OWG and Shipwreck Beads

Yesterday I gave a talk on “Online Selling” to the Olympia Weaver’s Guild.  What a great group of women!  I got to sit through their show-and-tell before the talk and found myself getting inspired by all the wonderful things folks held up and talked about: amazing knit fish, a window curtain from recycled plastic, a coat with fringe on the sleeve, vintage kente cloth, and a knit sweater with woven strips (and much, much more.)

This was the first time I’d given a talk on this particular subject and thus was a bit nervous (was the talk too technical? too basic?)  The audience was perfect, however.  I quizzed the audience before I began and of the 30ish people in the room, nearly all were considering selling their handwovens online, and only two were already doing so.  (I quizzed them again at the end, and 15 or so indicated thay they were now encouraged to actually go ahead and give online selling a try.)

If there’s interest in online selling or the business of selling your handwovens, please leave a comment on this blog post.  There already are two great “business” articles on the site: Photographing Your Work by Daryl Lancaster and How Much? Pricing Handwovens by Nadine Sanders.  And if there’s enough interest in weaving-to-sell, I’ll publish more.

After the talk, I treated myself to a stop by Shipwreck Beads.  This place is HUGE.  These pictures (taken with my humble cell phone camera) cannot do it justice.

shipwreck beads outside

shipwreck beads inside

shipwreck beads checkout line
In the 1980s, I worked for Tropic Jewel in Madison, Wisconsin I manned the retail counters, helped customers design and build necklaces, did mail-order fulfillment.  It was the perfect twenty-something slacker job.  Low pay, but fun co-workers and surrounded by beautiful glittery things all day.  That was where I first learned about Shipwreck Beads, our store did business with them, and so yesterday felt like the end of a very slow pilgrimage.

It was a bit overwhelming, actually.  If you go, plan to stay the day.  You don’t even have to pack a lunch, because they have a café right there in the store.  The store is pirate themed, which adds additional fun.  I’m planning to go back with Eric and Kai, both of whom like the glittery stuff, too.  I think it’d be a fun family outing.

Laura Fry asked me on Twitter what I bought.  I was quite restrained, considering the kind of wildness that a place like Shipwreck Beads encourages.  I bought a knotting tool that I needed to make birthday presents for my Mom, 8mm bead strands for the same project, a cheap flocked disc to hold beads… and the find of the day:

Magnetized Hematite Beads!  (So cool, they had to be capitalized.)

hematite beads

They even come in three colors: natural black-grey, silver coating, and iris coating.  I can’t tell you how hard these rocked my world.  Best of all, they were inexpensive ($2.95 for a 16” strand of natural-colored 8mm beads.)  I’m not sure yet what these are going to become, but my mind is churning away with ideas!

Last night Kai and I worked together on my Mom’s necklaces.  He strung the beads and I did the knotting.

beaded necklaces

Those are 8mm round beads, strung and knotted on Griffin silk cord #10, finished length about 30-32″, no clasp.  One necklace is rose quartz, one is rose quartz and Peruvian pink opal interleaved, the blue-green one is kyanite.

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