I have some brand new TINY (plus a MINI) gem trees for sale on Etsy! I am so hungry for color right now, being Minnesota has been snow white for too many months! I decided to pair these gem trees up with a sort of matching base, that accentuates the gem colors. It will really give your home decor a great pop of color!
I'm also really loving these TINYs. I changed up how I put them together, giving them beautiful shapes and a more rounded top. I think the best thing I ever did was throw out my instruction book! Freehanding looks so much better. :-)
If you want to check out the listings on Etsy, I have the links listed below the slideshow.
I am in my last week of work before I have to take a short break to move. I am hoping to get some of the new website started. I want to do a lot more education and information, rather than just throwing products in your face. I apologize for that! I'm beginning to see that I have a few hundred too many projects going on at once, and I need to step back, prioritize, and spend more time on the things that matter. What do you really know about gem trees, and why you ought to own one? Exactly. I really dropped the ball there! But I have a plan. (I'm really good for plans, btw!)
It looks like I'll be planning my own wedding in the near future, and am thinking of modeling one of the gem trees on top of it, so you brides-to-be can see what it looks like on a real cake! Unfortunately I don't have any photos of them as wedding cake toppers yet...
I'll leave you enjoying the short slideshow, and look for the links to the individual products below!
I have mastered the really fine art of... painting wire! The tree pictured here has its wire painted brown! I did it by hand yesterday, with a really fine paint brush, AFTER the tree was assembled. The finished product is so realistic! The paint gives the wire extra dimension and detail, almost like real tree "bark". I love it. Its definitely worth the extra effort! The colors with this gem tree make me think of a Granny Smith Apple Tree. Beautiful. :-)
Here is the Etsy listing for this TINY Gem Tree featuring Green Quartz gems:
My other project from yesterday was this gorgeous Blue Crackle Quartz TINY Gem Tree. The quartz chips sparkle and glisten in the sunlight! Unfortunately that feature is really hard to capture with the camera. I added a fun Seahorse charm. These will be a limited run of "Beach Themed" gem trees. I have plans to add a large Blue Coral gem tree with a special fish charm soon. I'm considering developing my own palm tree design, specifically for the theme, even though the TINY trees are so cute!
Here is the Etsy listing for this Blue Crackle Quartz TINY gem tree:
I am still TERRIBLY bummed about not being able to attend this coming weekends' Har Mar Rock Show. I feel awful! I really enjoy the event, there are so many great people to talk with! I really hope you guys come back out for the June 29-30th show at Har Mar, its going to be amazing! I'll have a new line of gem trees to show off by then!
I am giving heavy consideration on attending the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. I will be inquiring about space for Mother's Day (May 12) specifically, and see how things go. If I can get the attention and traffic I need, I'll continue to attend the market on the weekends (so long as the weather stays nice too!).
I also have plans for May 11th of working at a special boutique at Kay's Cottage up in Fridley. We were planning a large sale that day, that will partially take place outside. I want to set up a good display for my work there, to make up for missing the Rock Show. I will keep you posted on how this part develops, and give you directions when its all set up!
I've had a lot of time to think these last few days, and I'm angry with myself for not trusting this business more. I really enjoy working with my hands and creating unique products. I really don't want to stop what I'm doing! Working with crystals has helped me tremendously, and I know I touch other people's lives with my work. That's what its really about!
I just need to solve that big piece of the puzzle- how to get my products into the hands of my customers, so I don't have to live out of a cardboard box. (aka starving artist) It'll get there. I really need some help in figuring out my pricing! Right now I'm still clearancing out my old work, to make way for my new line of work. It makes it tough to figure out how to price my new work, especially my newest TINY with the painted wire! It is delicate work that takes awhile, but does it make the product more worth the cost, or does it add to the value? I'm not sure. I understand sometimes there's a labor or love, but there's also the downside of pricing too low and not getting the full appreciation, or sales. If anyone has any advice for me regarding pricing, PLEASE message me at firstname.lastname@example.org! You can complain, suggest, or advise. Anything I can hear from my fans, and my customers, helps me work toward a more successful future.
Anyways, back to work for me! I just wanted to show you my newest, latest & greatest creations! I have some more in the works for this afternoon. I almost forgot, below is a picture of all the terra cotta saucer colors I'll offer for my newest Gem Trees. Colors can be requested with your order, if you don't like what is shown in the photo. (and yes, they were all hand painted by me, this past Monday!)
As I walked into Michael's this morning, I really thought I was just going to pick up some more wire and get out of there. But like every other trip, they had such cool stuff on display! I walked by a small moss display, and the idea instantly hit- putting them gem trees into little scenes of nature! I mean, the rock bases are cool, but they need something more. They had a small terrarium display, and it got me thinking (I looove terrariums!)...
I finally came up with the idea that you see here- a tiny gem tree (model explained below), with its roots weaved into a moss mat, and then placed into a painted flower pot base. The flower pot bases can be painted in ANY color too, so they will give some extra color to your home decor. I did this one brown to signify the brown dirt below the green grass.
I have plans to also paint the wire different colors too, to give them a real looking brown bark color (or if you want something zazzy like hot pink!). I will need to do some experimenting first, to make sure the paint bonds and it won't just come off if you handle the wire. That would not be good!
Yesterday I designed what I call a tiny gem tree. It is between 4-5" tall and about 3" wide. They have more delicate "leaves" and shorter branches and trunks, in comparison to the mini. I think some of my inspiration here was studying the Japanese art of "Amigurumi" (miniaturized yarn stuffed animals and other objects).
