Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Holidays

Everyone, have a safe and wonderful Holiday. Happy Thanksgiving.

Quality Matters

In my day job, my title is Quality Assurance Representative. My role is to assure that the products going out to our consumers are of the best quality possible. If the products coming from our suppliers and the products we send out the door is not cosmetically, functionally or safe per specification, it’s simple: they don’t go out the door. This leads to less returns and satisfied customers who will buy again…and again. I carry this role over into my jewelry and candle business. I want my products to be the best that I can make them, even if I have to make them over and over to get one good enough to send out the door. I want satisfied customers who will buy again…and again. Ask yourself what basic specifications need to be applied in your craft. In my jewelry business I have these: * All beads and findings must be of good quality and cosmetically conforming to my standards. * Jewelry pieces are to be made to exact specified lengths. * All wire wraps and loops are to be cut flush or filed for customer safety. * All clasps and findings must be secured to assure long wearing. * All jewelry must lay comfortable against your skin. * All jewelry must be pleasing to the eye. * All jewelry must be packaged well enough to assure no damage in shipping. * All jewelry must be costed at a reasonable price for consumers. I’m a self-taught crafter who is still learning new techniques, so I’m sure I will be adding more quality items to my list. What is yours? You can blog me at Shops:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Candlemaking 101

Art Daily - View Article Candlemaking 101 [Send Article to Friend] By J Stone CreationsNine years ago my mother passed away after a lengthy illness. I knew that the only way I could cope through the mourning period was to keep myself so busy that I wouldn’t have time to think.That’s when I began my candle business. I delved into learning everything I could about the proper techniques, where to buy the best supplies and marketing my candles. I began with regional craft shows, built up to local retail stores and then invested in a quality website. I am now selling in every state in the U.S.My candle sales are seasonal--from September to April. In the slow seasons, I focus more on my jewelry business. I also work a full time job in a local manufacturing plant. My husband and I celebrated out 32nd wedding anniversary in October. WOW! We own a small cattle farm, too. I’m a country girl and love it. Materials: * Low melt point wax for containers (around 122-129)You can use a pre-blended container wax like "Container Fill" or "One Pour" (also known as Single Pour). * Candle dye/color * Fragrance oil (average use is 3%-9% or .5 to 1.5oz per pound) * Glass, Ceramic, Tin container or molds.* Pre-tabbed container wick in appropriate size (depends on diameter of container) * Pouring pot * Thermometer* Safety gear: Gloves, safety glasses, apron I use a turkey roaster to melt the wax. Use proper safety guidelines and always work in a well ventilated area. You have to test a lot before perfecting your candles. • It took me several tries before I found the perfect manufacturers for each product I use including the wax, fragrances, dyes, wicks, containers.• I made notes on the amounts of each product I used and when I added it during the candle making process.• I follow the manufacture directions on the temperature to melt the wax. Types of wax differs.• I made note of the amount of dye I used to get the coloring of the candle the way I wanted it. • Noted the fragrance of the candle during burning. Is it too light, overwhelming or is it perfect? You may find that the candles smell quite strong when you are making them, but may be much lighter smelling while burning.•I learned which wicks to use for each type of candle. Your supplier will be able to tell you which ones they recommend.• After cooled, I took note of any imperfections including cracks, air bubbles, discoloration, white lines, wells, flakes etc. and tested until I learned what to do to prevent this.• I studied my market to see which scents, colors and containers sold the best.The web is a wonderful source of information for candlemaking. Check it out and have fun, but more importantly, be safe.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Busy Season

Hi everyone. I may not have a chance to breath until after Christmas. Not that I'm complaining. I have several custom jewelry orders to do and candle orders have really picked up for the buyers gift giving. I want to take the time to thank all of my wonderful customers for your continuing support and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What am I thinking about?

Welcome to my very first blog. While I'm sitting at my computer working, I'm thinking of all the things I would love to be doing. I would love to be home: Creating jewelry masterpieces Browsing through catalogues for the perfect gems or findings Pouring Scentsational candles Writing my bestseller Watching Rachael Ray, Paula Deen or Sandra Lee or camping and relaxing with my DH. A nap would be nice, too. I'm also thinking about Thanksgiving. We're having Thanksgiving with my hubby's 81 year old mother, his sister and her husband and daughter, his aunt and her husband. I'm cooking the Turkey. My mother-in-law makes the best chicken and dressing and homemade chocolate pies. That will be 10 more pounds on my waist. But, that's okay. Me and my two sisters and brother are having Thanksgiving apart, but will get together for Christmas. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.