Friday, November 8, 2013

Hello Fall

A question I am asked regularly, Where does you inspiration come from?

I have am an avid gardener and been growing my own flowers and vegetables for quite a few years.  Definitely time for me to say good bye to the growing season in my gardens.  The only crops still hanging are my snow peas and lettuce.  It was a decent season in my garden for my zucchini, lettuce, peppers, broccoli, and  beans.  It was a bad year for my tomatoes and cucumbers.  The super wet spring was not good for them. I have made notes in my gardening journal for next season.


Two guests in my pond this year. 

The fall is the beginning of my busy season for my jewelry.  The holidays will be here before we know it.  Hanukkah is real early this year, only three weeks away.  I am happy to take order for the rest of this month for delivery before Christmas.  Please place your order early, so you will have time to deliver it.  I do offer gift wrapping and shipping to your special person to help save you time. 

my contact info:

My store:  http://www.zibbet.com/PandaWear


My facebook:  PW Facebook

My Pinterest:  Panda Wear Art

My website:  Panda Wear

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Festivals & Shows 101

What do you need to know before you decide to do a show? This is a frequent question I am asked by those new to doing shows.   I have been doing shows as a vendor for about 15 years.  I have also helped to put on a few events.  I can break down the answer for you into 5 main questions.
  1. What is there that brings people to the show?  Also need to know who the target of the show is.  If it is a family event and you have very fragile $100 - 400 items it would not be a good fit for you.  the draw - such as entertainment and food.
  2. What size crowd does the show normally have?  This is another way to determine if the show has been around a while.  First annual events tend to draw a small crowd and not be great for the vendors.  Ask yourself if you have enough inventory for that size crowd.
  3. How many vendors are planned & what is the mix of types of media at the show?  Examples of several media:  floral, pottery, paintings, glass, sculpture, wood, photography, textiles, leather, jewelry, metal etc. 
  4. Is it there a jury for acceptance?  If not then the show would allow party plan merchandise and hand made items would not do well there.
  5. Have you been to the show?  I always walk a show before I do it.  I can talk to the vendors and see if they are happy and have been with the show for a few years.  This is a great way to see how it is being run and if the crowd is happy.  
There are several types of show.  Retail, wholesale, fundraiser, are a few of the main types of shows.  The criteria about works well for retail and fundraiser evaluation.  Wholesale is another topic entirely.  These are the basics by which I evaluate shows and decide if  the show is one I will do.  Please feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to answer them for you. 

Future Topics:  Next week, I will post an update on the Women Build project for Flower City Habitat for Humanity.  Another related topic, show booth layout or design.  I would appreciate your topic suggestions. 

My website:  Panda Wear

My facebook:  PW Facebook

My Pinterest:  Panda Wear Art

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Women Build Work Day

What is it like to be on site working with my team on the Flower City Habitat for Humanity(FCHH)  Women Build house?

The Calico Hammers is my team and our group goal is to raise $6,000 to help build this house.   My team's first work day this year was 5/28/13.  Safety is the first thing covered in the orientation, by Erwin.  We worked under the supervision of the FCHH supervisor, Erwin. Our task for the day was to finish putting up the metal forms for the basement wall and to secure the top of the wall for the pouring of the walls.

Seemed like a daunting task when we arrived.


Here I am bending the rebar for the corner with Sally.




Here is the group at the end of the day.  I did put on a clean shirt for the photo.  

Forgot to mention it was raining most of the day.  It did not stop us and we finished the walls.

Yes, we finished the walls and the pour happened the next day.  Hope this shows how much fun we had.   Your comments and suggestion are always welcome. 

My page if you want to help me reach my goal. Kim's Women Build page

My website:  Panda Wear

My facebook:  PW Facebook

My Pinterest:  Panda Wear Art




Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Why Give Back or Pay it Forward

Why I give back or pay it forward.  My favorite charity is Habitat for Humanity.  I have a give away you can enter to win this week.  I will explain why I choose Flower City Habitat for Humanity. 

My giveaway with the rules on the RNEST blog:  Panda Wear Freebie

I became involved about 10 years ago.  A lady I worked with was collecting donations for her church group that was building a house with Flower City Habitat for Humanity (FCHH) here in Rochester, NY.  I found out I could actually help build the house by volunteering on the work site and doing part of the construction.  There is a site supervisor who give everyone tasks and I really enjoyed it.  I was very tired when we were done that day but everyone on the site was happy and working hard.  I went back to the address several months later and saw the finished house, which gave me such a great feeling.

I enjoy volunteering and donating to Flower City Habitat for Humanity.  I am a member of the Habitat Young Professionals and was elected their secretary this year.  I donate jewelry every year for Flower City Habitat for Humanity big fundraiser in the spring.  Last year, FCHH honored me by asking me to make limited edition jewelry for the Women Build project.   Here is the blog with the details from last year:


This year, when asked to make jewelry to help raise money for the women Build, I decided to give half of the sale price of the item to the Women Build.  I am selling the items below normal cost for a custom item.  Each item is available it in either sterling silver or copper.  The pieces are my Etsy shop and they are on FCHH blog here:


These are the Butterfly Love earrings and are shown in both metals.  A pair will be two copper earrings unless you order sterling sliver. 

This is  the Mom Build  brooch  in copper.   

