Archive | October 2011

Favorite Things Monday-Clawfoot Tub

For most of the country fall begins in September. But down here in southeast Louisiana summer lasted until about a week ago. I know this because I was wearing shorts right up until about October 18th. For those of you who don’t know me quite as well as others, let’s just say I’m always the one carrying  a sweater around. I get cold when it’s seventy degrees.

So when I say it’s still been summer, you can count on temperatures in the eighties. Okay, temperatures are still hitting in the seventies during the day, but the nights are cooling off into the thirties and forties.

Last night I stayed up late writing (4000 words for Witches of Bourbon Street thank you very much) and I was chilled enough I knew it would take forever to warm up once I went to bed.

So, instead of climbing in bed at 1am, I climbed into my tub with BLACK HEART LOA , by Adrian Phoenix.

Awe wonderful bliss. A hot tub, a good book, and a cold night. Bring on fall and winter. Mr. Clawfoot, I’ve missed you.

Is Your House Haunted?

Happy Halloween!

Last night our town celebrated Halloween. They always schedule it on a weekend night no matter when Halloween falls. Last year they caught us unaware and we didn’t have any candy for the kids everyone buses in (no joke). We live across the street from a school and the families from all over our mostly rural town come walk the few blocks around our house for their trick or treating pleasure.

So about six p.m. the dogs started to go insane and I sent G out front to hand out the gazillion little packages of Rolos, Twix, Heath Bars, M&Ms, Reeses, Three Musketeers, Milk Duds, and whatever else was hiding in that giant bucket. Forty minutes later he was back inside shutting off the lights and closing the blinds. Holy crap that was a lot of candy in a short amount of time. One piece each.

Little zombies cleaned us out. Poor G. Out of Halloween candy already and it isn’t even Halloween yet. He might deserve it though. He told me one of the kids asked if our house was haunted. Umm, yes. Haven’t I been saying that for months now?

But G quickly told him no, and the kid turned to a friend and said, “See I told you it wasn’t haunted!”.

And friend responded, “That’s what so and so said!”

If I’d been out there I would have said, “Oh yeah. Have you seen our ghost? He likes to come out at night.” Then I would have asked what rumors they’d heard and who they thought our ghost could be.

Seems our house has become the creepy one all the kids talk about. I don’t know why. It’s super cute, and we have adorable dogs that like to sit in the window. But as long as the kids don’t start breaking in and holding séances, it’s cool with me. Y’all know how much I like ghosts. Especially ones that like to invade dreams. 😀

 

When Girlfriends Come to Town~Favorite Things Monday

So I guess it isn’t a secret I’ve been crazy busy. My poor blog. I haven’t written a Business of Lampworking article in a few weeks. I haven’t posted Book recommendation Thursday is over a month. And my online participation has been noticeably lacking in my favorite haunts.

You see, this upcoming weekend is Bead Fest Texas. I leave Thursday and will be back Monday. Speaking of Bead Fest, if you’re anywhere near the Dallas/Arlington area, here is a coupon you can print to get in free. I will be in booth 611.

Anyway, I had a show in Philly at the end of August, and Hottimes on the Mountain at the end of Sept. The combined events severely depleted my bead show stock. So the last four weeks I have been scrambling to catch up.

In addition I’ve been working feverishly on Witches of Bourbon Street, the second in my Jade Calhoun trilogy.

So you can imagine how excited I am to have some girlfriend time. My good friend, Susan Sheehan is arriving today in  about three hours now. We’re picking her up from the New Orleans airport, taking her out on the town, and then spending the next few days playing in the studio before we drive on out of here for the show. Susan will be in both 609 right next to me, and our other dear friend Lisa Liddy will be in booth 607 right next to Susan. It’s gonna be a great show!

 

It’s a Trick or Treat Bash!

Fellow author, Red Tash, is hosting a Trick or Treat Bash in celebration of her new release, This Brilliant Darkness. And the grand prize is a NEW KINDLE to be delivered before Halloween. You have seven more days to enter. There are other prizes, such as amazon gift cards, and free books.

Red has a number of ways to enter. See her site here for all details. When you’re done finding out all the ways to enter come back here and post on any blog post: Red sent me. http://www.redtash.com. That’s good for one entry.

Good luck! And don’t forget to check out Red’s new book.

Online Sales and Galleries~The Business of Lampworking

The International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB) hosts a booth at The Buyers Market of American Craft (BMAC) every year in February. BMAC is the show gallery owners shop at to fill their stores. Members of the ISGB have the opportunity to participate in the show at a reduced rate. It’s a great opportunity for artists to get a feel for the show without a huge financial risk.

But how does an artist balance online sales with gallery sales? Many people will say galleries will not deal with artists who sell online. My question is as a modern artist: How can you not sell online and expect to be successful? The trick is to respect your wholesale accounts.

By this I mean: Do not undercut galleries by selling to the general public below your retail price. Your retail price is usually double your wholesale price. That means you should not list a piece on Etsy for one-hundred-dollars and expect to sell the same piece to a gallery for one-hundred-dollars as well. The gallery must mark your products up to earn a profit. If they can’t, why would they buy from you? And why would anybody buy a piece from a gallery for two-hundred-dollars when they can order it direct from the artist for half the price? Or worse, the person buys from the gallery, goes home and Googles the artist’s name and finds out they’ve overpaid. That gallery just lost a customer. Bad business.

So if you want to sell to galleries and maintain a working relationship, respect them and their need to turn a profit.

Also consider making pieces specifically targeted for galleries. These are pieces you do not offer online and are exclusive for wholesale accounts. That way there isn’t any danger of undercutting and the gallery can then charge whatever they want for the piece. The rule of thumb is wholesale is fifty percent of your retail price, but galleries sometimes mark things up two to two and a half times. If you’re selling it at double your wholesale, you are still undercutting them and they may choose not to do business with you.

I’ve already mentioned the BMAC show which is one way of introducing your work to galleries. Another is Wholesalecrafts.com. They are an online gallery exclusive to wholesale venders. Consider putting together a brochure and mailing it to the galleries you are interested in.

For local galleries call to set up appointments to meet with the gallery owners/buyers. Do not just show up with your work in your hands. Often the buyer won’t be in, plus you need to respect their time. Also they could feel put on the spot and that isn’t a great way to start a business relationship.

Be prepared. Know your wholesale terms. What dollar amount does the gallery have to meet in order to qualify for wholesale? Do they have to meet it again each time the order, or can they reorder less at wholesale rates after the relationship is established? Will you accept net-thirty payment terms? Does the gallery have to pay upfront? Are you willing to offer pieces on consignment? If so, have a boiler plate contract ready to go. Does the gallery pay you if items get lost, stolen or broken? What is the consignment rate? fifty-fifty? Sixty-forty?

The more professional you are, the more likely they are to take you seriously. We artists can be flaky. You don’t want to give them a reason to say no.

With all this said, I confess, Greg and I don’t sell much work through galleries. We have done some in the past and may in the future. But currently, I just have too much on my plate with online sales, shows, wholesale bead and murrine accounts, and the books I”m writing. Adding wholesale gallery accounts and doing it right is just one too many things right now. It’s important to know your limits.

Good luck!