These tiny gem trees are so cute! They are absolutely perfect for small spaces, like a work desk, a nightstand, windowsill, etc. The minis aren't too much bigger, but with the rock base, they do need just a little more room. The problem with the minis is that they're not that much smaller than the large gem trees, making it tougher for people to distinguish the difference, and questioning the pricing structure. I think the Tiny gem tree will solve that issue quite well.
Tiny gem trees will be absolutely perfect as wedding cake toppers for a more delicate/small cake too. If you want a tiny gem tree for your cake, you can definitely order it with a different base choice if you don't want the moss and pot base. The geode slabs work the best, because they're flat, polished and very lightweight.I should be able to box these tiny gem trees into a Chinese Take out style box with handle too. Love it. :-)
As far as prices go for these tiny gem trees and the ones with moss, I'm not sure yet! I'll have to think about it. My guess is around the $20-25 mark, and then bump the minis up to around $30 like they used to be, and keep the large ones about 2/3rds to double the price of the minis.
I think I will carry on this idea to other sizes of gem trees, and create more diorama-like landscape scenes, if that makes sense. I've spent a lot of time researching products and what's hot and selling on Etsy, and I think changing up the old gem tree with rock base is a plan for moving forward. I don't want to quit the business, but I don't want it so specialized where only a few products will sell each month. I'd rather create something that appeals to the masses, and is a craft within an art.
I really wish I could create better custom order pages on Etsy too, because I want to give my customers the option to build their own tree. I want you to be able to pick the gem, wire color (and if I can add painted wire, look out!), as well as the type of base, including this fun moss base. They only allow you a few basic options with no adjusting cost, so I'm going to look into building the truly custom order pages over on my new website on Wix. (not yet released, but its in the works!)
I thought I'd post these pieces, I'm pretty proud of them! I'm hoping to still continue, but have an entirely new business model within the next few months. I don't want to go back to work for someone else, please! :-)
Ugh...! I think my plans have changed once again and I WILL NOT be attending April's Rock Show at Har Mar Mall.
I am in the process of helping Kevin's parents clear their overstuffed basement of 20+ years, and things are not going nearly as well as hoped. The plan was to move in . We've come across some serious obstacles, and I only want to move in when its safe for everyone to do so. We were going to move this weekend (13-14th), but now its been set back to April 20-21st. I'm really sorry. :-( I believe that helping his parents out really needs to take priority over what I've got going on at the moment, the situation warrants it.
BUT the GOOD NEWS! is that my gem trees, Tree of Life Hangings and Mala Bracelets are available for sale anytime in town, for immediate purchase!
7365 E River Rd
Fridley, MN 55432
M-F 10-6pm and Saturdays 10-1pm
Kay, Kevin's mother, is finally retiring after many years of hard work. She has many unique and fun gift items in her shop, as well as beautiful floral arrangements. Kay has graciously offered to host my work at her shop. Please stop by and visit!
I will keep you up to date on what's happening, If by some chance our plans change, I will create another blog post and let you know what's going on! I'm hoping after the dust (and there is lots of it!) settles, life will stop resembling a bouncing ping pong ball.
Things have been very busy here lately, but they're going pretty well! I am happy to report despite all the challenges, I WILL be attending the upcoming Har Mar Mall Rock Show April 20-21st! The prices will be about the same as on Etsy; I'm more interested in moving units than charging their true value.
It is also just over a month before Mother's Day, and now's the time to be thinking of presents! The majority of customers I have are women, so you can't go wrong with either a Gem Tree, Tree of Life Hanging, or Jewelry! I still have many colors and designs to choose from, and you can definitely still order a custom made piece if you have something else in mind. I have custom forms with me too, at the rock show, if you stop by and want to order in person. And speaking of jewelry, I still have the option of Tree of Life brooches! The listing is still up on Etsy. They can be made just a little smaller than the dimensions I mentioned (I think it was 3x2"). You can even use them to help tie back a fashion scarf, if you don't want to pin it to your shirt.
I want to point out especially, Kevin's gemstone jewelry. His pieces are super popular with the females! He had a beautiful Sodalite piece, and his mother couldn't stop obsessing about it, so three weeks later on her birthday, he gave it to her as a gift. She's not one to wear a lot of jewelry, but she constantly wears her Sodalite necklace! He also gave a uniquely shaped piece to his sister, who also obsessed about it. I currently have two of his pieces in my shop, and we will need to add the others shortly! Here are the links to them:
His pieces are very well made, and he really pays attention to the fine details! I highly recommend purchasing his jewelry. Most definitely!
I have no new products in the work just yet, but some ideas! I've been thinking if there's a way of creating flowers out of the gem chips. I can do a small one like I did for some of the Tree of Life Hangings, but I want an actual sizable mini bouquet. People still use flowers as decor, so why not try? It would be a great compliment to the gem trees.
I'm also debating whether or not to add new gem trees for the upcoming rock show. I've sold out of several gem trees in the past month, but I kind of also like the idea of staying away from my typical cluttered look. The gem trees will get better representation not being stuffed on a small table, although I want to make sure there are enough choices so that everyone can find something they're drawn to. I'll think hard about it! I'm all set to move next weekend, so I don't have a lot of time to get ready for the show.
On a final note, I expect zero business interruption with my upcoming move. I have everything organized so I can quickly pull orders and get them out the door quickly. So keep the orders coming, I really greatly appreciate it! Its given me the drive I needed to be able to attend the upcoming show. :-)