as the “Kiwi Christmas tree” and has become a national Christmas symbol just as common place as bells and reindeer.

Pohutukawa has now been uploaded in the online store, you can find it here.

Kereru

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The weather is absolutely amazing here right now. The sun is shining, birds are singing, and the flowers in my neglected garden are blooming. We’ve had the barbeque out of the shed, which is the most telling sign heralding the beginning of a Kiwi summer.  Summer fruit must be nearly here, because yesterday, I was lucky enough to spot a kereru perched on a powerline in Eltham. I wish I’d had a camera with me.

Young Native Kereru by Arist Jo Gallagher. http://jogallagher.vc.net.nz/

Young Native Kereru by Arist Jo Gallagher. http://jogallagher.vc.net.nz/

I love our native pigeons, it was the first time I’ve seen one since I was living in New Plymouth 8 years ago. We had a fig tree in the back yard and the kereru would spend the summer months getting drunk on the fermenting fruit. They were beautiful, but it was slightly nerve-wracking watching the massive birds drunkenly trying to perch on twigs that were far too flimsy for their bulk. They would routinely fall out of the trees. Thankfully out cat, Dime, was far too afraid of them to try anything foolish.

In beady news, I’m nearly finished a new bracelet which has yet to be named.  Next up is a couple of wire necklaces that I have promised to make, then … I don’t know. I have lots of ideas waiting in the wings, flowers, fortunetellers, skyscrapers, sparkles and sunbeams.

New Storenvy Store

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After much research I’ve decided to make the move to Storenvy. Previously I have had my jewellery listed with Storefleet, this suited me for a time. But after a while I became frustrated with the frequent down-times, the time consuming background work and the less-than-attractive format. A few months ago, I began searching for alternatives. I painstakingly went over all of my options and Storenvy came out on top most of the time. Storenvy is beautifully laid out, easy to use behind the dashboard, cheap and has much better ‘shareablity’.  It’s basically Etsy without the fees, but not just for handmade items (although these days neither is Etsy).

It’s not perfect, but then nothing is. The only real issue I have with Storenvy is that listings can only be made in US Dollars. This is a shame because being New Zealand based, the majority of my sales are local. This fact was the only reason I put off the switch for so long, but in the end the pros outweighed that con.  Most people who shop online are tech savvy and are use to shopping in US Dollars, and currency conversion is only a visit to Google away.

storenvylistingI am aware that some of you may have discount coupon codes of either $10 or 10% off your next purchase. Unfortunately I can not honor these on Storenvy, however I do keep a record of the codes and if you email me with your code, I will exchange with a new code for 20% off your next purchase through the new store. These new codes will be valid until January 1 2014.

Storenvy accepts credit card payments through PayPal. I can’t offer Bank Deposit as a means of payment on Storenvy, but should anyone wish to purchase from me using this method, I’m happy to oblige. Simply email me at sales@jennysangster.co.nz and I will arrange it. Check out the new store HERE.

Wet Socks and a Sale

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Seventeen. That is the most pairs of earrings that I have made in one sitting. I’m not sure how long it took me, I can’t remember how many continuous episodes of Breaking Bad I sat through that night. I can remember that at the end of it my feet were like ice blocks. This is because I had been so focused on what I was doing that I didn’t notice that the carpet in front of the couch was damp, and this dampness had been slowly wicking up my socks. Mr. Two thinks it’s great fun to empty his sippy cup on the floor.

I now have 77 pairs of earrings made in preparation for the Hawera Ladies Night market on 20 November (make that 76, because I just took a pair for myself) and I’ve been mulling over my pricing options. My woven earrings are usually priced by taking into account how much the materials cost and how much work goes into them. This means there is a fairly big variation between the price of each pair.  The most expensive pair of earrings I have in stock at the moment are the Blizzard earrings at $NZ29 and the least expensive are the Little Nova earrings at $NZ18. In a perfect world, I would have each pair of earrings displayed on it’s own fancy card with my name emblazoned across the top, with the price listed on the card. But in that world, I would be able to afford a lovely big card holder display, and I would know what I’m doing. I would also be spending my days on a private island with my lovers Johnny Depp and Norman Reedus, while looking like Jessica Biel.

057In accordance to my budget, I have acquired a cheap, wobbly copper stand, which is not suited to individual pricing. Tiny price-tags hanging off earrings is not a good look. I’ve decided just to have a sale instead, woohoo bargains!!

This is my price list for all of my jewellery on the night, except for bead woven necklaces and bracelets, which are still prices individually.
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A Time to Grow

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Pink Cadillac by Marsha Wiest-Hines. Image published with permission.

I often feel rushed when making jewellery. I’m never going fast enough for my liking and I feel that if I don’t churn out a finished piece every few days, that I’m somehow letting someone down. I seem to have developed this notion that I need to make a certain amount of things that people will want to wear every day, then I feel like a failure when I see how few people are actually buying my beadwork.  I look at the amazing project pieces by beaders such as Marsha Wiest-Hines or Eva Maria Keiser, and think to myself “if only I had time to experiment more so I could learn to make wondrous creations of my own”.

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T-Hex by Eva Maria Keiser.
Image published with permission.

Then a short while back the talented Patrick Duggan, posted something on Facebook that resonated with me. I won’t write it word for word, but to summarise: ‘don’t get hung up on sales, bead for the love of beading, sales mean nothing and thinking about sales will stifle your creativity’.  Of course, the way he said it was much more eloquent and inspiring. He also said that when he dies, his family will be left with a house full of beautiful jewellery, which I think is a lovely image too. What a legacy to leave!

In two weeks time I have the Hawera Ladies Night market to attend, so right now, I’m playing catch up on earrings and memory wire bracelets, but once it’s done and dusted I’m changing my focus. I’m going to create the jewellery I want to create, instead of feeling obliged to meet an imaginary expectation.  I’m going to work on becoming the artist I aspire to be. Creating should not be about catering to the market, it should be about inspiring wonder, the kind of wonder that I feel when I see the bead work of the masters.