Pricing and Buying details are almost all up!

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-5-39-21-pm“How do we buy?” has been a question that loads of people have been asking, and here is the short answer: On each photo there is a description, price, email contact for enquires, and a unique code number. This is nearly complete thankfully, and we are really getting there at last!

This has been a super slow process for us with our health, but seeing our stock on the web site and all the love that has gone into making all those pieces over the years, we are feeling super proud of ourselves. People are already buying (thank you thank you thank you!!!) but as the photos get loaded from my phone from bed, they don’t go up with details on each photo; I have to wait for another day, another small dose of energy, and get onto the laptop and slowly key in details, prices, codes etc. So please bear with us … we are chipping away and we are almost there.

And even better… although we will still be adding things up until Market Day (November 14th), the bulk of the things are up and ready. So below is a quick link to the album of products, please feel free if you don’t want to buy anything, to comment, share and promote our page (only if you like it and/or love us that is…)

Love Jenn & Julie xxx

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Jenn & Julie Facebook Shopping Page.

 

Being Transparent about my Health

Time to put it all out there. I have always tried hard to be transparent about where I am at and what I am doing, and it is tough to find the balance between coming across as going on about my issues and being as real as I possibly can be. But I am really struggling at the moment with my health issues and it is time to make a whole new level of changes.

I thought that I had this whole thing kinda nailed… well, as nailed as one can get with a permanent, debilitating, painful, life sucking condition anyway. I am learning the hard way to stick to my routine, and I am working hard on eating well, getting “enough” sleep (it will be never be enough and nor will I ever catch up on the thousands of hours of lost sleep that I have lost in my life, but I’m doing the best I can), and I am learning to say no on a major scale. I am actually super proud of myself.

But I am also learning things like I need to let go of stuff. That was easy (ish) when I had to let go of unhealthy relationships, release myself from obligations that I was drowning under without knowing it, and when I learnt to stop putting my body through movement that only landed up in pain. It was less easy to let go of words like “should” and “ought” and to give myself permission to stop trying to carry a life load that healthy people carry and not feel guilty, ….but I think that I am getting there.

I thought that this last year was tough but rewarding and I am immensely proud of my emotional, spiritual and even physical energy growth that I have achieved the past year. But here I am again at a whole new layer…

I used to be an artist. I guess I still am, and being able to spend a few hours each week creating things is hugely therapeutic for me and I pray that at some level I will always be able to do that. One of my greatest fears has always been to lose my hands and/or my sight. I am not quite there yet, but I am realising anew that I am close, and that if I don’t start giving up more of my art then I am going to damage my hands even more quickly and I won’t be able to do any of it.

This is soul destroying stuff!

But if I want to continue to work with lovely soft clay and create small gentle things like paint and a few other gentle things that I can handle then I need to let go of the things that tax my hands and damage them. Sadly sewing is one of them. In good faith and with a strong business a few years ago I have built up a stock of amazing quilting fabrics from all over the world. It is worth a fortune and many of the fabrics are stunning. And of course they have never been used. I bought them because I was selling them in my classes and with my kits.

But as my health failed I lost my business (quite a few years ago) and this last month I have come to realise that I will never be going back to it. This is a hugely heart breaking decision for me, but as I no longer have the business I don’t have a business to sell. And businesses who want to buy my stock want to take advantage of my situation and give me peanuts to take it off my hands.

So now I am learning to ask for help and this week and next I will be working through the process of:

  • Preparing for a working Bee where friends who have offered will spend some time physically sorting it all out for me. They will cut, sort, iron and fold, then all I have to do is colour match and put piles together that make great packages of fabric. Then they will package them for me to be sold.
  • Working out pricing. This is going to be tough because I will never get back the money that I have spent, but I don’t want people taking advantage of my situation and paying me peanuts either. This will not be a profit making exercise but it will hopefully free up my stock and give me back some of what I have spent.
  • Photographing them and getting them on the Facebook Page that my dear friend Julie and I had been running for our business for a few years but has now been stripped of all the classes and so on and it will now be a place for me to sell these things.
  • Pray hard that this works and we sell things quickly! A handful of people have offered to buy a dozen or so packs from me that they are sure their own friends will buy, so those kind of “bulk” sales will take a huge amount of work off my plate.
  • I still need to keep learning to be brave and ask for help. This is a big one for me but I simply cannot do it alone, so I’m asking now…

