Sunday, January 20, 2013


Creating jewelry is the fun part.  Getting it out for people to see is a challenge all it's own.  Very few business are lucky enough to have the financial backing to go out and get all the equipment to make things run smoothly.  You also have to gain the knowledge about your business to know what you really need and what will work best for you and your customers.

Here are some lessons I have learned about displaying jewelry.  Your displays must be comfortable for your buyers.  What does that mean?  It means your customer should feel safe browsing and touching your displays.  If your set up  looks fragile like it might fall over they are less likely to really look at your pieces.  Here is an example of what I am talking about.
In this picture the display is laying down.  The display stood upright to save table space.  Problem with this one was it was not very stable.  It was supported by legs in the back that folded in for easier transport.  I observed that people were timid when reaching in to touch or better view an item they wanted to see.  Making them less likely to buy.  In an earlier blog entitled Weathering Storms I described how this display was knocked over by wind causing many earrings to scattered which led to lost inventory.

My sales more than doubled when I went to this type of earring display.
 People were more comfortable because they are use to this type of display in store.  It rotates and they can pick up the pair of earrings they wish to look at.  It is much more stable.  I found a great place on line to buy displays at a very reasonable price.  Check out Nile Corp.

For me another big issue when taking my jewelry on the road was the time it took to set up a display.  When starting out I packed all my jewelry into fishing tackle boxes.  This proved to be a very smart move when I was caught in a surprise storm but it makes for a very long set up and break down time.

I saw many people display they jewelry in trays that they simply had to sit out and then slide back into travel bags.  I liked this idea but the trays take up a lot of room on a table and I wanted to find a way to be able to display more trays on the table.  All with in a budget of course.

For a new business that had just lost over $300 in a storm I had to bite the bullet and invest in trays and a travel bag.  Again I turned to Nile Corp.  I bought a large travel bag and trays.  Next came the challenge of how to best display these on a table.  I knew they needed to be stacked some how.  The answer came when  walking through Walmart and I saw a shoe rack.  Yes a simple shoe rack & velcro.
Velcro is wrapped around the bars of the shoe rack.  The velcro used on the shoe rack is the double sided that sticks to it's self.  That way you can still slide the shoe rack to different sizes and you do not have the velcro stuck to the rack.  A strip of velcro is placed on the back of the tray.  I used industrial strength velcro that proved to be sturdy enough to hold the trays securely in place.

Here is a view of the display I now use.  It is stable and inviting.  Sales have increased since going to this display.
When trying to set up before I would have to make at least four trips to my car to get things.  With this set up I have a large rolling chest that holds the shoe rack, table covers, the stands for the upright trays and other goodies.  I have the rolling travel bag that holds all the trays & two carry bags that I place the earring displays in.  Which means now I can make only 2 trips!  Unless I have to bring in a table.

The journey continues.  I hope by sharing this with you that you may learn something that will help you in your journey.  Happy creating!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Time Slips By Quickly

It has been too long since I have visited with you.  I apologize for my absence but as anyone who works in the medical field knows the end of the year brings a big push to get things done before the new year and the start of your health insurance deductibles again.  So things have been quite busy at my work.  It has not allowed as much time to create as I would like but I am finally starting to bring my jewelry to where I wanted it to go.
When I first saw wire wrapping I was in love.  I was amazed at these talented and wonderful artists who could take stones and wire and create beautiful jewelry.  I chose my business name to symbolize this wonderful art form.  I am now learning these techniques and here are some examples of my work.

I do not know the names of the stones but that is one of my future goals is to learn more about them.  This stone was wonderful to work with because it had its own glow.

I created the face piece for this out of polymer clay and enhanced the features with paint.  The citrine stone at the bottom came from Magpie Gemstones.  I was so excited when they featured this creation in one of their news letters!

Here are some more examples of wire wrapping pendants I created.