This is a group where everyone there wants to help and the people you are helping appreciate it you know you are gong to see the benefits of you labor when you go home.  My fundraising page for the Women Build for you to donate is here:

I believe we all need to give back or pay it forward.  I was taught by my grandparents and my dad to always pay it forward.  You feel good when you do and you help others.  What better way to start you day that this?  Please share this with your friends and family.  

My website:  Panda Wear

My facebook:  PW Facebook

My Pinterest:  Panda Wear Art


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Metal 101

Metals are one of the main components in my work.  A brief overview of metals and their uses will help you to understand why I use sterling silver wire in so many of my designs. 

Type of metals used in jewelry:  aluminum, copper, gold, platinum, silver, & stainless steel. I have not listed all metals because the list is long.  This is such a broad topic, I could easily spend days writing many pages about this.  I will keep this brief and focused.  I believe definitions are necessary and here are a few links for metals :

Silver                   Silver defined
Copper                 Copper defined
Nickel                 Nickel defined
Gold                    Gold defined

Metal sheet and metal wire are two shapes of metal use to create jewelry.   Metal sheet is in most kitchens, as aluminum foil.  It is quite thin and this gauge (size) is not commonly used in jewelry designs.  Metal sheet is commonly seen in boxes and textured items like earring components.
                             
these are for sale: Copper Cascade Earrings

Temper and wire shape are two very important considerations when working with metal.  Temper is how hard or stiff the sheet or wire is.  Dead soft and half had or #2 hard are the two types I use most.  The dead soft wire is easy to manipulate and create curves and twists as shown below in this piece with square wire. 

this is for sale:  Seeds of Kambama Pendant

The half hard round wire is shown in this piece made with round wire, paper beads, & sterling silver beads.
 this is for sale:  Sterling Silver Teapot Bracelet

As I believe my customers want value for their money, I design my pieces  in sterling silver.  The cost of the wire has increase over 500% since I began using wire.  The 14 karat gold filled has increase as much as the silver.  The main difference is the gold is a high cost material.  An example of the increase - paying $15 for a piece of Silver wire, now is is $75 for the same wire.  Per customer feedback, I have begun using copper in my designs.

Wire shapes are endless. The common ones are:  round, square, half round, and triangle.   Wire comes in gauge(size) which are based on how many pieces laid next to each other fit in one inch.  The larger the diameter of the wire, the smaller the number. 12 gauge is thicker  than 21 gauge. I will cover this subject in depth in a future blog post.  It is a complex subject to those who do not work with metal materials.

Metal reactions are a concern of many people.  I use as many non reactive findings as possible.  My earrings are all available on surgical stainless steel which is 99.9% nickel free and it is lead free. I had a recent reorder from a lady who has had trouble with earrings and after wearing a pair she bought in December 2012, she came back and had me replace the ear wires on several other pair she owned but could not were with my surgical steel ear wires. 

Next week, I will write about my favorite charity commissions for Habitat for Humanity Women Build.  

My website:  Panda Wear

My facebook:  PW Facebook

My Pinterest:  Panda Wear Art

  


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Materials and Quality

There are many topics I can cover in this blog.  There will be a lost of future topics at the end of this post.

Today will be about materials and quality.  I am often asked why I use the particular beads and gemstones I choose in my work.  This is the answer to why......

Each piece of jewelry I create is hand made.  It is One of A Kind(OOAK) creation and no two pieces are the same. Here is a piece of seashell naturally tumbled by the Atlantic ocean:



 This piece is available in my Esty shop:  shell pendant


I use high quality beads in my pieces.  My work is made to last.  I have spent time confirming the vendors I source my gemstones beads from accurately label the items. I believe my customers expect the high level of quality I do when I am shopping for jewelry. Especially if it a gift. 

When I started my business, I sourced my supplies locally.   It was easy and many other people said it was how they obtain their materials.  The prices did not seem high.  The findings (clasps, beads, etc.) were not the best but they were easy to buy.  It was fun to be able to go out and buy new ones when I had a new idea.  After my first year of sales, there were many broken or damaged pieces.  I did not want to be seen as a designer who can not make a good product.  At that point, I decided to upgrade from plated to precious metals in my work.  I use copper, sterling silver and 14 karat gold filled in my pieces.  the price of the original pieces was much higher than I thought in lost business. 

When I spend hours designing and crating a piece, I expect it to be a great piece when I am done. Please visit and like my Facebook page to stay current on where I am going to be with my work and what is new.  Follow this blog to learn more about Panda Wear. 

Below are some future topics I will cover over the next few months:

Metal 101, Beads and Gemstones, Care of Jewelry, Lapidary, Special events like Proms, Rock hounding, Types of Jewelry, my Mascot.   Feel free to send me suggestions of topics you wold like to know about. 


To buy my work pandawear.etsy.com 

To contact Panda Wear  contact here

My facebook page:  Panda Wear on facebook

 



Sunday, March 31, 2013

Introduction



Panda Wear is my jewelry business.  My name is Kim and I am a lapidary as well as a jewelry designer.  In this blog you will learn about my process and my inspiration.  My art pieces are in precious metals and stone.  

Below is an example of a custom set for a specific event.  





This set is Emerald Envy, an earring and pendant set.  It was a silent auction donation for a large local fundraiser at an awards party.    It was well received at the event.  The metal is Sterling silver and I hand cut and polished the stone in the pendant.  The focal point of the earrings are green crystals and Swarovski crystals on the two pair which take the piece from daytime into evening wear.  

To buy my work pandawear.etsy.com 

To contact Panda Wear  sales@pandajewels.com