Sunday, January 30, 2011

Just checking in

Good grief… I promised myself I’d get to get early tonight. Hmph!

Friday, Mon and I drove to Bakersfield and caught a Junior Condors (WSHL) game. In the morning we continued on to southern California for the girls select camp tryouts.

Got back around 2am last night… neither Mon nor I could fall asleep so we watched a movie. Then I woke up early (habit). I sorted some papers, then we watched the all star (NHL) game, went to a Tech (HS hockey) game, went grocery shopping, then came home and started cooking (gotta have healthy choices ready to eat every day).

Made two pots (Monica ate the first pot!) of quinoa, got a beef and veggie stew in the crockpot, made a quinoa and white bean salad, and hard-boiled some eggs.

I actually have some new items to list. No hockey for me this week so I should be able to catch up on quite a bit. I’ve got a couple pieces ready for the kiln. I’d love to do some more bronze clay, but I’m out… maybe I can call Hadar and see if I can go over to pick some up Tuesday.

Okay, heading to bed now.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A quick preview

I'm only here to say I have nothing to say. :-)

Apparently I'm taking it easy a bit this week. I must be because I'm behind in a few things... listing new jewelry being one of those things.

I'll show you a preview of what's coming, though.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bronze Metal Clay from the Kiln and a Question of Repurposing

I was looking around at other bronze metal clay jewelry today, and no one seems to be addressing the fact that patina can change and even disappear over time. Is it common knowledge that colors on metal change over time? Should we (as sellers) not care if our pieces change color after they’re purchased… even if it’s years down the line? Should I put a note in my listings letting customers know that all patinas will change over time, some more and faster than others, and that keeping an item in a Ziploc bag when not being worn will slow that process down?

Anyway, here’s a bit of my weekend’s work. Here’s the wildly colorful bronze straight from the kiln.



And this is what the pieces look like after the first buff.



Since that photo, I’ve done a couple hours of sanding (from coarse grit to extra-fine grit). No picture of that yet… I’m sort of pooped out for the evening.

I’m very happy with my new Bronze ring, however. Now that I know I can do it, I’ll try something a little fancier next time. I have some ideas based on ancient artifacts that I’d like to try.

BTW, I noticed, as I was spending intimate time sanding my bronze pieces that I really (REALLY) like bronze. I realize gold has more yellow in it, but for the price difference… WOW… give me bronze any day.

And it’s not just about the monetary cost of gold. There are other costs involved… in the mining.

Which brings up something I’ve been thinking about lately.

If a person doesn’t want to use items for personal reasons, like they don’t want to use animal fur because they don’t believe in the killing of animals for our vanity, or people who don’t want to work with gold because of the dangerous mining conditions…. Anyway, if they don’t want to use or work with items for these kinds of reasons, what about recycling?

Is there a difference if you repurpose these kinds of items?

I haven’t quite figured out how I feel about it. I’ve actually got some beads made from repurposed mink fur, but I haven’t used them yet. If I make something with them and offer it for sale, am I promoting the idea of using animal fur for vanity reasons or am I promoting the idea of reusing and recycling things already in existence so we don’t have to make/create more?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Jewelry and More Etsy Mysteries

Feeling Badly For Others… Is There a Point?

This is actually a statement/question upon my lips when I awoke this morning.



New Jewelry

I seem to have fallen into a system of making five new items a week, which works out well for the home page of my shop because I get to show five featured items… so I’m just updating the featured items when I get my new listings up (usually Monday evening).

Decided to do a little bronze metal clay this weekend. I feel like I’m starting over. Used very basic techniques and designs. It’ll be nice if I get some workable stuff out of the kiln (which I’ll probably run tonight after Monica’s game).

Well, since it’s been so long since I blogged, let me at least show you what I made and listed last week (clicking on any photo will show you more details).








More Etsy Mysteries

Did you know that some people use Etsy listings as advertising… ONLY! There are people who have items NOT available for sale (already sold, one of a kind) that are pretending the items are for sale for the purpose of exposure.

Yes, it’s against Etsy’s terms of service to list items for sale that you don’t actually have and don’t intend to make if the item is purchased.

But the 3000+ items marked in the selling area as “SOLD” make it obvious that a lot of people don’t care about Etsy’s terms of service.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Necklace Listings and Some Etsy News

Aside from making two necklaces tonight, I got three new ones listed.

Here are the ones I got listed (click a photo for more info).

Rio CaƱo Cristales is a river in Colombia, South America, known for a special display of fabulous colors. “During a brief span between the wet and dry seasons when the water level is just right, the many varieties of algae and moss located at the bottom of the river bloom in a brilliant display of colors.” Harold’s wild lampwork beads remind me of this world famous natural occurrence.




Corinth is an ancient Greek city with ruins that Alex’s beads totally brought to my mind. I’m left speechless in trying to describe the beauty of the city. Very much worth a web image search of “ruins of Corinth”.