Thank you so much for following my blog and reading about my journey in jewelry making.  I will be back very soon with look into my new displays.  If you have read my blog you know that back in July of last year I had a disaster at a local outdoor festival.  This made me take a closer look at my displays.  I look forward to sharing with you a fairly inexpensive display made with a shoe wrack you can get at your local department store.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Life continues to tangle.  The last few weeks have brought major changes into my life.  In the past three weeks my mother has had two right side strokes.  The first was minor and left her with numbness.  The second which was only a week ago was terrifying.  She was taken unresponsive to the hospital by ambulance.  My sister and I stayed with her that night and sent my Dad home because we figured recovery was going to be a very long haul.  Late that evening the nurses came in and gave her water.  The first victory.  She was able to drink.  A little while later my Mom was trying to communicate she was hungry at first she could only get out the word "bowl".  When I asked what she wanted to do with the bowl, she replied "eat".  That seem to open the flood gates and by morning she was able to talk fairly well.  By that after noon she was up and walking again with assistance.
Mom has progressed amazingly and will be coming home today.  I asked her what she could remember and how much of what went on the first day did she understand.  She told me she knew Dad was talking to her and what he was saying as he called the ambulance.  She remembered the ambulance ride.   She even remembered reading the EMT's name tag.  She was aware of what was going on but she just could not make her body move or talk.  How scary would that be??  Many in my family have had strokes and I often wondered how aware they were of what was going on during those times.  My Mom is the first one I have actually gotten to talk to about it.  Often people think just because stroke victims can't talk or move that they lose their ability to think.  Obviously this is not always true.  What I am trying to get across here is if you have loved ones or know of someone with a stroke please treat them with love and respect.  Just because they are unable to get their body to cooperate does not mean they cannot think or understand.

On to other news.  Sometimes life twist back on it's self and you find yourself back where you came from.  I am excited to have a chance to work at this wonderful hospital even though I did not ever see myself going back into the operating rooms.  I am a family comes first person.  My family needs this financial boost so I am doing what is needed by using my surgical skills again but have no fear I will not be giving up my jewelry.  I will find a way to make all this work!

Speaking of making it work,  I will now tell you about the title of this post.  THUNDER IN THE PARK.  On September 1 & 2, labor day weekend,  I will be at Roberts park in Connersville, Indiana.  You can find me with all my handmade goodies in the pavilion.  Would love to see you there.  It starts at 9 am.  I was asked to participate in a special basket the coordinators are assembling for their guest announcer.  What a privilege to create a piece for Betsy Ross.  She is a pioneer in her field of sports reporting.  Here is the necklace I designed for her.
As life continues to tangle sometimes harmoniously and sometimes not so harmoniously I will find a way to turn my face to the sun and keep going.  Thank you for coming along for the ride.  I hope some day in this winding path that we get to meet.  Happy creating to all of you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ever Changing & Growing

To stay in business you need to change and grow. You must also learn to keep those things that are working for you.  It is a constant balancing act.  The big test comes from unknown challenges like the one Harmoniously Tangled encountered when a storm wiped out my booth set up at a recent festival. (see the previous post Weathering Storms).  I am determined to come back from this set back.

To help get myself back on track I evaluated the things I wanted to keep.  The first thing that came to mind was MAGPIE GEMSTONES.  I met Szarka and several more wonderful people on a facebook group created as a service by Magpie Gemstones.  This group is very encouraging and informative.  In many groups you find competition and back biting.  That is not the case in this great group of people and I want to thank them for helping to lift me back up and keep me encouraged and inspired with their posts.  They helped to inspire me to create this piece which was done with pearls I purchased from Magpie Gemstones. (This piece was done prior to the storm.)

When I am struggling from creativity block or from a set back I can log into this group and find myself instantly inspired.  Szarka and the group are so giving with many free tutorials and advice.  One of the problems I faced was getting a company to sell to a small business like me.  MAGPIE GEMSTONES saw the need to help small business like mine and they have really stepped in to fill the need.  I am looking forward to doing more business with them in the future.

This necklace contains Yellow Jade beads I purchased from Magpie Gemstones.

When you face a set back it makes you realize that you need challenges to make you grow.  Without challenges and stretching ourselves in new directions we would simply remain the same.  I decided to push myself again to wrap a stone.  This one prove to be very special.  It survived the blown away booth and will remain special to me always.  I will be so excited when the new owner receives it.  I am looking forward to wrapping many more stones and seeing how my skills can grow.

