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Thursday, June 11, 2015

DIY Drying Rack, Overthinking, Etsy Motivation

Monday it was 104 degrees here and today it's been raining all day.  California Junes can be fickle.

Here's my latest contraption for applying sealant to small pieces.

Styrofoam, bamboo skewers cut in half, scotch tape, and cheap base metal headpins.  I don't even have to remove the pieces to dunk them into the small vial of Protectaclear.

I will say, however, I'm not fond of the two ways I've tried to apply the Protectaclear.  I've read many online instructions and am still less than 100% satisfied.

If I brush the liquid on with either a brush or sponge, it leaves streak marks.  If I dunk the piece into the liquid, it pools at the bottom of the piece no matter how long I babysit it by sitting there wiping the accumulation of liquid.

Sorry if I sound whiny.

Anyway, decided against turning these pieces into a bracelet (particularly since there are still three or four somewhere around the workroom -- after being shot into hyperspace by my JoolTool and now residing in that twilight zone with other missing jewelry pieces).  I will make the disks into earrings and move on.

Now might be a good time to discuss overthinking.  Because I do spend a lot of time worrying (I'd like to say thinking, but the reality is it's worrying) about ... everything?

I worry the metal will tarnish or oxidize too quickly.  I worry if I put a sealant, it will wear off and look even worse.  I worry that customers won't get "import tax" or "natural metal oxidation" or "international shipping times" and I'll be blamed for all these things.

I worry that every piece of jewelry I sell will be returned to me.  In 15 years I've only had one return and it wasn't even much of a return.  A wire-wrapped earring unwrapped a bit and the problem was solved... the customer still had the earrings in the end... so it was a quasi-return.


Let's start with this article.  That is the humorous (while still true) side of overthinkers.  Here's an excerpt:  "We’re not insecure control freaks, we just think. A lot. I mean you don’t have to call us back right away when you’re out, but just know that our mind is playing out a bunch of horrible scenarios in which you’ve cheated. Or died. That’s right, if we reach your voicemail, we can’t help but consider that you might not be alive."

This is a less humorous article about the problem.  Here's an excerpt: "I hate not being in control of a situation or myself, or not knowing the outcome. I get scared and can totally induce a panic attack without even trying. I imagine bad things that will probably never happen and analyze everything beyond recognition."

Any of that sound familiar?  If so, I sadly welcome you to my family (my family being that place in my head that I want to work on).

The advice given to overthinkers ("live in the moment", "don't worry", "sh*t happens") is well-intentioned and may even make perfect sense, but putting those replacement thoughts into action isn't easy by a long shot.

I've made myself a personal reminder piece of jewelry.  I think if I can just remind myself, even randomly to start with, to slow down or to be more present or more in the moment.... I mean, at least it's a reminder.

Even if I'm still overthinking, I've got to start somewhere.  So just a reminder, once a day if possible would be better than nothing.

And who knows, maybe eventually it could become habit... to stop my thoughts in their tracks, take a deep breath, and indeed slow down and think about NOW instead of five minutes from now, five days from now, five years from now.

So yeah, what should I call my new line of "reminder" jewelry?  Got any ideas?

And now onto the random information section...

Improve Your Etsy Shop

This video was brought to my attention recently (I spend a lot of time visiting various online forums and discussion groups... there's a lot of great info being shared out there).

I did watch the whole video and what she says makes sense and although it's a long video (in my book) she does get right to the points so I'm passing it along to you.

If you like that one, check out her video called "How to get noticed and increase traffic on Etsy".

And here's an article I want to pass along.  The tagline is: "No excuses, no laziness, no comparisons"

While the author tells it like it is in a "beating you upside the head with a wet washcloth" kind of feel, I think his words are wise and should be heeded if you aren't yet succeeding on Etsy (or anywhere you're trying to sell).  The days of "if you build it, they will come" are a thing of the past.

New Laura Jewelry

And for a sudden derailment of any cohesive nature to this blog, I will now share with you a couple of my latest pieces.

This one is most likely not for sale.  It's saw pierced copper that I made into a 3D frame, and inside is a double-sided enameled panel.

Oh here's some simple earrings.  I've had these Pink Peruvian Opals for several years.  Finally decided they'd look good in really minimalist earring designs.

So that's it for today.  Check in again soon for more weird ramblings though my head.


  1. While I haven't used Protectaclear....when I apply a finish to polymer clay beads, I stick a toothpick in the hole, dip, then roll the toothpick between my thumb and index finger to "spin off" any excess so that I don't end up with drips or runs. Then I just stick the toothpick in a styrofoam block to dry....

  2. Chris, thank so much! I'm definitely going to try that. Will post an update to the "spinning" method. Hopefully I can do it without getting sealant all over the place. :-)

  3. I use a small plastic container and pour enough of the sealant in so that it will cover the bead. The trick to not spinning it off all over the place is to do it gently and inside the container if that makes any sense. If not, I can try and get a photo.