Full Circle ~ Settling In

The month of January seemed to have the theme of "settling in" for me. If I wasn't busy at work with Tangleweeds, I was busy at home, hanging curtains, arranging books and tchotchkes on shelves, and overall simply learning how to best make a small living space work for me at this point in my life. 

I also had my first craft fair of the year this past weekend at the Treasure Island Flea. While it's not a hugely profitable event for me, it's a good event during the slower times of the year and I often meet people who are interested in some of my more unusual and OOAK pieces. Pictured directly below is one of those OOAK pieces that sold on Sunday to a nice English lady who was there shopping with her daughter. 

I hope everyone's week is off to a great start! Mine is full and busy with lots of work on the future of Tangleweeds wholesale, and a weekend full of fun plans on the horizon. As always, thanks for dropping in on my little world over here!

Full Circle ~ It's been a while

Oh, well. There went almost two months and not a peep form me on my blog! Those of you who know me know that I ended up moving in December. Between moving and running Tangleweeds, I just had to let a lot of things go. And unfortunately the blog was one of them. And this post is really just a short little tease to say I'll be back on the blog regularly again soon! I'm still in catch up mode after finishing up the last part of moving and wrapping up the last of the craft fairs. 

In the meantime I leave you with a little sneak peek of the things to come for Tangleweeds in 2016. . . Happy new year to you all!

Full Circle ~ Craft Fairs, Craft Fairs, Craft Fairs

It's that time of the year folks! When the Tangleweeds schedule gets chock-a-block full with great events for holiday shoppers. Two important things to take note of if you live in the bay area. The first: I'll be debuting the new Traverse collection in person at the Urban Epicurean event the weekend of the 7th and 8th of November. (See my events page for more details.) And secondly, I am definitely planning the open studio holiday sale. It's gonna happen folks! Right now it's looking like I'll have the event in mid November, before everyone goes away for Thanksgiving weekend. Once all details get settled (most likely within the next week), I'll post about it here and on all of the usual social media venues. 

a little sneak peek of the studio coming together - still lots of work to do!

a little sneak peek of the studio coming together - still lots of work to do!

Happy Monday everyone!

Full Circle ~ Monday Weekends

Around here at Tangleweeds headquarters, Mondays are our weekends. Easy, simply pleasures are indulged on these "weekends". . . 

Flowers on my walks through my neighborhood in Oakland.


Cooking dinner last night at the end of a lazy day.

And, yup, Arlo pretty much sums up the general mood at home on a Monday. 

But now it's Tuesday and time to re-focus and re-motivate. Thanks to everyone who came out the Rockridge street fair on Sunday. For those of you local folks looking for another event this month to catch Tangleweeds at, check out our events page here. 

Full Circle ~ Re-assessing

Running what is basically a one-woman business can sometimes be tricky sailing. There are always so many plates spinning in the air at once. There's planning for the near future, planning for the distant future, and there's planning for tomorrow, often all within the same day! I've become much better at anticipating things and pivoting when certain things don't go according to planned, but I still have a HUGE tendency to over-schedule and over-book myself. 

My point with all of this is that I'm backing off of my intended release date with the new collection. It is coming along nicely, it's the collection I'm happiest with to date (although I think I say that about every collection =) You'll see the last three photos here are some more sneaks of the new pieces. I've had some hiccups in my life lately that have got me realizing that A LOT of the pressure I'm feeling is self-imposed and I am totally allowed to back off a bit.

What I will say about the new collection is this: Many of the pieces are going to be one-of-a-kind or very limited editions. I will have them available at my craft fairs and online. A few of the designs will be longer runs. Many of the designs incorporate stones with a very natural cut and rustic finish. There is a very organic quality to much of this collection. For example, the earrings pictured above (with the necklaces in the photo - third from bottom) are made with ocean jasper. Every pair will be uniquely different as no two stones are alike and I will be cutting the metal shapes to compliment the stones. If you choose to buy from me online you will get to choose from the pairs available and what you see pictured will be exactly the pair you will receive.

I've been wanting to put out a collection like this for quite sometime, and I want to do it right, not rushed. 

The collection is made up of primarily earring and necklace designs, along with one new bracelet design (that I am insanely happy with.) I promise that as soon as I release the collection I will make it know both here and on my other social media platforms. Thanks as always to my wonderful friends, family, and Tangleweeds collectors who have been there along this long and winding path. 

And now it's back to work for me! I hope everyone's week is off to a great start. 

Full Circle ~ Monday Weekend

Today is my weekend. A one-day weekend, but I'm not complaining. Things are chugging along nicely with Tangleweeds this year, and sometimes that has meant one-day weekends. Thanks to everyone who came out the Lafayette Art and Wine Festival this past weekend. Such a great event! (For those of you not familiar with Arlo and Otis, let me introduce you to my two babies. They lazed about with me this morning. Arlo is the orange one and Otis is the brown tabby.)

I did the photoshoot for the new collection on Friday. I'm still hoping to release the pieces this week, but that is starting to look like a distant possibility given that I have a fair to prep for this coming weekend. What I will offer though, is an extension on my fall equinox sale as I imagine that many of you are holding out to snag one of the new pieces on sale. Don't worry, you'll have your chance =)

I hope everyone's week is off to a great start. Good energy's brewing this week as we approach a full moon eclipse this weekend!

