Important Brown Dog Studio Tidbits

Monday, January 31, 2011

adding shows and working on blog!

This week, I have an impressive list of charms and silver in the works (I've got a LIST!), but my BIG goal is to add all of my upcoming shows to the "Where can you find me" category on the sidebar of the blog. I think that I've chosen all of the shows for outside of the studio, but I'm still putting finishing touches on my calendar for open studio dates...

In addition to "regular" studio hours on Thursdays (just remember to check the blog before you make the trip!), I'm thinking that one evening and one Saturday per month would be perfect. Once more outside shows pop up, I'll have to make those my open Saturdays.

Also...I am going to make special orders more user-friendly.

The best way to order from Brown Dog Studio is to visit me in person, during open hours, a craft/art show, or a Private Trunk Show, BUT...orders have always been available via e-mail. Because there has to be some form of communication to make a special order happen, I won't be having an actual website, but am adding pages to the blog with photos and details in the categories of SiLVER, PhOto ChaRms, and ExIstiNg JeweLry. I hope to have these up and running for helpful ideas within the next few weeks.

I can't wait to hear what you think!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Open House...more details and PHOTOS!

...remember the open house begins tomorrow at the studio. I'll stay open on Friday from 10-8 (thanks Ruthie for bringing my kiddos home!)
...more NEW initials
...and MORE...+ some fun new hearts...
...AND my newest fairies...the candy HEART fairy! These ladies join their winged-friends in the studio.
I sent e-mails to anyone who had finished orders waiting...
Lisa W...a charm and silver
Gina B...a photo charm
Amie H...charms and silver
Kari...a silver disk
Carrie...2 round photo charms
Debbie...a VERY special fairy
Candy T...a photo charm
Michelle B...some special order goodies
Tanith...VERY special silver and photo charms
Robin...I've already spoken to you :)
Stacey...2 pieces of silver from before Christmas
Margo...a wonderful necklace
Kerry D...your ornaments
If your name isn't here and you're expecting something to be ready...e-mail me lickety-split!
See you Friday 10-8 (I'll be open now for the whole time, and my family will bring me dinner!) and Saturday 10-3.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Open House (smile!)

You can stop by Friday January 28 (10-3 and 5-8) and Saturday January 29 (10-3). If you've never been to one of the studio shows and need the location, please feel free to e-mail me!
I've been busy over the past 2 weeks...I have so many new pretties in the studio, and the Open House this week will be the first chance to shop for them! Here is a sampling...
...and here's one of several trays ready to be sorted onto the tables! Lots of glitter this time around. I also have oodles of special orders ready to be picked up during the show...I will post all of your names on Thursday so you know for SURE it's ready, but I believe that everyone who had their orders in by last week should be on that list!

shh...a surprise for blog followers (the e-mail invites didn't have this tidbit!)...
The first 10 purchases on both Friday and Saturday who mention "I just LOVE your blog!" receive a lucky-ducky prize with their purchase. I will be including anything from a free glass charm, polishing pads, beadies, and who KNOWS what Lucy and I will put in the little grab bags.

Now I'm off to finish my creations of the day.

Monday, January 17, 2011

adding on-line shopping...

"My Heart Belongs To & Initial" Necklace
"Loved and Blessed" Necklace
"A Spoonful of Sugar and Spice" Necklace
"My Heart Sparkles" Necklace
"Heart-in-a-Bubble" Bracelet

Big change for this week...I've finally filled my Big Cartel Shop. If you look at the sidebar of the blog, you'll see a link to the shop.

I will be offering 5 items in the shop each month. Most of these items can be purchased multiple times...they won't "sell out" unless I specify that they are in limited supply or one-of-a-kinds :)

You may (A) purchase these pretties on-line. I'll mail single/multiple items via a $5 Priority Mailer. If you choose to (B) make your purchase in-person, you must contact me via e-mail and be able to pay for and pick it up during one of my scheduled open times throughout that month, either most Thursdays (10-2), Open House, or Private Trunk Shows. I plan to reserve use of my front porch drop-box for photos and gift-is-on-the-way cards.

It was quite the decision to narrow my selection to 5 items... ;P

Question...I figured out how to add new header to my blog until I find/create a banner I really like for my studio. I've been playing with seasonal changes. Do you think this works, or should I stick to something more permanent?

Monday, January 10, 2011

NEW in the Studio...

So excited to be back to creating...although it's very funny that the very day of my scheduled return, my children are home for a snow day!
This post is about how I plan to make the studio work even BETTER this year :)

Some things have worked really well...
My Schedule on the sidebar...LOVE this! Hope you do too...I'll be adding my spring show dates over the next 2 weeks; I just finalized hours and days for my January Open House.
Open studio hours...keeping them from 10-2 most Thursdays. I'm no longer asking you to phone or e-mail ahead to make sure I'm here...I'm going to use this blog to keep my hours updated on a weekly basis. PLEASE check the sidebar of my blog to make certain we don't miss each other, just in case I have a sick child or a trip to the dentist (that would be very bad!). Please double-check my blog if there are weather conditions...I won't be able to have my "snow removal team" (husband and son) at my disposal on some early Thursdays!
Private Trunk Shows...These will be the ONLY times I'll be able to open the studio, outside of my Thursday hours, Open Houses, and outside shows. I schedule these for groups of 5+ family-friends-coworkers. I don't recommend groups larger than 10 because you won't have enough time with me for special orders, and that's the point, right?

