Thursday, September 15, 2022

Corroded Soldering Iron Tips!

 


Hey friends! Last week on my YouTube channel I talked about soldering irons and tips that become corroded, worn out, and just plain damaged. 


There are a number of reasons why this happens, and I talk about it extensively in my upcoming soldering book, but until then, I thought I'd dig around in my workshop and see what old irons I could find for examples. 




Different soldering irons each have different types of tips and each of those irons and tips are changed in different ways. 

How do you know when it's time to switch out that old soldering iron tip for a brand new, shiny one? 

One big indicator that it's time for a new tip is when the tip will not hold solder. Another indicator is when the tip will not heat correctly. 



Be sure to check out the video and see how difficult it can be to try to remove an old seized soldering iron tip!


I hope to have my new soldering book released in time for the holidays, so be sure to stay tuned for that announcement. Happy soldering! 
Laura


See all of my jewelry making videos here 


Join me on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/laurabethlove


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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2022 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link updates or corrections leave correct info in comment area

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

How To Price Your Handmade Jewelry (AND My New Jewelry Supply Book Now Available!)



Hey Jewelry Making Friends! 

It's finally here! My brand new book: Jewelry Supply Log Book is now available for purchase on Amazon and I am going to tell you why you are going to LOVE this brand new book.

It's so important to stay organized. When you begin your journey into the world of jewelry making, you can quickly get caught up in a storm of beads, components, finding, wire, chain, and all sorts of little parts - some of which you may not even be completely sure what they are for (at least not in the beginning when you are just starting out.)

Beads by themselves are mesmerizing - and stones too - and boy, do they start to pile up once you start buying a strand here and a strand there. Most of us start with plastic bead boxes with small compartments to store our beads. One bead box quickly turns into two, then two turn into four, then four to eight...you get the picture. 

And that's great! Having a place to organize and store your beads and jewelry supplies is the smart first step to take. 

But I can PROMISE you, a little bit down the road, once you have gotten full-force into creating jewelry, there will come a day when you search your bead box for a particular bead or component...and you will find that you have only one, or even none, left. THIS is that point in time that I am talking about. 

Trust me, you will rack your brain trying to remember where you bought them, how much you paid, even exactly what they were!  

In one of my recent YouTube videos I showed you how I organize my beads and jewelry making supplies (here's the link if you missed it) and one thing I point out in the video is that when I fill a compartment in my bead box with beads I also stick the tag from the packaging into the same compartment with the beads, so when I need to order more I know where I got them from.



That is smart move number two! It only takes a moment to do and you will thank yourself down the road. But that's only PART of it. When you get to the point that you are SELLING your jewelry, it's then time to take your organization up a notch! Now, if you know about jewelry making and selling your handmade jewelry, then you probably already know that there is a formula that you should be using to price your jewelry. 

I see so many people either overpricing or underpricing their jewelry - and in both cases, they are doing themselves a great disservice! When you do this you are over-valuing and/or under-valuing your jewelry, and basically cheating yourself. 

I always say that I can always tell when someone is too attached to the things they make and they do not really want to sell them - the prices are usually very high for what the item is. Or they could just have a convoluted view of the value of what they are making. Underpricing your jewelry is just as bad. When you add up the price of the beads and components that you put into a piece and then account for your time spent making it, and then price it very low - you may as well just give it away for free, because you aren't going to make any profit. 

Now. There is a learning curve when you start making jewelry that has to be accounted for in your pricing. When you are just learning and starting out and want to sell your jewelry, you will not get as much as you would for pieces that you sell later on when you have perfected your skills and techniques. That's just how it is - and that's how it should be. That's just something to keep in mind. 

And I will add, I too am guilty of not using the jewelry pricing formula at times, and I regret it. I would rather spend my time creating things than doing bookwork and accounting LOL. 
I never really bothered to keep track of what I paid for beads - both inexpensive and expensive. Sure I keep records and receipts for my business and for taxes, etc. But they are gathered in a box and once I bring the beads or supplies home and remove the packaging and organize them into my bead box, the receipt goes into a box on a shelf until tax time. 

For a while I had a small notebook where I tried to keep track of the beads and supplies I owned. When I'd get busy it was easy to skip writing things down and keeping track of things. Some folks suggest creating a spreadsheet or some type of log on their computer to keep track of supplies, but that's typing in data and I much prefer writing things down the romantic, old fashioned way with a pen and book! Of course my sketchbook is an entity within itself, and is full of drawings and ideas but that's about it. I thought long and hard about what I needed, what I wanted, what would work best for me, what my ideal way of keeping track and organizing all of my beads, findings, and jewelry making supplies would be. 

And so I created this book. 

I formatted this book with great thought and care, and even designed the cover myself. 

I just love it. Each separate page is for logging or recording a certain individual bead or supply item, and the pages are all preformatted, so all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Each entry has spaces for things like: where you bought it and when, color, size/dimensions, how many pieces came in a package or on a strand, the price paid for the package/strand, and most importantly - once you divide the number of pieces that came in the package into the price you paid for the entire package - the price PER PIECE. 

This is an essential thing to know so that you can price your jewelry properly. 

Example: 
Let's say you purchase a strand of beads that contains 30 beads and you paid $17.00 USD for the strand. 

$17.00 ÷ 30 beads = $0.56 per bead.   


By keeping track of and recording this information you can price your jewelry much more appropriately than just guessing and making up a price. 

This book has spaces where you can fill in all of that information, but here is my favorite part: I created a space below each item entry where you can sketch design ideas or jot down notes! 



I created this book in different covers so you can choose one that suits your own personal tastes. Check them out on Amazon and don't forget to order early for Christmas! Check them out below!


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Old Furniture Upcycled Into Dollhouses & Play Kitchens



In many of my blog posts I've talked about upcycling salvaged materials and furniture and turning them into entirely new treasures. Did you ever think about upcycling something and turning it into a toy? Well that's just what these creative folks below did when they repurposed their old night stands, TV tables, bookcases and other furniture pieces into fabulous play sets for their children and grandchildren. Check it out!








Super-cute mud pie kitchen as seen on Crate & Barrel blog
  






Pink play kitchen



Outdoor mud bar doubles as a play kitchen and as a mini potting bench. Love it!









Bookcase turned dollhouse with casters via Pinterest













What do you think? 

Like this post? You might also enjoy: 
Upcycled Dressers: Painted, Wallpapered, & Decoupaged


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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link corrections please leave correct info in comment area. Article originally published 2019 and revised and updated 2022

Thursday, June 16, 2022

NEW BOOK! Join me for the unboxing of my newest title; My Thrift Flip Log Book


 Hey friends! I'm so excited to share my new book with you. This was a fun side project that I created for all of you who love to hit the thrift stores to find hidden treasures—and maybe sell them as well. 


My Thrift Flip Log Book is my latest title and you can join me for the unboxing of my author copy and learn all about it on my YouTube channel!



Have a great weekend!

Join me on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/laurabethlove

Head on over to my YouTube channel and check it out


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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2022 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link updates or corrections leave correct info in comment area