Full Circle ~ Doing the Work

The past week I've really hunkered down at my studio. I almost have no photos to share from non-Tangleweeds moments! Sometimes it gets like that, especially as I prepare to release a new collection, which (fingers crossed, in fact, if you're reading this, cross your fingers for me!) should be available by the end of this month. I'm shooting to time the release with the fall equinox.

In the meantime tho, I am having my annual fall sale in my Etsy shop through the rest of this month. Simply use the coupon code "fallequinox" and you'll receive 35% off your entire order! It's a great deal and a great way to get an early start on holiday gift shopping!

I hope everyone is having a lovely week! 'Til next time. . . 

(oh, and P.S. I've recently become obsessed with the Dear Sugar podcast and the corresponding collection of articles from back in the day when the column ran regularly. The title of this post comes from one of Cheryl Strayed's "themes" which is simply "you have to do the work." Meaning if you want to see the success you desire, whether you're rich or poor, busy or not, childless or have kids, etc, etc. you have to do the work to see real results. Hence the title "doing the work.")


Full Circle ~ Vacation, Craft Fairs and Real Life Stuff

Recently I was given the extreme privilege of learning why you need to learn to prioritize the people and things that matter to you most while you can. Not tomorrow or once your business is up and running smoothly or once you're in the right mood. No, right now it must be done. At least  in as much a way as you are capable of doing it at that moment. And just be present. Stop worrying about "what if", stop letting fear cloud things. 

That probably seems vague and esoteric, and I'm gonna leave it vague and esoteric for now as I don't have 100% clearance to write about some of the things I'm referencing here. 

I know I've been away from the blog quite a bit this summer. Always seems to happen during the summer. A couple of weeks ago Jeff and I went up to Northern California for a much needed respite from the busyness of our lives. Some pictures below are from that trip. The rest are a round-up of small moments and Tangleweeds moments. Enjoy!

Full Circle ~ Time off to Play

Last week I took a few days off to have my nephew, Noah stay with me, and to simply re-charge my batteries (so to speak). It was a good reminder of how important it is to take time off to play! Pictures below are from some of our adventures. Now, gotta get back to prepping for Renegade this weekend!

top to bottom:

1. Noah in a giant chair at the Exploratorium in SF.
2. Otis on his favorite "poof."
3. Me, lounging with a good book and country music on the stereo.
4. Arlo and Otis: the best example of laziness in my life.
5. Peace sign at the Albany Bulb.
6. Two paintings of Joanne Ludwig's at her First Friday opening in Oakland. 

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Full Circle ~ Selling at Craft Fairs

Sunday was the annual Temescal Street Fair and it was a great success! I just want to thank everyone who came out and said hi and supported my small handmade business. Your support means the world to me and it's how I'm able to do what I love for a living. 

I got my start selling my handmade jewelry at craft fairs, trunk shows, and other forms of in-person selling events (which are often called "Pop-ups" nowadays) about 10 years ago. For all their hard work and challenges, I am still a HUGE proponent of them as a way to break into selling your handmade goods. There are so many advantages to them. You get direct feedback from customers (and potential customers) about your products, you get to experiment with how best to merchandise your products, and you get to become well-versed in how to talk about what you make (not as easy as some might imagine.)

The more I've participated in and sold at all variety of arts and crafts fairs and events, the more comfortable I've become with selling my work. That can be a hard thing for some makers/artists to work out in their heads, and as with most things it only gets easier the more you do it. I would encourage those out there who are curious about selling their own wares at craft fairs to give it a try! It can be kind of scary and intimidating at first, but there are great resources out there to help you prepare for your big day. I would also encourage makers out there who have tried fairs and feel like they were a big failure, to try again, but first scrutinize what it is you're doing and look for the holes. Could your merchandising be better? Could you offer a more diverse price range of products? Do you need to work on your salesmanship? Or maybe you need to try a different type of event? 

I make that last point about trying events again even if you've already tried and felt like it was a miserable failure because generally most of us makers who look like a "big success" have had countless events that were BIG TIME FAILURES. Myself included. When I said at the beginning of this post that I got started selling at fairs 10 years ago, that time span is what it is because I first got started, vended for a couple of years at events and then realized that I needed and wanted to pull back out of events until I figured a lot out about my brand. I took two years off from selling (but continued to sell on Etsy and on consignment at a limited number of shops) and then re-entered the world of fairs and events much more prepared. But even then it was still a very bumpy ride. 

I'm writing this post because after yesterday's Temescal Street Fair I'm feeling very buoyed up by all of the compliments and general love for Tangleweeds. And I've been meaning to write about vending at fairs for quite some time. I'm also considering putting together an e-course of sorts all about vending at fairs. Over the years I've been approached by many fellow makers seeking advice on this topic. As I mentioned earlier, I think there are some great resources out there already that cover this arena, but I think that many of these resources fall short of covering many common scenarios. Or I might turn it into a blog series. Not sure just yet, just something percolating in the background of my mind while I work on production for the Renegade Craft Fair

In the meantime, happy Monday everyone!