Tuesday, October 10, 2017

HallowRead - Skeleton Key Swag!

HallowRead is coming up fast! As you may recall from last year, this is the mini-con in Ellicott City, Maryland (October 20-21) celebrating all things horrorly and writerly. I'll be presenting a horror poetry workshop on Friday the 20th and and doing some spooky reading Saturday. Check out the events here!

One of the great perks you'll get for your attendance is a bag of swag from all sorts of writers. Last year my bag contained a book chapter, a pair of earrings, candy, promotions, coupons, and lots of ideas for where to find new reading by local writers.

I loved looking through my swag bag so much last year, I decided this year I'd contribute to it! As a beaded jewelry maker already, I thought I'd use those skills - and then came up with a great idea for a Skeleton Key. It's a silver key that is also a bottle opener, paired with a nicely creepy skull charm. I decided I'd add a card explaining what it is all for, and that has the URL to my website. Of course given last year I thought I'd be making 50 at the most. I didn't realize that the numbers expected were bigger this year, and I'd need to make 150 of the things!

So off I went, figuring out what I wanted my swag to look like, and then purchasing stock. I had to find stock on Amazon as well as from beaded jewelry dealers. I also had to take a trip to the local Michaels to get a few items as well. Not to mention I needed to print out appropriate cards, which I had done online. I didn't want to just use my business card, I wanted something that also included a little explanation of the key - that it was for unlocking both creativity and bottles :)

I got all the stock together back in September, and designed a working case that I could carry all the stuff around in, and work on whenever I had a moment. The basic charm was what I put together first, and it included silver tone metal pins, beads, and spacers, a nicely glinting crystal red bead, and then the final carved white howlite skull. A skull charm made here or there added up, along with a few marathon runs of 20 or 30 at a time. Eventually I had a pile of glittering skullys!

At that point I had to put 150 skully charms on key rings, along with each skeleton key. This took awhile, and I was worried at one point because I ran into a few deformed keys. I thought I wouldn't have enough. Fortunately the vendor had included extra keys at the start, and so it came out to exactly the number I needed.

The last step was getting the cards, punching holes in 150 of them, cutting string for 150 of them, and tying them to the 150 key rings. My hand was sore from the hole punch, but I did that all in one evening, and then immediately boxed them up.

And off they go today in the mail to eventually wind up in your swag bag. Hope you like them! See you at HallowRead!

Image Credits: HallowRead from Hallowread, and all others are my pix!