Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Busy days!

Life has been rather crazy lately. I just moved across the state and my hubby and I are house-sitting for the next two months while we look for our own place. It's been a crazy whirlwind! I did manage to get my beads set up this morning though :) I still need to do some more organizing, but I can create again! I was getting itchy fingers. I've been weaving during the transition period, but I had so many ideas that weren't weaving related at the same time! Plus I've been wanting to get ready for Breast Cancer Awareness Month - more on that tomorrow :)

This is just a short post tonight - I'm tired! And my asthma is acting up again *sigh*

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Little Bit About Me and This Blog

Hi! My name is Ruthie and most of you who read this blog (to begin with
at least) already know me. :) But in case you don't, or in case there
are gaps in what you know, here's a bit of an introduction to who I am
and what I love to do!

I've always been fascinated by the arts, and I would describe myself as having an artistic personality (and all the typical foibles that go with that), but not an artist.  It didn't matter that I was an actor, singer, writer, dancer, and made jewelry as a hobby - in my mind I didn't draw, paint, or sculpt, and therefore I wasn't an artist.

I have since come to the conclusion that I was full of it :p

I AM an artist! I make jewelry. I come up with fun designs, alter designs that I find elsewhere, and find my therapy in the art of my jewelry.  I'm also learning to knit, would dance if I was healthy enough, and write.  Acting and singing have been put aside for now, but who knows what might happen in the future?

I started making jewelry when I was 15, but I started very slowly.  At that point in my life I didn't have a lot of money to buy supplies with and I still had issues with fine motor control that made it hard for me to master the different techniques I was trying to learn.  I never really gave it up though.  I had dreams of one day selling my work and every time I was at a fair or market I'd look in envy at the booths and wish that I was the person behind the counter.

Fast Forward 10 Years:

I had been thinking seriously for about a year about the idea of officially going into business as a jewelry artist.  All my friends and family were encouraging me to pursue it, and making the jewelry for my wedding kinda clinched it in my mind.  I had a ton of fun creating the jewelry for myself, my Mom, my bridesmaids, and some presents for the girls who helped out in various ways. I also got a TON of compliments!

I've dealt with health problems my entire life and my asthma had slowly been growing worse as we got closer to the wedding.  Fortunately, thank God, I made it through that whole process just fine, but I had no clue what was coming next.

I went rapidly down hill after my wedding and before I knew it I was quitting my job and negotiating with my teachers for assignment extensions and extra credit to make up for not being able to go to class.  They almost hospitalized me that quarter.

One thing about asthma and me is that my attacks last for hours.  So I'm forced to sit still and try not to move to much.  I quickly grew tired of playing games on-line, and while I love to read, I kept running out of books!  Then, inspiration stuck, and I started pulling out my jewelry to work on.

It was the perfect fit for what I needed.  I slowly grew more confident at the bead-weaving, a skill I was relatively new at, and found the time working to be very therapeutic.  It helped to keep me calm and to feel like I still had a purpose.  Jewelry work is also something I can do when I'm having troubles thinking from hours of struggling to breath when it's hard to try and get homework done.

Friends at the college saw the pieces I was making and suggested I start selling.  I sold one or two pieces to these friends, and started organizing all the ready-made work I had into price categories.  One of my class mates asked me to bring my stuff to a project meeting we had - and I made $70!

I was hooked.

That week, May 24th, I opened up my etsy shop and put up my first 5 items so that I'd have an address I could give the girls at school to look at.  Let me tell you - starting a business finals week is crazy - but I did it!

Things quickly began to develop.  June 7th I opened up my first jewelry blog.  The next month I found my self getting caught up in my first Etsy team, and doing my first farmers market with the help of Jeanna of Gecko Jewelry!  Soon after I joined the Etsy Blogger Team and things have just snowballed from there. 

I've gotten to the point where I have tons of stock, so I've been turning my attention to marketing my business.  I quickly have realized that my old blog host, wordpress, is NOT sufficient for those needs!  So, a week or two ago I made the decision to try out blogger. To that end I opened up another blog, my treasury blog, to learn more about the program and see if I really wanted to switch my main blog over.  I quickly decided that I did!  Here I am, a week later, I found the time and energy (hidden somewhere) and my new blog is open! Welcome :) 

If you've been following my old blog let me just also say that the format of how I do things here will be pretty much the same.  I'll continue to do my Friday's Featured Artist post as well as talking about what I've got going in the works and the ups and downs of being a jewelry artist :)

Feel free to leave me comments any time! I love reading them <3