Some studio changes...
I plan to work much more via e-mail, rather than by phone or non-Thursday/non-show-dates drop-ins, to give me more WORKING time!
ONE EVENING A MONTH in studio. If I'm having an Open House, that's probably my one evening. I'll post these over in my sidebar :)
In order to keep up with all of my ideas for new pretties in the studio, as well as my regular line-up of special orders, I won't be able to promise items ready more quickly than 2 weeks.
Giveaways...I LOVE when my nice friends comment on the studio BLOG or Facebook. If you like to do this...keep it up. But not everyone is comfortable adding their, give-aways will begin again, but will often be a special little something for those who visit me that week, or a surprise shopping day, or something pretty you need to claim at one of my shows over the course of that month.
New way to shop...I've opened a Big Cartel Shop, with the sole purpose of adding it to the sidebar of my Blog. My thought is to have 5 items available each month. They may be seasonal/special in nature. Some of these items could be customized (as noted), some would be ready to mail, as-is, no changes. The nature of the BC Shop is for me to mail the purchases; great for a gift or you out-of-town friends. But you could also e-mail me (instead of completing the on-line purchase) to pay for/pick it up on Thursday, my show that month, without shipping charges. I hope to choose this month's 5 items by next Monday, but really, the choice is very difficult...hmmm!

Friday, January 7, 2011

here's some of my vacation fun!

If you know me, you know my love of LISTS...

I'd promised my family a long break from the studio...and it was full of gathering family and friends, lazy mornings, celebrating the Real Gift of Christmas...

But I confess that I had PLANS which included lots of fun, non-studio projects :)

I forgot to take photos of all of the goodies the kids and I made...cake balls (YUM! Only make these when you have LOTS of parties/people to give these to, and preferably a great-Lucy helper), caramel corn (made Christmas Eve, after Mass, the Fam in pjs, waiting to open gifts...I had a last-minute "brilliant idea," which took about 45 minutes, thanks to fellow-blogger Jeanne...her recipe, NOT her idea to pause gift-time!), and both frosted and rootbeer cookies (Anders' fave).

But here's where the pioneer-theme comes into play...none of these are new skills for me, but they've been on the back-burner for awhile.
A huge pot of Caramel-Spice Apple Butter...I panicked when I couldn't find the recipe, but remembered the last time I made it was LAST December with our 4H girls. This is Lucy's favorite.
Anders has been asking for pomegranate jelly for ages...he's now a very happy camper, but it was hard to find just-pomegranate juice this time. I've officially used up all of my reserve jars making these 20+ jars of apple and pom spreads.

The last time I made soap was over 5 years ago, and I've wanted to do this ever since I found my soaping journal last summer. It was sweet to read the careful notes I'd taken, the plans I'd made for future soaps...I decided for this soap adventure to follow the already-taken-path, and made repeat the molds, ready to cut...Lavender-castille, heavy on the olive oil ; just poured...Double-mint Wake-up soap! Next in the line-up...White Vanilla and Poppy seed, Warm Vanilla and Oat, and Lemon Flip! (photo actually shows the few remainders of my past soaps; definitely time to make more! The new ones will have to cure for at least a month!)
Finally, knitting...I had promised Anders a pair of felted wool slippers, and lo and behold ! I had enough yarn in my bin to make at least 10 pairs (okay, maybe 20!). His are knit, felted and ready to warm his tootsies, and the first of a new pair for Lucy (she's grown in 3 years!) is on my double-pointed needles. The pre-felted slippers are so funny to see...seriously, they look like a large elf hat. The washer makes the magic, and I hadn't made these since I got my front-loader...the verdict is in...front-loader is even easier!
It's been fun sharing non-studio news with you...I'll be back to work in the studio on Monday. Look for a few changes on the blog, more frequent updates, especially for Thursday Open Studio Hours, a list of upcoming shows to start appearing, and a NEW way to shop รก la Brown Dog.
I'll be ready to see you :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

enjoying some time with family...

We've been enjoying a lot of family-time in the Long Household during my promised vacation...

...4 hosted Gatherings of family and friends
...lots of lazy mornings (William and Todd are up by 6:30 every morning, despite vacations days, and the rest of us are out of bed by 7:30 or 8, but they are pajama mornings!)
...time spent figuring out the Wii Santa dropped by on Christmas, fun non-studio craft projects getting finished (I'm planning to post pictures by the end of this week)...think pioneer-worthy, without any of the hardships!

I'll be back in the studio, beginning January 10. I'll start working on orders that I took right before vacation, as well as trying to keep up with all of my NEW ideas. I'll also be posting some new studio hours, the first open house of 2011, and opening up dates for Private Trunk Shows.

Happy New Year to YOU, and more on Friday...