Friday, November 13, 2009

2 Worlds Merge on Tuesday

Unless someone else brings it up, I don't talk about jewelry much at work. There' s plenty going on in the library to talk about. But once a year the library has a craft show. It's pretty small with only 6 or 8 crafts people. But we have some talented people and most of us do quite well.

So Tuesday my 2 identities spend the day together.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Construction Chaos in the Acquisitions Dept.

Back on the library front, things are less busy. The budget still hasn't been distributed to the selectors so they're ordering very little. And of course paper is fast becoming passe as students opt for online journals and professors ask for streaming video.

One of the fortunate things about working in a research library is that we are all forced to keep up with technology. Every few years we get a new ordering system that's even more complicated and less intuitive than the last. Classes are necessary to keep up with each new version. When the library loads new versions of Microsoft Office, we all have to take a workshop to learn how to get around in it. And for a long time now we've been ordering materials online from Amazon &, or some other online dealer. So websites are no mystery and we all have Paypal accounts. And that 10 week online course called "23 Things" was incredibly useful. It's what I will miss most about working here. I fear I'll cease to keep up with the new technologies and become an anachronism.

So while I'm not as technologically savvy as your average 25 year old, I am ahead of the curve in the 60 year old category. I've been taking 3 hour evening classes once a week since September sponsored by the local Community Development Corp. They're free and geared toward small business owners. Marketing is the big topic of many of the classes and today everyone markets online through social networks. Many of the older folks in the class are truly lost when the conversation moves toward blogs, RSS feeds, and Twitter. I've expressed my dislike of Twitter here already but I can't deny the impact it has on my shop statistics.

But I digress. My office is scheduled to move to its new location in January. And while we slowly clean house and get ready to pack up, the construction crew is slowly moving its stuff into our space, complete with snow fencing. They're working on expanding the Learning Commons, a necessity for today's college and university libraries. The library is now a destination. And while I understand the need for this renovation, I find it disrespectful to leave staff in an area of drilling, hammering, hard hatted construction workers yelling to each other and walking through the department, and now a pile of sheetrock and mechanized staging. Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky, but they were able to find alternate space for everyone else. Why couldn't they have relocated us as well?

Oh well, we'll be moving soon to a space overlooking the courtyard. It can't come fast enough.

Busy Fall at Jansjems

It's a busy time of year for Jansjems. Fall craft shows are always the most profitable so I try to get into at least 2 per month. I'm noticing that people are finally spending on themselves, buying a necklace they like or earrings that catch their eye. They're not just buying gifts. I still have 3 craft fairs to go before I can pack up the displays and tables for the year. I'm continuing to organize, plan my displays for the next show, clean jewelry, replace bent tags, etc.

And while I'm preparing for current shows I'm also beginning to look at craft fairs for next year. Some, even those for May through September, have due dates in January . And the application process is sometimes like applying to colleges. They want a bio, an essay about what motivates you, statements about the artistic process, etc. But pictures are the most important part of the application. And I'm still trying to take better pictures. It seems that if I get the lighting right, the composition is bad or vise versa.

I also need some new items to photograph. And since I've decided to try again to get into 2 big shows I didn't make the cut on last year, I really need to stand out. As there are just too many gemstone bead jewelers out there, I'm going to try to get accepted on the steampunk line.

With steampunk selling faster than I can make it, I needed to replenish my stock of "found objects". Since it's getting too cold for tag sales, Ebay is the best source. Thanks to my friend Betty and the sniping website she directed me to, I'm set for awhile. My first big snipe was bought about 2 pounds of broken pocket watches. What a stash!

People are always looking for something different and so are the craft show organizers. So I'm starting to work on 2010 designs and some of those watch parts now look like the brooch and necklace below. Now if I can just make my photographs pop.