Thursday, January 6, 2011

Class Schedule January 2011

Basic Beading workshop 1 - Bracelet $15

This is our basic beginner’s stringing workshop. In this class, you will learn how to choose and attach clasps. You will learn about the different stringing materials and tools required to design with. You will leave with a finished bracelet. Materials not included. (Kits Priced from $7.00- $25.00. Saturday, January 15, 1pm-3pm.

Hammered Flower Bracelet

Students will use professional jeweler’s tools to fabricate and texture a design onto fine silver sheet, which will become the main element of this original bracelet. You will also learn how to cold join/connect all of the main elements together to achieve an incredible design. Materials not included. Class Fee: $65.00 - 4 hours January 15, 12pm-4pm.

Pearl Knotting

You will learn how to complete an elegant pearl necklace using the traditional European method of knotting between each pearl, which is an elegant way to protect the pearls or beads from rubbing each other and is a safeguard against loss if the strand breaks. You will master the use of finishing with French Bullion, which is found on most “better” pearl strands and attach the clasp. Materials not included. Class Fee: $25.00 January 22, 1pm-3pm .

This class is for those who have already taken PMC 1. Taking this class will elevate your knowledge or working with PMC. You will learn how to create and embellish hollow beads and also various methods to set stones into PMC. Class Materials not included. Class Fee $65.00, January 22, 12pm-4pm

Triple rings in this class...what's not to love. You'll be wiring your way to beautiful inexpensive rings in a rainbow of colors. Try wearing one on each finger. If you love rings and wire. This class will help you create and master rings & wire. Materials not included. Class Fee: $35.00, January 29 1pm-3pm.

MARKETING 101   Sorry this class is sold out.
This class is by request for people who purchased our bestseller on marketing “You Made It Now Sell It”. We will highlight some points throughout the book and help you perfect your marketing plan. We will focus on determining the right price points of your designs, consignment issues and getting the business you need. Bring your questions and jewelry to get pointers on making your pieces better sellers. Included in this class is our reps guide. You will need to purchase our book or bring it to this seminar if you already have it. For more info on our books visit Class Fee: $75.00 - 4 hours. January 29, 12pm-5pm

January Articles

How to sell your jewelry in 2011

Holiday sales are up and retail spending seems to be on the upswing as reported in the fall of 2010.

If your sales weren’t up, especially during the Christmas season, you are probably wondering if you should continue selling your handmade jewelry.

Your first question is do you need the profit from your sales to maintain your lifestyle or will your lifestyle be unaffected if you have little or no jewelry sales. If you don’t need the profit, then just enjoy the ego- boosting compliments your potential customers give you. If you are like the rest of us, and you really need the income from your jewelry, then perhaps you should put pen to paper and write down the ways you tried to sell your jewelry in 2010.

Did you do a craft show that was unprofitable? Did you sell your jewelry too cheap and not make any profit? Did you try to sell the wrong jewelry to the right customers and vice versa? Did friends persuade you to give jewelry to them for free? It could also be your designs are not “in the ball game”. But you can fix that.

If you don’t have one, you probably need a business plan. Most people think that a business plan should be complicated…it doesn’t have to be. I think having your plan of action in print can help steer you in the right direction.

I have a customer and friend who was desperately trying to sell her jewelry. We set aside a time and I helped her critique her jewelry. She was open to some constructive criticism. The main problem with her jewelry was that she still didn’t have a handle on what kind of direction for her pieces and her designs were a little of this and that…beautiful but no theme or focus.

Deciding what kind of jewelry you want to specialize in is very important. You just can’t put together a few beads and want people to rave about it. Remember there is plenty of competition out there and you’ve got to stand out.

I have a customer who sells plenty of her wire wrapped sea glass jewelry. Her table at shows and her website gives you a clear identity of her style and direction and she sells plenty of pieces at great prices.

If you haven’t found your style, perhaps you should broaden your skills by taking some local classes, classes online or on youtube. I guarantee you that doing so will help you decide fairly quickly what you don’t or do want to do…this is MAJOR.

So open your laptop or get your pen and paper and start to construct your plan for 2011…. Look for part 2 of getting your plan together in the next newsletter.
Need to get a jump start on selling your jewelry, plan to attend our once a year workshop on "Marketing 101" January 29, 12pm-5pm. Spaces sell out quickly so call to reserve your space.


I bet you were not aware that you could dye pearls. Yes you absolutely can! You can dye freshwater or faux pearls using either homemade or commercial dyes.