I have also tried my hand at crocheting wire to create pieces like this.  It is so exciting to learn new things.  Learning brings forth HOPE.
Changing and growing can be scary and hard but these steps are necessary to reach new heights.  Sometimes they come from the will to grow.  Sometimes they come from challenges that force us to take new steps.  I am one of those that sometimes needs a shove.  Although I would not wish bad circumstances on anyone what I will wish is that you receive the nudge or guidance you need to spread your wings and continue your journey to the things that make you the happiest.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Weathering Storms

I started this blog to share my journey in creating jewelry.  I have been creating some new fun pieces and I will share that with you sometime soon.  Right now I want to share an experience that is related to my jewelry business and can pertain to anyone who does craft shows, flea markets or festivals.

Last Friday afternoon I began setting up for our local 4th of July Festival.  The weather has been extremely hot and dry here in Indiana.  Our local weather was calling for 100+ temperatures with only 30% chance of rain.  My 9x9 canopy was up and I had my tables where I wanted them.  One of my tables is a solid 6 foot table that does not fold in half for easy transport.  It is plastic but it is made of sturdy stuff.

I placed two of my display boards up on the solid table.  One board is about two feet tall.  It is a peg board that I use to display earrings and there were over 70 pairs of earrings on that board.  The other board was only about a foot tall but contained over 50 pairs of earrings.  I turned to my other table and started to pull more things out for my display but I glanced at the sky.  There were some storm clouds moving in so I decided not to place anything else out and see if the clouds would just blow over.  Suddenly a wind knocked the tallest board to the ground scattering earrings.  Many wonderful people came to my aid and helped to pick up the scattered earrings.  I was standing there trying to decide a better way to display my items when a member of the fire department came by yelling "Take cover!" (or something like that.  I honestly do not remember his exact words).

He no more than got the words out when a gust of wind took my table and flipped it into my arm.  The table then whipped around me and flew several feet back behind me into a cannon that is cemented into the court house lawn.  My other table also took off flying.  At the time this is happening I reached up and grabbed onto my canopy.  There were others that came to my aid but we ended up letting the canopy go and it also blew off behind me.  At this point we all headed for the safety of the court house.

This is a picture of part of the table.  It hit the canon so hard it warped the frame causing the screws to pop out.

When I came out of the court house my jewelry was scattered all over the ground.  My totes that I carried things in were gone as was my cart, tables and fishing tackle boxes that I use to carry my jewelry in when I travel.  Basically my spot was bare except the things that were scattered on the ground.  I began to walk around looking to see what I could salvage.  God was good and the first thing I found was my belt pack that contained all of my change for the weekend and my identification.  It was partly opened and I lost a little change but I was so happy to find it.  At this point it began to rain very hard.  I grabbed what I could and threw it into the court house.  I called my husband.  He had planned to come help me with my set up after he got off work but I began to cry as I explained we would be looking for what ever we could find because it all blew away.  He did not really understand until he made it to where my booth would have been.

As I waited for my husband I made short trips in and out finding what I could and bringing the jewelry it into the court house.  I found my tackle boxes.  They held up well.  If you are looking for a great fishing tackle box I vouch for Plano!  I had only removed one section to start my set up so everything else that was still inside the boxes were unharmed.  My night ended with me soaking wet and throwing what I could find and salvage in my car.

My husband continued to look for things as I headed home to get dry.  He said he found business cards of mine over a block away.  When I got home I began to realize how lucky I was.  I was bruised and my business would take a big loss for the weekend but no one who was there was seriously injured.  Had this storm moved in only a short time later the streets would have been filled with people for a water ball fight between the local fire departments.  The flying canopies and debris would have injured many more people if it would have happened during that event.