How can you help? I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, but if they are behind me then there are a few quick things that they can do:

  • Simply by sharing and liking this post, this blog, the Facebook Page and so on, then that will be a HUGE help! I will keep you all updated on the project as we go 🙂
  • Have some patience as this is going to take a lot out of me the next few weeks to get everything up and running, so please don’t just like and never come back…
  • IF you can think of anyone who would love some fabric packs, yarn and bead packs, anything that we put up in the next couple of weeks (they can be a quilter, an artist, or simply creative, the packs will be around the $10 – $12 mark), then they will make great gifts, stocking fillers etc, so buy for them or send them our way (or both!). Maybe you would even like to take on bunch of packs and sell them for me to take a huge load off me…
  • I am open to any and all ideas to help clear the stock and take a huge emotional and physical load of me… I will hopefully always make very small quantities of bits and pieces, but nor more sewing and none of the big stuff.

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November Christmas online Market!

img_6909This November we will be having what will hopefully be the first of many online markets. The first question that people are asking us is “how does it work?”, and the second is “how is that different to any other kind of online selling?”

Hopefully these answer all your questions:

  • We plan on working in cycles to take the pressure off ourselves to constantly product new things, so we will let you know market dates ahead of time, as we are able to run them (e.g. November Christmas Market is from November 14th-16th 2016 will be the first one.
  • All items for sale will be on the Jenn & Julie Facebook Page.
  • In the weeks leading up to each market we will be posting pics of everything that is for sale, with prices and details.
  • As you have probably seen on some of the pics, people can buy at any time, but depending on details we may not get to mail them out until Market Week (but often can before then).
  • The advantage to waiting until market week is that you will then see everything that is up for grabs, …the disadvantage is that they might be gone by then.
  • If you are interested in anything just email either Jenn or Julie, depending on which email is on the pic, (and it doesn’t hugely matter if you would rather email one of us that you know)
  • Please feel free to ask for details on dimensions or weight too…
  • We take cash or paypal, and we post all over the world.
  • All our market items are lightweight and not very fragile other than the pottery which is not too heavy and we can talk about postage options when you enquire about them.
  • Having a market online as apposed to “real life” means that all our friends and customers around the world can access us.
  • Having it on a set group of dates gives us a deadline to get things ready, and a timeframe in which to send the orders out. (There is also a bit of a community feel about the lead up and conversations, and something to look forward to). We both have serious health issues and these markets allow us to tackle a single market at a time without having to commit to anything permanent. Our aim is to have a market every couple of months, but sometimes we might need a little extra time when things are tough.

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Our Studios…

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 6.03.41 PMFor those of you who haven’t seen our studios, here is Jenn’s in a rare moment of tidiness (plus some of our work spaces and work tables )… There are always a number of projects happening at the same time, and so there is no such thing as spotless but at the same time we need access to all manner of things at any moment in time and so while “organised chaos” may sound like or may even be for some, an oxymoron, …for us it is a workable necessity that there is apparent chaos that we NEED to keep organised. Jenn no longer teaches but continues to make a limited number of pieces of art both for private use and for sale on the virtual Markets that we run every 6-8 weeks on the Facebook Page.

Julie’s Soul Food Studio is exactly that; …food for our souls anyway, and home to many of our creations. Julie still does some classes both in Silver Clay and in Glass fusing and slumping. Classes are run as needed by private arrangement and each one runs for 3-4hrs. The rest of the time Julie, like Jenn, works in her own amazing “organised chaos” studio, where her kiln lives which means that often both the girls spend the day creating here. Julie also makes many pieces for sale and for private use, and between us we love and are fed by each other, the world around us, … and our creative space which is filled with endless possibilities.

Setting up our Market

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The two of us have been making, teaching, creating and selling our stuff for many years, and as both of us have faced some pretty massive health challenges recently we have decided that we need a better way to sell our things. A shop is simply not an option, and the immediacy of something like Etsy where we are expected to produce, post and deliver on the spot, will likely leave both ourselves and our customers frustrated. (we are not closed to this idea so watch this space next year some time). But in the mean time we need something different.

A market every 6-8 weeks would be ideal but as many of our fans live around the world and we no longer have the physical ability to spend all day setting up a market, we have decided to try the idea of an on line market. Over the next few weeks we will be putting up photos and prices on all our stuff for sale, and then early to mid November (we will let you know exact dates by the end of this week) we will have a virtual market for lack of a better work, over a three day period where we will both be processing orders and posting them out. So keep an eye out on our Facebook page (just click on the link), and if you see something that you like, then simply email us (there will be an email address on each photo to contact which ever one of us made it) and we will respond as soon as we can to arrange payment and postage. As simple as that!

