Tag: website

Tips and Tricks – Natural Silver Polish

I had my first art sale in over a year last month and when I took all my jewellery out to prep it I noticed the silver had tarnished. This is, of course, to be expected but I still had a brief panic about what to do. I do not like using harsh chemicals, all products in my home are natural so I decided to google natural silver polish options and found numerous articles about using baking soda.

My fiancé ran out to grab a soft toothbrush for me while I got everything ready. I laid out all the pieces that needed polishing on some microfiber cloths, set aside another cloth for drying afterwards. I prepared my baking soda paste (baking soda and warm water) and got started!

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Ready to get started!

I was skeptical at first that it would do a good job, but with just a little light scrubbing…

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Scrub scrub scrub!

Turns out I was very happy with the results! It didn’t scratch or damage the silver in any way, which was a concern since baking soda is abrasive. I polished up all my silver pieces in no time and got everything rinsed, dried and packed up for the next day! I’m always so excited when I find natural cleanser and options for household products so I thought I’d share this one with all of you!

tips and tricks
Polished on the left, still waiting to be done on the right!

 

Gorgeous new photos!

We’ve got some lovely new photos of our jewellery!  We sent a package of our jewellery pieces off to Dano Tanaka, the photographer who took a batch of photos for us not long ago.   He gave them the star treatment, and we couldn’t be happier.  He really knows how to make the gems and pearls and crystals all just light up and show off their colour in the best possible way.  We’ve got a few photos for you here, and they will all make their way onto Etsy soon!

Gorgeous new photos by Dano Tanaka.
Gorgeous new photos by Dano Tanaka.

 

To sell jewellery online…

Onyx rectangles and freshwater pearls
First photo

When Robyn and I first decided we were going to make jewellery we set out to sell at local art shows, people could see our items in person and the jewellery would speak for itself.  I’d make a piece, snap a picture, like what you see over to the right and then move on.

Over the last couple years we’ve both had a lot of positive changes in our lives but these have made it so that attending art shows in person is a much bigger challenge then it was before. Robyn started to focus more on our ETSY store during this time. She already had a good understanding of websites and of photography and I was happy to let her run with it as this was well within her comfort zone. Then Robyn got married and had a baby and I started to feel like I should pitch in more (a lot more) with the online store side of our business.

I figured out the ETSY store and website pretty quickly but soon realized I was going to have to start posting, and more importantly, taking and editing my own jewellery pictures. Oh man! Who knew that to sell jewellery online, you also had to be a talented photographer? I was feeling well out of my element on this one so I enlisted the help of a good friend and very talented photographer, Dano Tanaka (check out his work here: https://www.facebook.com/danotanakaillustrator). I bought a mid-range fancy new camera, a mini home studio and set to my task.

The image below is the result of the last few months of learning.  As with anything else in life, I feel I have a long way to go and will enjoy continuing to improve this new skill and perhaps even apply it to other projects.  However, I am pretty happy with what I think are noticeable improvements in the quality of my images. I’m grateful to Robyn and Dano for their patience and support throughout this learning process.

Roxy

Same piece as above, pictured in 2013
Same piece as above, pictured in 2013

It’s oh so quiet…

We at Drakestail Jewellery have been rather quiet for the past few months.  What gives?  We’ve had a few changes going on in our personal lives which have unfortunately cut into our creative time.  Never fear, we’ll be much more active and visible now that the dust has settled.

What has happened, you ask?  One of us has moved across the country again.  This means, of course, that while we won’t be appearing at shows together, we’re spreading our creativity across Canada!  The other half of Drakestail has a new addition to the family, a sweet little baby girl.  As you can imagine, she’s a huge priority, and so we’ll be changing our focus here at Drakestail Jewellery a bit to accomodate our new circumstances.

For the next few months, we won’t be attending any Ottawa craft shows.  The first one we’ve got scheduled is in November – details to be posted very soon in the event calendar.  Our focus will be on the Etsy store, bringing more items online for you to enjoy, and on keeping the website up to date.  Check back regularly for blog posts and other updates, and  don’t forget to like our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter!

 

Treasure Hunt – using Etsy treasuries

I’ve been using Etsy for around a year and a half, and have been enjoying playing around with some of its features.  There’s a great one called Treasuries, where users can collect images of favourite items and show off these collections to the Etsy community.  Treasuries can be created by anyone – shoppers, sellers, and general Etsy fans alike.  Anyone with an Etsy account can create them.

Treasuries will usually have a theme.  Some will revolve around items of a certain colour.  Others will be seasonal, showing Christmas- or Valentine’s-themed items.  Still others involve themes like movies, or nature, or a time period.  The Etsy user collects up to 16 different items to fit the theme.  Add a great title, a description, and some tags, and you’re officially the curator of a treasury!

Curating (Etsy’s word for making a treasury) is a lot of fun, and a great excuse to window-shop and see what’s available on the site.  I’ve found plenty of great vintage and handmade items while hunting for things to include in my lists, and I’ve even ended up making a few purchases, too.  I particularly enjoy the challenge of coming up with unique and unusual themes.

To see some examples, peruse the list of treasuries that I’m curating.  Give it a try, it’s a lot of fun!

New feature – event calendar

We’ve added a new feature to the website.  Take a look to the right, and you’ll see a list of upcoming events that Drakestail will be attending.  If you click on an event you will see the full event information.  If you don’t see anything at all, it means we have shows in the works and will be adding some to the calendar when the details are set.

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