The next day my wonderful daughter spent hours untangling the mess.  I am counting my blessing that I was not seriously injured but in equipment and inventory I lost over $300.  Not to mention the loss sales.  I was too sore and my items in too much chaos to try and tend a booth but I forced  myself to go up the the festival the next day to deal with my grief and fear.  I spoke to many who had been there when the storm hit.  A nice elderly couple told me how the man in the booth next to them had a weather app for his phone and he had told them a storm was coming.  They barely got their canopy dropped down on top of their tables when it hit.   "We are 80 years old but we hung on!  That canopy was a flopping but we hung on!" He said with a smile.  I said a prayer thanking God that these sweet people were not injured and for the the two wonderful ladies who had a booth behind where mine would have been.  They had found some of my items and returned them to me when they saw me.

This experience showed me the kindness of people in an extremely bad situation.  I had strangers who helped me and a wonderful young man who offered me his jacket when I was soaking wet and cold.  I am grateful to everyone of them.

What I want to share with you is if you show at craft shows, flea markets or festivals you should have a weather ban radio as part of your emergency kit.  It doesn't matter if your show is indoors or out.  This storm hit so fast that it probably would not have helped in this case but you better believe I will have one next time.  It is a small price to pay for something that may save your life.

A quick after thought.  I can now say my creations can survive storms! ha ha Here is a picture of one of my necklaces.  Notice the earrings that were stuck in it but yet the stone I wrapped stayed in place.

Always try to find the good in every situation.  Makes weathering storms so much easier!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Craft Show Time

I am excited to say it is time to be in a craft show!  This Saturday I will be in Dover, Indiana for their spring craft show.  The time is 9 am until 4 pm.  Come on down and say hello.  I would love to meet you.  My sister Lisa of Creative Kitty Crochet will be there with her hand crocheted items.

Even though life has been chaotic I have been able to create some new pieces of jewelry.  I have been experimenting with using crochet techniques with wire.  Here are a couple of samples.

These are various glass beads crocheted onto 28 gauge wire.  I was very happy with the effect.  A fun summer time piece.

For this piece the pendant is a dyed stoned wrapped in silver plated wire.  The round amethyst beads were crocheted into the piece on 28 gauge wire and finished with silver filigree round beads.

I am still experimenting with Harmoniously Tanged jewelry to decide which direction I want my jewelry to take.  I am looking for those piece that say "Hey Look at Me!"  I want you to be able to look at my creations and say I know that came from Harmoniously Tangled.  How am I doing?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Forgive me friends.

I am not an everyday blogger but it has been way too long since I have visited with you.  At this time my life is not so harmoniously tangled.  Many developments in the wind.  Our oldest daughter and our two grandsons (5 & 4) have move in with us.  Our youngest daughter had married and moved out over a year ago.  Over time we had started making use of our new space.  We had taken a bedroom and placed bookshelves in there and was in the process of creating a game room.  This was sort of  halted when I began my journey into jewelry making.  I then began to use the room and spread my goodies all over the place.  To be more direct, the room was a piled up mess in which everything had to find a new home because that would be the room the boys would be taking.  The move in date was speeded up a week and this caused an increased urgency to make way. 

For those who have moved even in the best of conditions it is still not a fun job.  As they say, "When it rains it pours."  In the middle of the move in week I received a call from my youngest daughter (she is 19).  She was having abdominal pain.  After a trip to the doctor we received orders for an ultrasound.  We are now waiting on the results to see if there will be a surgery.

Although things are not harmonious at the moment I know as things go forward it will again come to that.  My logo for Harmoniously Tangled is surrounded by vines because if you turn a vine away from the sun it will curl its way back around to face the sun.  The sun will shine again here in my corner of the world and I hope all of you will stick with me to see it.  I can tell you over the last few days I have reworked a necklace and I have created another necklace that only needs to have the clasp added.  I will bring you pictures as soon as possible because my desk top computer has also died during all this.   It had the software for my camera on it. 

If you believe in the old wives tale that bad things happen in threes then I should be on my way to being harmonious again very soon.  What ever happens I am sure my family will hold each others hand as we walk through it.

I am pleased to say that I have my first craft show of the year coming up at the end of the month.

SPRING CRAFT SHOW at St Johns the Baptist Church, Dover Indiana
SATURDAY, MARCH 31, TIME: 9am to 4pm

I hope if you are in the area you will stop in and say hello.  I look forward to meeting many new people there.