Sunday, March 25, 2012

Memory Bead - The Wedding Gift

I've written at length about my love of making Memorial Beads. But another similar type of bead I love to make is what I call a Memory Bead. It's a way to capture a memory.

These can vary depending on the occasion. I've made hollow beads and filled them with sand from a beach to celebrate a proposal. When I went to visit my niece last year in Nevada, I was stunned at the powder like quality of the sand on the lake by her house.  Because that sand was so fine, I melted into glass and made her a bead out of it.

With her recent marriage, the good memories continue. This is the gift I made the honeymooning couple:

Forgive the bad photos... it's POURING here and that's the best shot I could get on this gray day!
It's a silver shadow box style frame containing a heart made from the champagne bottle I found on their table while cleaning up after the wedding. Behind the heart is a story I wrote for them. Here's a closer view:
It reads:

David & Athena
February 17, 2012
Made from the champagne bottle used to toast your nuptials, this heart symbolizes your journey together...

Formed from two distinct beads and shaped into one heart, just as your love has turned the two of you into one...

...Air bubbles were carefully placed inside the heart. Some consider this a flaw... but they are there to remind you that no marriage is perfect and that sometimes... you just need to breathe and work through whatever is troubling you. 

On the front of the bead is a spiral. This is the symbol of the circle of life. In some cultures, this means "home." No matter where life takes you, follow your heart and it will lead you home. 

Life is a journey - one you have chosen to share with each other. Life will lift you up and it can beat you down. But love is a shelter in any storm.

Treasure One Another.

Photoshop Tutorial for the how to geeks: 
  • Photograph the bead. Measure it as well. 
  • In Photoshop, create a new workspace the size of your project...mine is  4 x 6. 
  • Paste the bead pic in and using the rulers size it down to actual size. 
  • Fill background layer with white.
  • Type your memory story on top of the bead layer, using the bead pic as a guide to create a void in your type. 
  • Hide the bead layer and change your printer settings to a greeting card weight paper before printing.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New Auctions - Getting Back in the Groove

I'm back from Louisiana. My sister managed to pull through this last round of chemo but is now off of it and at home under Hospice care.

I'm trying to get back in the groove of life but it seems to take me a while... Little stupid things - like where I put my keys, remembering to get the leash or to dry the dog off after a swim - seem to boggle my brain! Add in that it was in the 80s in Louisiana and it's been in the 30s and 40s here at night and windy 50s in the day time... and my blood feels like molasses!

I simply MUST process stamp orders... of course my least favorite - wood mounts - today. Then I MUST finish my tax prep for the accountant! And then it will be sales tax time and I'm left wondering where the  first 1/4 of the year went! Does that happen to anyone else???

Because it was so cold and windy and I was over-tired from chasing raccoons out of my yard all night, I did not work in the shop or on the taxes yesterday. Instead I listed nearly a full page of items on ebay!!! Some craft supplies, an old camera set up and GLASS BEADS!!!

I hope you will take a l@@k at these deeply discounted items!!! I may clean out the bead bowl for some new listings later in the week...
Have a good one!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sales Math for Dummies

I hate math...In spite of being told I'm good at it. It makes me think in a way that hurts my head and I don't like when my head hurts. So I'm putting my handy math tips in a place I can always find them. I hope you'll find them helpful too!

Returning items to a full price after a sale:

100 - % of discount = % of original cost

% of original cost / 1 = y

y x (sales price) =  actual original cost


Say you've marked every item in your shop down by 20%. You have an item marked at 15.99 but if you add 20% to that (15.99 + 3.20= 19.19), the number you get would not be the original price of the item. Using the formula above we get this:

100 - 20 = 80% - so our sale was 80% of the original cost.

1 / .80 = 1.25

1.25 x  15.99 = 19.99 - the actual original cost.

FEE Bay shipping

You can use the same formula above to recoup the shipping money stolen from you on ebay. The current rate of thievery there is 9% of shipping.

Let's say you are shipping a heavy item that costs you 18.50 to ship and Feebay will steal $1.67 of that. (18.50 x .09) So you need to recoup 20.17 to break even. But if you charge 20.17, you won't recoup 18.50 but 18.35. This may seem like pennies but, you go in the hole a little at a time. The same formula works to calculate the shipping charges:

100 - 9 (ebay's %) = 91%

1 / .91 = 1.0989

1.0989 x 18.50 (actual shipping cost) = 20.32

20.32 * .09 = 1.83
20.32 -1.83= 20.16 (close enough!)

Calcualting for eBay and Paypal

 Same theory but with Paypal charges the fees come up to around 13% so...

100 - 13 = 87

1 / .87 =  1.15

1.15 x 18.50 (actual cost to ship) = $21.28