Before You Begin
· Do a color test before you decide on the color. To test your pearl, put one or a few through the dye you intend to use.

· Some colors will lose color when exposed to light. You will find this mostly with blues and violets, which often fade or discolor when exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet light. If you want, you can test the pearls you dyed by exposing them to a few hours of direct sunlight, this should give you an indication of whether the color will fade or change.

· Freshwater (natural) pearls are more porous than faux pearls. Freshwater pearls that have been bleached white usually are more porous than unbleached pearls. .
· You can dye your pearls loose or on a strand. If you keep the pearls on the strand, they will have more color at the edges. FYI most commercially colored pearls are dyed on the strand.
Commercial Dyes
One of the big advantages of using a commercially prepared dye is that they tend to be more colorfast than homemade dyes. The most well know commercial dye is Rit. Start out by following the manufacturer's instructions on the box.

If you like, you can run the dye through a coffee filter before dying your pearls to minimize speckling or you can just make sure the dye is thoroughly mixed.

You can experiment with different dye concentrations, timing or even mixing colors. Write down what you do so that you will be able to duplicate the results again if you want. Be sure to write down the amount of dye used, amount of water and how long you let the pearls sit in the dye.
Natural Dyes
If you feel extremely creative, you can make your own dye. Don’t forget to do a color test to see if the final color is what you want. You can boil the dye into the pearls or you can dye the pearls in cool water. Warm water is necessary to get certain materials to produce deep colors. In general, boiling the dye is a faster process that tends to result in a deeper color.

When experimenting with natural colors, try flowers, fruits or veggies and various herbal teas. If you choose, you can add vinegar, adding vinegar will result in deeper colors.
Although kool-aid is not natural, it can dye pearls too. Mix your package of kool aid with approximately ½ to 1 cup of water. Make sure you stir thoroughly to totally dissolve the kool-aid.

Rinse Your Pearls
Whatever method you use, make sure you rinse your pearls to remove excess dye. I recommend using distilled or filtered water. To make your own distilled water, boil tap water and allow it to cool. Rinse your pearls until the water runs clear. After rinsing, hang or place the pearls on paper towels or a cloth to dry.

Here is a method I use for natural dyes:

1. Place the pearls in the top of a double boiler. Add just enough water to just cover them.
2. Add approximately one teaspoon of vinegar.
3. Add your natural dye. for a more intense color you should add more of your selected material.
4. Bring the water to a boil.
5. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes (or until the desired color is attained).
6. If you are happy with the color, remove your pearls and rinse.
7. If you are not happy with the deepness of your colored pearls, temporarily remove them from the water and strain it through a coffee filter. Cover the pearls with the filtered dye and let them stay in the dye for several hours. By this point, the color you see is as dark as it will probably get.
8. Rinse the pearls and hang them or lay them on a paper towel until dry.

Here is a list of examples of natural food items and their colors. Some materials must be boiled, Otherwise the other fruits, vegetables, and spices can be used cold.
Lavender - Small amount of Purple Grape JuiceViolet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon JuiceSmall amount of Blueberries
Violet Blue -Violet BlossomsRed Onions Skins (boiled)
Blue - Canned BlueberriesRed Cabbage Leaves (boiled)Purple Grape Juice
Green - Spinach Leaves (boiled)
Yellow/Orange - Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled)Ground Cumin (boiled)Ground Turmeric (boiled)Paprika (boiled)
Brown/Tan - Strong CoffeeInstant Coffee, strong tea
Pink - Beets, PomegranatesCranberries or JuiceRaspberriesRed Grape JuiceJuice from Pickled Beets
Red - Lots of Red Onion Skins (boiled)


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Pudgy Beads wishes each and every one of our customers a very happy and prosperous new year. Your support, smiles and suggestions have helped us weather a difficult year.

We are excited about the year ahead and look forward to bringing you not only new and interesting inventory but great classes

A very special thank you to Sally-Leland Spano, Peggy Schrello Lebrecht  and Carli Steers for giving your valuable time for the "Women's Veterans Holiday Party". You definitely helped make their christmas extra special. I recently received a special thank you  from Dr. Katz and some of the women thanking us for our generousity. Seeing the smiles we brought to their faces made it a very special day. It's true what they say about giving..oftentimes the giver gets more than the receiver. This definitely was the case with me. It was heartbreaking to hear some of the stories of hardship but heartwarming to see the courage and determination on some of the faces. Again thank you  and may your year be filled with extra blessings.