May 27, 2009

Bazaar Bizarre at Maker Faire


We're packing up today to get ready for our long drive down to San Mateo for the Bazaar Bizarre at Maker Faire! We're leaving tomorrow, which means there's a lot of scrambling around to make sure we have everything. Luckily, only one glass broke in the process! (I accidentally dropped another pint glass inside this one from about half a foot in the air. It really takes a lot of impact to break one of these, but it makes an impressive "pop" when it happens.)

We're bringing our most popular pint glass designs, plus the new, unreleased Cassette Love design. We'll also have shot glasses, soap dispensers, hand-engraved necklaces on clearance, tons of fused glass accessories, and other tidbits of etchy goodness. This is a great opportunity to grab some Father's Day gifts and not have to pay for shipping!

The Maker Faire runs for two full days, and has tons of amazing creative things to see and interact with. I highly recommend bringing the whole family down!

If you're not lucky enough to be in the Bay area this weekend, you can still order Father's Day gifts from our website our Etsy shop, and we'll make them and ship them when we return at the beginning of June.

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May 20, 2009

Slide-Top Tins!

I almost couldn't contain my excitement over this new project, so I feel like I've been holding my breath until now! Months ago, I got some adorable little slide-top tins from my friend, Lea, who runs a supply shop. I'm sure you've seen these little guys around, usually with gorgeous washi paper adorning their tops.

I didn't really have a use for mine when I bought them, but I've held onto them anyway, waiting for inspiration to strike. Just last week, I thought we should try sandblasting one just to see what would happen. I'm so stunned by the result, that I had to make a little video of the tin to show you!

video


Not only could I use these for packaging my new earrings, but I could also customize them for other crafty-people. I could do logos, product names (for lip balms and such) or just keep doing my own designs. What do you think? :D

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May 19, 2009

Updates, Trademarks, and trying to keep up


Sean and I had a great time at the Alberta Art Hop on Saturday! We got to sit out in the sun and warm weather, relaxing and talking to friends and customers. What a great time! Check out my friend Lea's blog for some great pictures of the event. Scroll down to see her fantastic friend John with one of my mustache pint glasses!!

When I got home from the Art Hop, I discovered I had two new things. One was a nasty head cold that is still making life unpleasant, but the second thing was my official paperwork for my trademark filing for Bread and Badger®. *squeal!* See that? I get to use the ® symbol now! I'm going to be updating my website and everything else I can think of now.


I'm still working on this Press Release tutorial, and I'm hoping to have it available online by the end of the week, or at least by the end of the month (since I need some people to proof-read it for me first). Stay tuned for more info on how to win a free copy!

I loved getting feedback from everyone about how to sell my new "chiclet" fused glass jewelry pieces, and I'll be taking photos of them today. We have better earwires now (sterling silver kidney wires that close in the backs so they won't fall out!), bobby pins, and mini pendants. Expect to see them in our Etsy shop this week!

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Advertise with us!


Some of you have noticed the little ad boxes I put up on the right-hand sidebar recently, and you're already bidding on the space through Project Wonderful. Yay! Thank you.

I just wanted to say that the decision to put ads on the site was a pretty tough one. I never wanted my blog to feel commercial, or have annoying distractions all over the place. I started this blog to share my interests with other people, and to have a little discussion place for the business stuff that Bread and Badger is always doing. I value my readers' opinions, and if you guys feel like the ads are a bad idea, then I'll be happy to remove them.

With that said, I'd like to say that I think the Project Wonderful ads are a cool way for me to promote (and learn about!) other artisans. I don't set the prices of the boxes, since they're on a first-come-first-served auction basis and you set your own prices. As I'm writing this, the ad box sits at $0, so those lovely folks are getting to advertise for free. How cool is that? :)

If you'd like to place a bid on one or both of the ad boxes, just click the link at the bottom that says "your ad here, right now" and they'll walk you through it. You'll need a Project Wonderful account, and an image that is 125 px by 125 px (I'm not accepting animated ads at this time). I strongly recommend bidding on at least a week at a time, since your ad could get bumped off in the first few moments that it shows up if someone out-bids you, but it could come back on the site later in the week as other's bids expire.

Also, I'm approving each ad individually to make sure I don't get anything innapropriate, and it may take a few hours for me to approve your bid. A lot of people are only bidding on a few hours of time, and never showing up on the site because it's expired by the time I see your bid. Remember that advertising is only effective with repetition, so try bidding on a larger chunk of time if you want people to see your ad.

[The photo above is from the Portland Farmers Market from two weekends ago. It was so sunny and beautiful!]