Chess Set

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Last Year I made a breakfast bar with a chess set painted on the top and a set of chess pieces out of Polymer Clay. For all kinds of complicated reasons, mostly my failing health, I didn’t quite finish and just need to make the two Queens entirely and the white King still needs his crown. So this has been waiting in the side lines but as part of the catch up I thought that I would put up photos anyway and hopefully that will be a reminder to finish those last two pieces. I am trying to finish as many projects as possible that I was not able to touch last year, for my own piece of mind as much as anything…

New Stuff…

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I know, not a very imaginative heading but I am trying to get pics up on here so that we can catch up AND keep doing what we do and there are only so many hours in a day and for both of us that isn’t too many hours that we are allowed to work. We both need to pace ourselves for health reasons and we both are finding it really difficult to learn how to balance rest and work. We LOVE what we do and it is vitally important for our souls and well beings, which in turn is also good for our health…

Balance balance balance… I am yet to find someone who has truly found balance everything in their lives…

(By the way, yes those glass tiles in there have nothing to do with jewellery .. see what happens when I rush! Haha… but I am not going to redo that … and anyway, we do use a lot of glass in our mixed medium works of art however, and we made these glass tiles by the way.. from scratch so we are pretty proud of them… and they will be used in upcoming tiled mosaic projects so watch this space!…

 

Fabricated Mosaics

Julie and I have to confess that we both have a MAJOR problem in life… we love, just love, going against the rules and stretching limits when it comes to creating things, and we love making things from multi mediums, with a ton of variety and a ton of colour. This might not sound very dramatic but it means not only that we have some failures along the way (and some amazing triumphs) but that we often work blind, with much of the way forward  a little like hard work, forging the way ourselves. This is challenging but rewarding, but sometimes is extremely frustrating because when we ask people for help or advice  who are more expert in any one field than we are, in general they are often horrified and tell us that it can’t be done.

Jack of many trades and an expert in nothing” would have been a good way to describe either of us in our youth, but with decades of experience now under our belts, and some pretty decent qualifications in everything from Silver Smithing and Clay, Polymer and Fibres, we have been good girls and done what we were told in each field and continuing to set our own path and have a blast along the way … (which includes more than a little laughter I am pleased to say).

There is nothing quite like working another person, and we build off each other in ways that even today blow both of us away! (I know, just because we are both astounded doesn’t mean that it is really anything amazing, but we think it is haha).

Through the summer we did a lot of fabric dying and had a ball, we made candles and at the moment we are doing a lot with the mixed medium stuff including paintings and jewellery using lots of fabrics from wool to cotton to any other fibre we can think of. So here are a few:

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Catch Up!

We have been so busy that we haven’t had time to update the blog, so here are a handful of things that we have been doing recently… some of them feel like they are “old” but they aren’t that old really, just never made onto the web site. I will go into more detail on anything that I post now if you would like to just send me a message on jenny.julie.clay@gmail.com but in the meantime here are some more collages of our goings on ….

Today it is some shelves for the bathroom and bedroom (and I didn’t mean to but I see that the collage features both my favourite inside mug and my favourite working mug haha)…

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How to Use the Gift Pack!

Time for a few tutorials 🙂

This is one is for the Gift Pack which is the third pack of colouring packs that I made. Like all three packs, they are not printed on paper, but rather on card stock, and so what you colour can be used for greeting cards and gift tags!

There are 10 pages in the Gift Pack, 4 contain 2 note cards each for a total of 8 notecards, and 6 each contain 4 gift tags, for a total of 24 gift tags, half rectangle and half tear drop. Every one is a different design.

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For the note cards, cut the sheet of card stock in half one ONE side of the line.

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Then turn it around and cut along the other side of the line 🙂

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You should land up with a thin strip of card with a black line through the middle 🙂

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You will land up with 2 halves that each look like this:

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Each card is then folded easily in half matching the corners:

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They may need to be trimmed so that the edge is that same on both sides of the design (if you would like to be precise):

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The gift tags are more simple but on a basic level just cut each one out, … I will do a tutorial with more cutting options next week 🙂 …ENJOY your packs and happy colouring!

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