Thursday, May 30, 2013

A UNIQUE SKILL

I love jewelry, especially earrings.  From time to time, I've made a bit of jewelry, and I tend to work with seed beads and tiny findings, working them into intricate designs.  I've gifted most of the pieces I've made, and the recipients unanimously have oooohed and ahhhhhed at my finished pieces.  But every time I make a piece of jewelry, I absolutely swear I will never do it again.  The process just drives me crazy, and is anything but relaxing.  So every time I do it, my admiration for talented jewelry artists increases exponentially!

On one of these occasions, I thought I would make a wire-wrapped piece....  no big deal, right?  Just take the wire, wrap it this way and that way, and voila.  This was a project I never finished.  It's not even a project that's a do-over for me.  It went in the trash.  Balls of steel wool are far more attractive than what I produced.  I decided after that escapade that not only are jewelers the epitome of patience and perseverance, but that wire-wrap artists must be a special kind of crazy.

One such person is Collette Kimon of Collettesboutique.  This is a woman who has had her beautiful work featured in national magazines, who writes tutorials, and who draws on what must be a limitless imagination to create her stunning wire-wrapped pieces.  The stones she chooses are subtle, yet striking.  The intracacy of the finished masterpieces is astounding.  Her prices on these wearable pieces of art are more than reasonable. 

You can find her pieces at Collettesboutique at HandmadeArtists, or on her own website, ColletteCollection.  By all means, do visit and drool over her remarkable work.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

NEW BLOG RING ON 

There is a new blog ring on HandmadeArtists.com.  I joined then I withdrew because I kind of don't get what they're doing.  There's a theme (this week it's Spring) to it.  You're supposed to pick an item from the featured artists shop, one from your own shop and one from any other shop on HandmadeArtists, and then blog about it, all within the theme.  I really like blog rings, as it gives me a chance to explore shops with which I am not familiar.  But this whole theme thing is throwing me for a loop.  And mentioning an item from my own shop in a feature that is supposed to be about someone else...  well...  I guess I just don't get it, and that's okay, too.

On the other hand, the featured artists for the first week are the ultimate power couple, Andrew and Kimberly Kitchen, and I'm more than happy to blog about them!

Andrew and Kimberly are the founders of HandmadeArtistsThey started it as a forum for artisans in the handmade world when they couldn't find anything exactly to their liking that already existed.  In the few years since that humble beginning, HandmadeArtists.com has grown to be a a multi-dimensional site including an incredibly active, informative and supportive forum, and a blog and shop platform as well.  The two of them have worked and continue to work tirelessly to promote the site and the artisans who call it home.

Each are also artists in their own right.  They are both accomplished chainmaillers.  Kimberly also works with sea glass, which she meticulously wire-wraps.  Kimberly's shop, MakinTheBestOfIt, on HandmadeArtists is full of gorgeous examples of the sea glass jewelry.  Andrew's shop, ChainmaillebyMBOI  is full of intricate and wonderful chainmaille pieces in a variety of metals and other materials.  And like an infomercial...  But Wait! ...  there's more!  Kimberly also paints on glass, mostly stemware, filling many custom orders for brides year-round.  She will also take your wedding invitation and hand-paint the frame in which she mounts it to make it a permanent momento.  In their spare time, they are the proud parents of two medium sized sons.

Have a great time on your visit to these terrific sites!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sales Tax Legislation Now in Congress

There is Legislation moving its way through Washington DC right now which could change the way sales tax is charged on internet sales.  The bill has already been approved by the Senate, and is currently in the House Judiciary Committee.

States collect sales tax to support state functions.  It's no secret that states are losing sales tax money on internet sales.  Purchasers of goods on the internet are supposed to pay the sales tax to their state...  like that happens!  This legislation would require that all online businesses charge, collect and pay sales tax on all of their sales online.  Businesses with less than $1,000,000 in sales are excluded.

Because of the exclusion, most of you are now muttering, "then why should I care - I'm excluded."  As a business, correct, you are.  But as a consumer, you would be impacted.  Tax free online sales could become a thing of the past.

I'm wondering if this legislation, if passed, pushes people to shop locally.  After all, if you're going to pay the sales tax anyway, does that dilute the cost savings of an online purchase enough to make the shopper go into a store and buy the item?  Does having it now outweigh the marginal savings and having to wait for it through the shipping time?

All interesting questions, the answers to which can only be predicted and guessed.