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May 15, 2009

Alberta Art Hop


Sean's parents have been visiting us from Florida for the first time this week, and we've been seeing the sights all over Oregon! We've really enjoyed showing them around our new city, plus the Gorge, the coast, Mt Hood, and a day trip down to Corvallis (to meet an author friend that's just written a book on climate change). We've been eating amazing food everywhere we go, and I don't know how we'll adjust to our normal lives once they leave!

They're heading out tomorrow, which is just as well, since we'll be attending the Alberta Art Hop. I'm excited to do this fun street fair because it's a great way to hang out with some artist friends in the beautiful weather! Come down to Alberta St and see us and a bunch of new products (we'll be at 28th).

We'll have new jewelry and bobby pins, plus unreleased pint glass designs like Cassette Love, a Snail, a Hen and a Mermaid. See them before they're online!

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May 12, 2009

Now Available...


We just found out that we've been accepted into the Renegade Craft Fair in San Fransisco this July!! This will be our second drive down the coast, since we'll also be at the Bazaar Bizarre at the Maker Fair at the end of May.

If you're not on the west coast, you can look for our glassware at the upcoming Female Art Collective shop in Louisville, KY. This is going to be a great artist collection (plus, one of the founding members has fantastic jewelry), and our first account in the south. If you're in their area, you should go to their launch party--there will be cupcakes! (Click the image below to read the details.)

Thanks to everyone who's voted on the poll for our new chiclet glass accessories! You can vote for more than one product (in the poll on the right sidebar), to give us an idea what you'd like to see us make. We love your feedback!

Visit these webpages for more info on our upcoming events, or see our Where to Buy page for other shops and events:
http://breadandbadger.com/where.html
http://renegadecraft.com/
http://www.bazaarbizarre.org/sanfrancisco/
http://www.myspace.com/femaleartcollective

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May 9, 2009

Teal


I've been working on making lots of tiny little "chiclet" glass pieces (remember those little colorful pillow-squares of gum that you could get from a vending machine for 25 cents??). They're so fun! I just got this great new teal color, which I've been using a lot since I ran out of blue, green and tomato red. I'm waiting for more glass to come in, and I'm replacing the cyan blue with a slightly more rich turquoise color.

My question to all of you lovely people is--What should I do with them? I'm making them into earrings (for about $20 a pair) and adjustable rings (for $10-12). The larger pendants I've been making are kind of hefty, so I'm thinking maybe I could turn some of these little guys into mini-pendants for about $10. Would you like that? I can also put them on sturdy bobby-pin style hairclips.

I don't want to have too many new items, but variety is the spice of life. I'm putting a poll on the sidebar (to the right) so you can tell me about your favorite colorful accessories! Let me know what you want to see!

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May 5, 2009

Annie Dyer Pottery


At the guild gallery in Portland recently, I discovered a few local artists whose work I really liked. Annie Dyer is one such artist, creating glossy, organic pottery pieces that resemble polished burl wood. I'm always impressed when one art form can mimic another, and this is a good example of that.

Not all pieces look like wood, but they all incorporate a non-glossy, organic texture. I'm not sure how she creates this effect, but I love it!

Annie has an especially appealing sake and sushi set that I really want. Check out her website and shop for her lovely ceramics around Oregon.

[www.anniedyer.com]

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Getting Press for Your Online Business

I taught a little workshop last week on how to get press for your online shop by writing press releases. There was a lot of interest in the contents of this workshop from people who couldn't attend in person, since most people don't know how to contact media people with a modern press release.

I decided that instead of passing around the two pages of class notes that I had, I would turn them into a much longer document. This document will become a much more comprehensive ebook that I'll sell for less than $10 as a PDF file.

I thought I could get this put together in a day or two after the workshop (since I started out with about 7 pages of material!), but it's taking longer to flesh out all the ideas and add graphics. After I get it all together, I'll also need some friends to proof-read it for me before it's sale-worthy. I've already got some friends lined up to do my final editing, and I'll keep you all up to date on the status of the ebook as it gets closer to publication.

Once it's finished, I'm going to be giving away two copies for free! There will be instructions for entering the giveaway here on the blog, and also through Twitter. There's also a new widget on the sidebar you may have noticed, which publishes my Twitter feed here as well. Check back to get the rules for entry. If you have an online business, you'll definitely want to learn how to get free publicity for it!

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May 2, 2009

Blog Layout Update

Even though I have lots of other work to do, it's hard not to do something fun on the weekends. And by "fun", I mean "completely update and/or redesign this blog layout".

I'm trying to make the page load faster, and match my website a little closer. There will be experiments. They may not work. If things look weird for a while, this is why. But I'm trying to make it better! :)

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