Category Archives: Rings

Ever Reach That Point

Where you set the tools in your hand down and say “f- this”. Yep, you guessed it. I reached this point tonight.

I draw a few of my rings. Not many, because frankly, I don’t enjoy it. I’m not an artist in the pens and paint sense, so when something won’t work, I get frustrated quick.

I can do basic stuff. I keep it simple, and don’t get involved. Tonight, I smeared the fourth ring in a row and threw it. Far. I then made the decision that between the lack of glasses, and how short my temper was becoming over the issue, I wouldn’t draw any rings for now. I’d far rather work with the computer to make them and I’m far better at it.  So I will wait until I have the ink for the printer in a couple weeks, and I will wait until I have printable shrink plastic. It’s simply not worth shattering my nerves.

I may eventually pick up the stencils, or some other stuff, and I will always hand color pieces, but I just feel tonight as a snapping point and if this isn’t enjoyable, I’m going to be miserable at this. And that idea bothers me.

I’m at the same point with glitters and rhinestones, but I feel both of those are issues I can overcome with proper tools and am taking the steps to get those items I need so that I can add some sparkle to the rings and other pieces.

So, when I have my supplies, I’ll be ready, I can spend hours happily creating layouts for rings, and I’m getting ready to do holiday ones. I’ve got some great vintage Halloween and Christmas ones, and I have every intention of covering Chanukah and who knows what other holidays I’ll come up with.

No, in other parts, I’ve sat and thought this over carefully. I feel that as much as I enjoy other hobbies, I’d far rather concentrate on the rings. I feel I can very realistically have an entire Etsy shop with my rings, and the other items I make in shrink plastic, but with a heavy concentration on the rings. I enjoy making them, I find it easy, and I have fun with it. I like the rolled ones, and I enjoy the flat ones mounted onto adjustable bases. When I expand into cufflinks and tie tacks, I have a feeling I’ll really enjoy those too. And I’ll never stop doing the buttons, I can only see that line expanding once I have proper materials.

But I’m pleased to not be sewing, or doing some craft that really isn’t me. I’ll be able to create with resin as well, and still pour metal, and I feel alright with it, because it keeps my shop cohesive, they’re all interrelated in a way.
Now, for the good news. I couldn’t get a dot com, but I was able to get a dot net. And I as able to find someone to sell me the name that wasn’t GoDaddy. I refuse to use a company who has a founder who prides himself on killing. Don’t get me wrong, I love things like deer hunting, but what possible use does an elephant have as food?

I went with Name Cheap and I have to say, I had an issue with my redirect (so I thought) and the very kind Dmitry was back to me instantly. And apologized for taking so long!! So it’s official, I am http://www.dirtygirldesigns.net and that goes right to my Etsy store. I feel it’s the first step in the right direction, now to get those sales!!

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How you doing?

I’ve always felt with my Etsy that I was just doing it to get some spare cash here and there. And really, I still do. Anything I sell on Etsy is spare cash for me. But, having said that, my last 6 months have been about getting off my ass and making my Etsy actual work as a viable income.

And no, it isn’t a viable income just yet. But with all the hard work I’ve put in for the last two months, I’m starting to see results. I’ve gotten critiques, I’ve had questions for people, I’ve had friends help me set certain things up for me like Google Analytics, and just in general revamped the shop.My goals for the next two weeks are pretty simple.

  • A banner. Bunny from Faerie Garden Fancies is working on one for me, and I’m hoping to have it up this weekend or early next week.
  • Ring inventory.  I’m waiting on an Etsy payment to clear, or to sell some more stuff so that I can buy supplies. And right now, that’s ink and more printable shrink plastic. I’m hoping to be able to get more than 6 sheets, but 6 sheets gives me nearly 100 rings of the all shrink type, so I won’t fuss much if I can’t get more than that right now. I’ve been told to up my inventory and to keep adding to it as often as possible. Since the rings seem to be my strong point, my goal is to get at least 200 into the shop before the end of August. Poor Bunny, her camera will never be able to charge.
  • More pimping. At least daily submitting to some handmade site, or some kind of ad. I’m really looking for fellow bloggers who would like to carry my add in exchange for me hosting theirs.
  • Sales. This is connected to the pimping, but I really need a sale a week or I really can’t see how I’ll get business. I need to be visible! So, pushing my stuff on people, getting FB people to share my links, and just keep going until I get over that hump into the 30 sales area. I seem to be stuck at 28.

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Shrink Plastic – Now with More Oomph

So I finally invested in a cheap printer, and today has been all about experimenting with shrink plastic and a printer. It’s been interesting to say the least. I’ve now got a pretty good idea of what I can do, and what I can’t do.

First off, anyone who claims that you HAVE to have the special shrink made for inkjet is full of shit. I used clear (and in one case a small piece of translucent) from Lucky Squirrel , and my disclaimer is that even Lucky Squirrel says not to put their stuff through a printer.

Bullocks I say.

But there are some rules.

First thing I learned, you can’t just print right on the shrink without sanding. It just don’t work Jeeves. You have to sand it. Then rinse it and let it dry. I also learned, if you’re going to color it, sand both sides. If it’s a color print, you obviously don’t need to worry about it. But I do a lot of black and white stuff that I then color on the back (I believe this process is called “color back” oddly enough) and then I bake as normal. But its far easier to sand both sides before printing if you plan on doing this. Trust me, sanding it on the back after printing is a nightmare.

It’s wet. Don’t touch it if you can help it. Otherwise yes, it smears. And boy, does it smear. Luckily, baking sets the ink and sealing your piece will help. I use a resin based sealer, but yes, clear nail polish will work. But use caution, you can smear a piece. So sand deeply so the ink really has a place to grab. And really rinse so that you don’t gum up your printer.

And yes, plan on getting inky fingers. I’m still looking like a Gutenberg apprentice.

So, onto the pictures.

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Resin?

So I’m getting ready, starting next week to cast resin. I’m not going to just yet discuss much what’s going to be made, beyond the fact that I am expanding my ring designs to include items either domed or cast with resin. While I’ve cast with metal, resin is a new medium for me. I’m not real worried on being able to do it, my worries have to do with being able to tolerate the fumes (I have exceptionally bad asthma) and I admit, that considering how little my Etsy sells that I’m getting involved in another hobby that won’t pay for itself.

 

I am thinking though that I need to do physical shows again. I’m hoping to find someone to partner up with someone who wants to be on the road at least locally and wants to do the shows at least every weekend.

 

I think my resin ideas are good. Two of the ideas I’m just not ready to discuss yet, but I can say that the rings will be done easily, my ring bases, with either a solid resin casting of some kind or with domed shrink plastic will hopefully be live as of next week. I have some great vintage stickers and some awesome items to embed into resin for pendants and rings.

I realize there are already a lot of resin casters on Etsy, but given the nature of Etsy, I know my items (beyond a basic shape) won’t be like anything anyone else casts.

 

Here’s to hoping it works!

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Filed under Business, Musings, Resin, Rings, Shrink Plastic

Success at Last!

I recieved my shrink plastic and embossing powder yesterday. I’ve done zilch with the powder, but so far, two nice rings.

This is just one, it’ll fit about a size 8 and smaller. I think they turned out pretty nice!

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