Monday, August 13, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things...

Yesterday at the North Village Farmer's and Artisan's Market was an interesting day: cool with a good rain about half the time. No exaggeration - we haven't seen a soft rain like that in months. Turns out, it was spotty - it hardly rained at all at my home, just 15 minutes away.

In between showers, we had lots of visitors. As it turned out, it was "cute kid" day.
  • A young boy about 7-8 came by with his mom and older brother, and he and Mom were looking at my adjustable rings. He picked up the shiniest one and said, "I think my wife would like this one." His mom burst out laughing!
  • About two hours later, a 10 year old boy came by with Mom's phone and asked if he could take pictures of my booth. Sure, go right ahead! He said, "Did you make ALL of this?" I told him that I did. "Maybe you could be my Grandma." Oh, how cute!
Huh? Uh, wait a minute....

Can't I just be your Aunt, 'cuz I am not old enough to be your Grandma.

Anyway, I kept that comment to myself, and said, "I could make jewelry for your girlfriends." He replied, "Yeah for our anniversary."
  • Last, a cute redheaded girl came by and headed right for the earrings. She said that on her 9th birthday (which is January 23rd, by the way) she was going to get her ears pierced. She asked me, "So, what should I look for in an earring when I get them pierced?" She was a serious as a heart attack. Smiling, I told her that when she first got her ears pierced, she would probably want to look for post earrings and that later, she could start looking for dangle earrings. But first and foremost, look for earrings that she likes. We had a wonderful conversation about returning to school, how she was going into 3rd Grade at Russell Blvd. Elementary, and I told her that's where my daughter went. It was quite a mature conversation for an 8 year old!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Finally! A Workable Earring Display

Note: this is a long post with lots of photos. It has been quite the saga to get a working Earring Display that I was satisfied with. Remember, you've been warned!

I have struggled for months on how to display my earrings when doing shows. At my very first show last Decmeber, I put them in little baggies. I quickly learned that people had to pick them up, take them out (which can be hard) to even see if they liked them. So I nixed that idea.

For the weekly North Village Farmer’s and Artisan’s Market, I tried earring cards with my business card info at the top punched with 2 holes. Worked better – but now, how to display them? I should hang them! I bought a black metal accordian fold earring holder with hooks from Hobby Lobby. I tried to make that work for a while, but… it would blow over in even a slight wind. It was only 9 inches tall, so it sat too low for a good view, even when elevated. The accordian fold made it hard to see the earrings closest to the hinge. Okay, failure number 2.

So 2 weeks ago, I went with just laying them down on an elevated box – I considered it unprofessional but the best for now. The vendor next to me had a booth full of shabby chic tables and signs her husband made from reclaimed wood. One was an inverted v-shaped display she used for a sign. Perfect! I could hang earrings form that! I asked if he could make one for me, and on the spot, he gave me hers for $5.00. I told him he’d better make her another one!

So here is how I converted the sign holder into the perfect earring display.
I headed to my favorite hardware store – they have such knowledgeable staff! At first I wanted a continuous hinge, but the staff guy said the wood was too thin for the length of the screws (this is why I go to this hardware store, I wouldn’t have thought about that). So I picked a smaller hinge with shorter nails. Even with the shortest screws, I needed a shim to keep the screws from going through – so off to the Balsa wood section, where I got 2 sections – one slat to put behind the hinges, and one thicker, more square piece to go behind the lace from my stash. Add some thumb tacks, and I was ready to go.

1.      I took off the old “hinge” – duct tape! Fortunately, it didn’t leave a residue.

2.      I marked the wider piece of Balsa wood to a bit less than the width of the sign. By the way, Balsa wood is soft enough to cut with scissors. I added a little wood glue, and stapled the wood to the sign on the ends.

3.      I eyeballed the hinge placement and marked the holes. No need to drill with Balsa wood, just start screwing them in!
4.      Next, I laid earring cards on the front for row placement and marked the location with masking tape. I decided on 5 rows and 3 columns.

5.      I cut 5 lengths of the sturdiest lace in my stash, about 2” longer on each side. I wanted the lace to be elevated off the wood to make clipping the earrings easier. I cut the square piece of Balsa wood into small strips to go behind the lace.
6.      At first, I thumb tacked the Balsa pieces to the wood without attaching it to the lace. But the earring cards were heavy enough to cause the lace to droop. Plus, I was worried about holes in the wood in case I changed my mind on how to use it. So I used “Pop Dots” from my stash – a scrapbooking double-stick circle that makes things stand out. I cut each circle in fourths and put one on the back and the front of each piece of Balsa wood and placed them on the sign. I used 4 pieces to each row, and I finished a row at a time.

7.      After stretching the lace over the Balsa wood pieces, I turned the sign over and with another 1” piece of the flat Balsa wood, tucked the lace under and attached with 2 thumb tacks. Due to the shim at the top, I cut the 1” piece of Balsa wood in half and abutted it to the previous piece of wood.

This is what the back looked like when I was all finished.
I used it this weekend, and it worked even better than I expected! I am so happy with how it turned out (don't look at how crooked the earrings are hanging, okay?). The tiny clothespins (available at Michael's) can sometimes twist, but otherwise they work just fine.
~ The End ~
See? I told you it was long! Congratulations if you made it to the end.