Sharing My Joy

Are you like this? Afraid sometimes to share happy news for fear of sounding like you are bragging? I am. I never want people to think I am bragging about something because that is just not who I am. Yet when good things happen to us, that is the time we need to stand up and shout it to the rooftops. Because face it, life can be hard and so we really need to embrace our joys and share them with others when they plunk themselves down on our doorstep.

So I am embracing my happiness this month and sharing with YOU dear friends what made me happy. Stampington approached me this past Spring and I am thrilled to announce that I have had two pieces of jewelry published in two of Stampingtons' publications, Jewelry Affaire and Belle Armoire Jewelry this month.

Now how cool and exciting is that?! 

2 belle armoire jewelry necklaceBelle Armoire Jewelry

Jewelryaffairesummer2017bee necklaceJewelry Affaire

I think for me it is a validation. Validation that yes I can call myself a jewelry designer, jewelry maker...whatever it is I am at this point in my life. Validation that what often lives in my head, whether I am aware of it or not, can come out safely and be enjoyed by others. Validation that, yes, I AM good enough. I bet many of you out there can relate to sometimes needing validation of some kind.

So thank you for being out there and letting me share with you.

Sweet Southern Smoochies ~ Gail xxoo


Designing Jewelry and Enjoying Spring

I am so happy and so are the birds! Spring has arrived in full bloom and the birdsong from our happy birds is magical.

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The yellow forsythia blooms have faded away but the tulips have popped up their sweet smelling selves and the sweet soft magenta of the redbud trees can be seen everywhere, in yards and at the edge of the forest as you drive along the lake. That means that two of my favorite, Peonies and Lilacs, will arrive very soon!

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Spring IS my favorite time of the year. The air starts to warm and soft gentle breezes kiss my face while all things feel possible.

I have been working hard designing jewelry piece after piece (most of my jewelry is one of a kind) and running the business end of the business. It never ends but I do not say this in complaint, because it is my passion, I only state the truth of the reality of running an online business. I can't think of anything else I would rather be working at. :) 

Here are some of  my latest  bracelet and necklace designs.If you know anyone who loves jewelry that is feminine and romantic I would love if you shared Abigail Grace Co with them.

Beaded brass cuff 1a

Hand hammered and antiqued beaded brass cuff

2 strand chain and large bead bracelet 2Double strand beaded bracelet...shimmery neutrals go with so many ensembles.

 

Bracelet wip

1b floral bracelets

In my last post I shared these delicate and floral bracelets as WIPs before I decided how to finish them. I decided to add a double strand of chain and little lovely bead dangles for movement. Quite a shabby chic look and very light weight to wear.

Triple strand white seed bead bracelet 2

I love this triple wrap seed bead bracelet because it does double duty as a bracelet AND a necklace. :) How cool is that?!
Triple strand white seed bead bracelet 2

Floral necklace mixed creams 3

This little beauty has sold She didn't last long once I listed her!


Floral necklace mixed creams 3

Exploring a more simple style with this simple gold necklace

Triple strand blue green pendant 6

This beaded multi strand necklace took some time to get all the components to hang the way I envisioned! But I have to say I think it turned out gorgeous.


Triple strand blue green pendant 6

This week I am working on some micro macrame beaded designs to incorporate into the store. It has been a blast from the past...and I'm dating myself here... because macrame was one of the very first creative ventures I got hooked on back in the 70's. Even after all these many years it was like riding a bike!

I hope all of you are well and happy, creative and productive!

Sweet Southern Smoochies ~ Gail xxoo


My Photo Setup

Hello my friends! Getting good photos for selling online (or a blog or any website) is not always an easy task. If you are selling online good photos are imperative! I can not even begin to talk about all the bad photos I have seen on the internet, and I know you see them too.

It is difficult to sell a product when photos are dark, yellow, poorly staged, over busy backgrounds, on and on. Photos are the first thing a potential customer sees. If that photo does not do its job, and do it well, that potential customer is going to scroll right on by. And I mean fast.

My photos have come a long way, and I feel still have a ways to go to satisfy my own vision, but at this stage I am very happy with my photos. But it took me getting off my lazy butt and doing something about it.

My solution has been in front of me for years but I didn't want to deal with it. 

This old house has a back porch that we used as a dumping station. Anything we weren't' sure what to do with got stacked on the back porch. And it actually still does but since I've turned the porch into my "photo studio" ;) it is nowhere near the degree it used to be.

This porch is loaded with windows. But it is not insulated so cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

But when I switched to jewelry and hoped to  make it a successful business I knew I had to just get out there and un-junk the place. The porch is long and narrow but I figured I could make it work.

Photo setup

I found this old cart in the basement and bit into the budget to purchase the backdrop. Hubby helped me hang it. The cart holds photo props between shoots.

Porch set up2

Here is the long view and you can see the bank of windows that give me such great natural light. And I think you can see how narrow it is too. Another dip into the budget and I bought a cable that connects to my camera that will focus and shoot without me touching the camera. Not expensive and one of the two best investments I've made this year!

Porch set up

The BEST investment I have made for my photos is a prime 50 mm 1.8 lens. What that means is the lens is fast, and works well even in low light and it is not a zoom soI have to actually move me and the camera close or far depending on what I am after. I thought I would need another lens but so far this lens has not let me down and is the only one I use for my product photos.

Porch set up3

Here is a tiny sample of the results

Bird and leaf chain necklace 3a

Flower garden pendant necklace3 (1)

On the worktable 1

Burgundy and cream comb 1

You can find my work at my online store Shabby Cottage Adorned

and in my Etsy store of the same name Shabby Cottage Adorned

If you are looking for gifts I have some beautiful jewelry to look at!

Sending thoughts of peace and love and

Sweet Southern Smoochies ~ Gail xxoo

 



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How to Measure for a Bracelet or Necklace

Measuring for a Bracelet

Measure your wrist with a flexible tape measure or a strip of paper just above the wrist bone, where you would normally wear the bracelet. If you use a plain strip of paper, make a mark with a pen or pencil. You can then use a ruler to measure the marked length. That would be your wrist size.

If you prefer a snug fit add 1/4" - 1/2" to your wrist size. For a little more of a comfort fit add approximately 3/4" - 1". If you like your bracelets really loose with lots of movement add about 1 1/4". It really is all about personal preference.

 Measuring for a Necklace

Necklace length is truly a personal preference. Lengths pictured here are guidelines for illustrative purposes only...to offer you a visual idea of where a necklace might lie.

Body build will make a difference in where a necklace will fall. The best way to determine where the length of a necklace will fall on you is to measure. It is very easy. Grab a soft tape measure (like used in dressmaking), and stand in front of a mirror. Wrap the tape measure around the back of your neck and find the lengths in front that you like best. No tape measure? No problem. Use something like a string or piece of ribbon, wrap it across the back of your neck and down your front where you want it to hang. Continue to hold on to one end for marking and use a ruler or tape measure and measure from your finger to the end.