Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Gem Tree Giveaway


I always have people interested in my trees, "How do you make them", "My mother would love one of those", "Do you teach classes", etc. Here is your chance to win either a completed tree like the one pictured or a Gem Tree Kit. The kit will contain everything to make the tree including written instructions and all the gems you will need.

"What do I need to do to win one of these prizes"? you ask, Post a comment letting me and the readers know why you would want one of these trees. What draws you to them? For each comment you will get one entry. Comments will be moderated, so no SPAM (selling of any products), or profanity. When posting a comment you will need to let me know how to get a hold of you or you can send me a separate e-mail to let me know your online name so that I can associate you to it. The drawing will be on Memorial Day. I'm sure you are now asking, "Why Memorial Day and not Mother's Day", well I have no good reason, but it is my giveaway and I can pick whatever day I want.

If you would like to check out other pictures of completed gem trees or purchase a kit or completed tree, please see my links and click on Dana's Jewelry Design to visit my web site. You can also contact me by visiting my site and clicking on the Contact Me link.

I'm currently in the process of making trees for competition in June, so if you are the winner of the finished tree you may get an e-mail from me with tree options such as the type of stone and base rock since I make several and choose the best to use for competition. Sorry, if you are not winner, you are welcome to purchase a completed tree or tree kit from my web site or request a special order tree. I welcome all your comments and look forward to reading them. - dana


Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Gem Tree Class - Part 2

The "Class" as I fondly call it, didn’t turn out as overwhelming as I thought it would be. There was another large community event that same day that took some of the kids that would have joined in, plus it was the first 70 degree plus day of the year, so who wanted to be stuck inside. All in all we had 26 participants with two of them adults. I had four helpers that floated around the tables helping out when the kids or adults ran into problems along with a few parents that helped out.

The girls were very well behaved, paid attention and hopefully learned enough to create a tree on their own.

The hardest part was gluing all the trees to the rocks at the end of the class and making sure they were secured with rubber bands. Since there were so many, it took longer than expected but we still finished within our 4 hour estimate. If these had been adults we would have had them glue their own tree, but the glue is messy and can be toxic, so I did most all of them.

I’m sure that I will be offering this to other Girl Scout troops or Boy Scouts for that matter, but we will be limiting class size to 20 total participants to make it a little bit more manageable. Since this was a non profit group we only charged for our costs of material. For any other group, we would have also charged for our time.

My last post mentioned my Stress Reduction Tree Class and how it turned out, so I have scheduled another one. This time I will be teaching the standard gem tree design in 3 lunch sessions. Since these are work associates, and I’m hoping to make one of my competition trees during this time, I am only charging for the materials.

I also have found a work associate who will do freelance editing for my book. I may actually get this finished prior to some of my demonstrations this Summer.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Gem Tree Class

I'll start this blog with the intention of finishing it next week with pictures.

I was contacted by a Girl Scout group about teaching gem trees in one of their sessions. What I didn't realize was the extent to which the group would want to learn. At last count we are up to 42 girls of ages from 5-11. What have I gotten myself into?

I was able to contact a couple of previous students that will be helping me out with questions during the class as well as my husband. Instead of letting the girls pick their gems and rocks, I have made packets to make it a little less chaotic. I really can not imagine how the class will turn out (it is on Saturday), but I plan on taking lots of pictures of the girls making the trees and of some of the finished trees. I'll post them here next week.

Since my written instructions are geared towards adults, I'm not sure how to provide them with something written to take home. Maybe I'll take some pictures of the beginning stages of making a tree and add that to the instructions. Sometimes kids can look at a picture and just figure it out, but this will be one for the book. Literally, I will be adding this to the BOOK, pictures and all. If adults know that making these little trees can be made by a 5 year old then they can do it to.

Since we are talking about classes, I taught a Stress Reduction Tree Class during a lunch break here at work. I taught one of my new tree designs that I haven't had anyone make yet. So far, feedback is good, but the length of the class was too short and the written instructions are still being reviewed by the participants. The one thing that did come out of this was learning how the students would take the "Stress Reduction" part of the class and apply it to everyday work life. Since we didn't get to finish the trees, the part of adding the gemstones to the branches was only covered briefly. I have noticed that during the day they will pick up their tree twist a few more wires and add a couple of stones and then go back to what they were doing. When asked about this, they told me that by adding a few stones here and there they were able to focus their attention on something different and get out of a mentally stressful situation even if just for a few minutes. So I guess the theme of "Stress Reduction" works even though I didn't realize how it would when I developed the class.