Art Jewelry Elements just posted about folks starting out making jewelry and how intimidating it can be. They concluded (and rightly so) that everyone has to start somewhere. I would add that most first attempts are not perfect. I can speak from experience in saying that mine certainly weren't. I don't have any photos of the FIRST time I did macrame. After all, that was probably 40 years ago. Yep, I did macrame with the rest of the flower children. I remember making several plant hangers and I really liked the knotting.
Fast forward through 40 years of other crafts to 2008 when I saw some gorgeous jewelry done in micro-macrame. I was blown away. Absolutely mesmerized. I really couldn't afford to buy the pieces I wanted. Of course, you have to remember my all-or-nothing personality. I didn't want one bracelet, I wanted them ALL. And the earrings. So I decided "I could make that" (yes, I'm always thinking that, too, and it doesn't always turn out so well). I bought an earring kit and pattern from Knot Gypsy Designs and I was off and running. That was my first purchase on Etsy, too, by the way!
After a few months of making stuff for myself and selling a dozen or so pieces to friends, I decided to open a shop on Etsy. Looking back at those first listings, I am embarrassed - mostly by the quality of the photos.
See - I warned you. IF you could see the detail on this cuff bracelet, the knotting isn't bad. But the photo certainly doesn't show you that. I did have a few photographs that were better and I managed to snag a sale on the second day my shop was open. I sold this watch:
It really isn't up to my standards now - the lines aren't as straight as I'd like. But I was darned excited to have sold something. And after seeing how long it took some people to make their first sales on Etsy, I was darned lucky. I did do a lot of reading on the forums back then and figured out very quickly that I needed to improve not only my product, by my photography. I built my first lightbox from cardboard and typing paper and managed to get some shots that weren't terrible. Still not very interesting, though.
Then I found "the hand". Yep, the HAND. It creeps my kids out big time, but it's interesting enough to get people's attention. I had some ladies recognize me at a craft show - not from my macrame, but the HAND:)
I still had a bit of refining to do. I invested in a real light box (one of the best investments I've made, by the way) and learned how to use the macro setting on my camera:
My knotting was getting more precise and my photos were improving, but I still felt like they were missing something. I added a piece of scrapbook paper and TA DA!
When I look back and the evolution of my work and my photographs, I think I've come a long way. The cool part is that I still have a million ideas and things I want to try and I'm absolutely positive that I am still evolving.