All the work you don’t see

I’m not sure about you, but I’m fairly new to the whole, “making things in the hopes of selling them” thing. Because I am a novice, I’m learning things as I go, and learning that these things take a lot of effort and time. At least when you’re already trying to put them into your busy life schedule it feels that way. Maybe if I didn’t have anything else to do it would be different. I have a three year old, and I work from home, and the husband is currently working and taking online classes so I’m picking up the slack on the household stuff as much as possible. My brain kept thinking this would be easy, and I was so, so wrong.

To start with, have you ever tried to take photographs of items you wanted to sell that weren’t things you were selling on craigslist, or marketplace or similar sites? Professional looking photos do not come easy. This past week I spent time researching and then gathering materials to make a light box for photographing smaller products. I was all excited to get the last piece of the puzzle, a piece of white poster board, only to realize when we got home that our little ones meltdown in the shopping cart at the car meant that it got left on the bottom of the shopping cart in the parking lot. A few days later when I had the time, I finally went to another store and got a piece of poster board. Then it took me another two days before I had the time to go ahead and track down a box that I wanted to use and put the whole thing together to test out.

I then set up testing a few photographs and realized that I needed an actual display because photographing jewelry is not easy and doesn’t always look good when photographed flat. This whole thing made me realize just how much more I like being able to scan in my artwork for sale instead of having to photograph stuff. I started searching on line and realized that what I would really love to get is out of the budget for the time being and I also don’t know what I would do with it when I wasn’t using it for product photography, so yeah. I then decided that if I couldn’t have what I really wanted, maybe I could find something locally that someone was wanting to get rid of. I searched around facebook marketplace and found one for ten bucks. It didn’t look too bad, at least not in the photographs, so I agreed to come pick it up. Worst case scenario it wasn’t in the greatest shape and I had to figure out how to make it look better. This was definitely a worst case scenario but not so horrible that it was unfixable. If you notice in the photo above, the bottom of the stand is the color that it was, and it was uneven all over the stand. At first I was worried that it came from a home with smokers, but it didn’t have any sort of odor and it wasn’t dirty, so I think it was just old. Either way, that wasn’t really the look I was going for so I settled for just painting it white for the time being to give it a cleaner look and put the focus on the necklaces.

I do think it turned out okay in the end, but I do think I’m going to try and find a fabric that I like to recover it with. I currently don’t have anything with enough give to recover it without having it look horrible. I’ve been working on putting together these pieces from beads I had made while I was back in Oklahoma and actually had access to the ceramics studio at the University. I sincerely miss the ceramic studio. At the time I didn’t really have a vision for what I wanted to do with them, I just wanted to make beads using the salt fire technique because I love the individuality of the pieces and the unpredictability of it. A trip to the Allied Arts Reuse Thrift Store here in Bellingham turned up lots of useful items for homeschooling the little one, but I also came across a bag of necklaces that immediately felt like they belonged with the beads that I had made. Once home, the little one stole a few of the necklaces and destroyed one gleefully and I’m still finding beads around the house. Then I set about taking apart the ones that I didn’t let her see when I brought them home because I knew they were the ones that I wanted to reuse the beads for. I really am loving the way they have been going.

In addition to making the necklaces, I spent an afternoon printing and packaging up prints. Then I spent another few days working on a larger piece that I was super excited about making and took way longer than I expected it to take because I’m optimistic and stupid when it comes to estimating time. It used a larger piece of linoleum and one that is a bit firmer than I had been working with before and I really liked the way that particular linoleum felt to work with. I’m now trying to figure out what my next piece will be since I’m hoping on creating a larger multilayer piece.

Once I’ve finally got some of these things put together a bit better I can move forward with getting a shop for it set up. I’m really excited about it honestly. I don’t expect it to be a major source of income in any way shape or form, but I at least hope that it will get some of my art out there in the world.

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