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Friday, October 17, 2008

About me and my new blog

Hi! My name is Mary Ann. I've been crafting and making things as far back as I can remember. My mom always had some kind of creative project going on and that's what I grew up with. She taught me to sew when I was in 8th grade or so and I used to do a lot of sewing. Over the years, I have taught myself to knit and crochet, I've done needlepoint and counted cross stitch. I tried to put it off as long as I could because I didn't need another craft, but I finally gave in and started rubber stamping, which then led to scrapbooking. After that, I bought a mat cutter and figured out how to mat pictures. I've taken a floral arranging class. If it involves hot glue, ribbon, sandpaper, paint or any number of other tools and materials, then I probably like to do it.

But my real love is beads and jewelry. I don't remember exactly how I got started on beading, but now that I have, I love it. In addition to stringing, I've done loomwork, knitting with beads, peyote stitch (I love tubular peyote!), bead crochet (very hard to figure it out the first time, but addictive once I got going), counted cross stitch with beads, work with a wire jig, wire wrapping and beaded netting on Christmas ornaments. Next I want to make ear wires, but I haven't done that yet.

About three years ago, I decided I wanted to sell my jewelry. I set up my company, Prized Possessions; got my tax id and opened a business checking account. I made quite a bit of jewelry but had trouble finding a way to sell it. I showed it to some small local shops, most of whom liked it but said they had plenty jewelry just then. I sold a little bit to people at work and at a church event for people who had their own businesses. But I didn't really make the time to figure out how to market my jewelry.

Then this year, two things happened. When we remodeled our basement, I got my very own craft room. I practically live in it. I decided that I was going to really focus on finding a way to sell my jewelry. The second thing that happened was when a lady at work told me about etsy. I had never heard of etsy and couldn't believe I'd never heard of it with all the bead and craft magazines I read and web sites that I visit. But better late than never! I spent hours every night after work learning about etsy, researching the site, reading the forums, learning about PayPal, etc., and in a few days, my shop was open. www.PrizedPossessions.etsy.com. I'm having the time of my life making jewelry and dealing with all the things concerning my shop and my jewelry. I just love it!

I started noticing that other etsy artists have blogs and I've been reading a lot of them. I found many of them very interesting. I've really enjoyed learning more about these people I will probably never meet in person, seeing how they do their work, how they get their materials, etc. It seems to add a little more life and reality to the products they sell. And I thought about some of the topics I researched online and wished I had found more info on, like when I was laying out my craft room, ideas for craft storage, etc. My husband and son live in the new home theater we bult while I live in my craft room. There is a wide doorway into the theater and I wanted to make a curtain for it. I looked online and only found one theater curtain I really liked. The curtain I made was the first project I did in my new craft room, so I thought that would be something else I could share. And now I have a whole list of topics for my new blog!

Being new to blogging, my blog is pretty basic right now. I want to pretty it up, add additional features, and learn what all blogger has to offer. And tackle that list of blog topics. Come back soon to see pictures of my craft room and storage ideas, my theater curtains and the other projects I have already done in my new craft room. Carol Duvall, watch out!

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