I already sort of work on off-season items like Christmas ornaments all year long but this year – what with the #covid19 pandemic and the resulting everything by mail – I figured I would try harder to do fall and Christmas stuff well in advance.
Tentatively, fall and Halloween to go live in June and then Christmas to roll out in July. This helps with selling the stuff, of course, but also with the insanely slow mail. With all the safety precautions and all of the extra order by mail volume… mail service hasn’t been so speedy. And I worry a little that the US will just dissolve their federal postal service, stranding a lot of us who sell and buy from there.
Anyways, I’m experimenting with more vibrant pumpkins! This one rocked as a pumpkin and then I sort of wrecked it as a crooked little jack o’ lantern. Luckily, I loaded up on fresh orange clay! More pumpkin canes coming right up!
Last month before the world ended – I’m joking here but it feels like it, some days, with the complete disruption from the pandemic – I revamped a cane design I had in my shop. I had made what I called zinnias, previously. They were perfectly good canes but they did not look like the crazy, multi petaled fluffs that are regular zinnias. Then, while trying to decide what to do with some blends in my box, I realized I had a better idea of how to approach it. Turns out I did have a better idea! I made four new zinnias in pretty much one go and they make me so happy. You can grab them in my Etsy shop, too (insert mandatory plug).
The fourth is a little muddy because I made it with this fabulous 3 colour blend rather than the higher contrast you get with a single colour to white. Next time I’ll do 3 blends. It’s still beautiful… just not the same style as the others.
Then it got a little crazy in the real world as #flattenthecurve got going, markets started collapsing, and we all started gluing ourselves to the news. A few weeks later it’s not less stressful but there’s starting to be mental space to be creative again as I adjust to the new reality. I cranked out a few zinnia themed round beads and I have to say they are such cheery little things. And I took photos while making them because I’d resolved I would be writing a lot more on my blog and the internet while we were social distancing. The photos now make up the revamp of my Making Round Beads tutorial which is what I point out to everyone who asks me how to use the canes I sell.
I hope all you guys out there are able to hold onto the creative spark, whatever that looks like for you!
Let me preface this with: I am cautious about custom orders. I have had my share of stinkers. And I have rules – mostly that it shouldn’t be trademarked and it should be something others will want to buy, too, since most people don’t want to buy ALL of a custom cane or bead that a batch is. Which leads us to a request for beads with a Tabasco (er… pepper sauce) theme and beads with a fleur de lis theme.
Since I figured I could work with those, I did a sketch for the customer, to make sure we were on the same page and she okay’d it. I highly recommend not skipping this step. Not only is a sketch good frame of reference for you and the customer… you can work from it. Then I started pulling the clay together and… voila! Canes. Followed shortly after by beads with cane slices.