ETSY Stuff

I ran across this interesting article… Top 10 Reasons You Should Not Sell on Etsy.

And speaking of Etsy, don’t know if you know about the latest brouhaha, but some Etsy vendors were quite up in arms about a seller who made light of some very serious and sad situations in life. Etsy tried to stand by their TOS claiming freedom of speech, etc. but there was apparently enough pressure by their customers (the people who SELL on Etsy) that they decided to change their TOS and disallow “Listings That Disparage or Promote Hate”. You can read some of the details here

I can’t find the source page for the original CNN story on the subject, but here it is embedded on this blog.

TTYL!

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Removing Geotags From Your Online Photos, How To Accept Credit Cards And Craft Fairs And Bead Shows, Thoughts On Earrings

I was talking with someone the other day and I recall that I spent a significant amount of time focusing on her earrings. They weren’t anything that would normally captivate me (they were simple gold hoops), leading me to believe my mind subconsciously did this because:
A) Being a jewelry person, I’m fascinated with looking at people’s jewelry
B) Earrings are nearly at eye level so it’s much easier to be in a conversation with someone and spend a good amount of time checking out their earrings without them being that aware that you’re doing it (staring at someone’s necklace during a conversation is VERY noticeable).

Knowing this, I’m simply going to have to force myself to start wearing earrings. :-)


NYRs

So how are we all doing with our New Year’s resolutions? Mine were few, but significant. I’m not doing GREAT, but it’s more like a plodding along type thing… and so I am… plodding along. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Oh, remember that youtube video I posted the other night (the animated lecture)? I’m still struck (but totally not surprised) by the one part that was talking about how busy people are and how they never had time for family/friends/relaxation/etc and if they were given an eighth day in the week to do whatever they wanted… how many said they’d spend it doing more of the things that still aren’t family/friends/relaxation/etc. I can’t claim to be any different. But I can decide to be different from this point forward.


CREDIT CARDS AND CRAFT FAIRS

For those of you who have wanted to accept credit cards at bead/jewelry shows (and prefer to swipe rather than data enter someone’s info into your laptop), you may want to check into this option:

SQUARE cell phone credit card reader

That’s an article/review about the product/service. Here’s the actual website.

Doesn’t work on all cell phones, but here’s the list of phones it currently works with:
Apple iOS
• iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4
• iPod touch (2nd generation or later)
• iPad
Google Android
• Motorola Droid, Droid X
• HTC Nexus One, Droid Incredible, Evo, Desire, Hero (With Android 2.X)
• Samsung Galaxy S Series, Intercept
• LG Ally

Now, speaking of cell-phones (and posting pictures you’ve taken with yours)…


REMOVING GEOTAGS FROM YOUR ONLINE PHOTOS

“The storage of location based data, in the form of Latitude and Longitude inside of images is called Geotagging; essentially tagging your photograph with the geographic location… Most people don't realize that the action of automatic geotagging takes place on their smart phones… As a result, individuals often share too much information about their location, right down to the exact Latitude and Longitude when snapping photos with their smartpphone and posting them online…”

Can you say, “I don’t want any creepy stalkers knowing where I live?”

Here’s an article explaining what it is and how freaky it can be.

And an article explaining how to remove geotag ability from your phone.

Here’s an article about removing geotags specifically from your Picasa photos.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A New Bracelet and Thoughts About Time

Today was on ‘ludes. It just seemed to go on forever and ever. Which normally wouldn’t be a bad thing… except when you’re in an office at work.

I only got one listing up last night…



Will list the necklaces tonight IF I get the dishes done, dinner made, and do my SRAJD work in a timely fashion. Will probably try to get to bed tonight earlier than normal to make up for some missed sleep this morning… AHEM… I shall name no names… but dog breath is gross.

Started on a new book today… Body Mind Mastery by Dan Millman. I realized (after listening to a few chapters) that it isn’t the book I thought I was picking up. I was TRYING to grab The Mind and the Brain by Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Sharon Begley. Oh well… I wasn’t even wanting any non-fiction to begin with. I wanted a nice lazy fiction book… but in light of Fringe and Pillars of Earth (I’m watching both series when I can), I guess I could stand to squeeze one non-fiction book in there.

Found a neat recommendation of one I might pick up.

Here’s an animated snippet of a lecture on the subject.



And if that interests you, here’s the whole lecture, I believe… haven’t had a chance to watch it yet.



I’d like to visit southern Italy. :-)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

VAT & Import Duty Calculator and an eBay Decision

Totally new thing… I’m deleting emails once I respond to them. It’s very scary because a huge part of me that has very deep roots says, “But what if you need that original email someday?”

Sigh…

This is also how houses get cluttered. “But what if I need it someday?”

Tsk tsk


eBay

I’ll be phasing out my eBay store. I know a lot of other people have already done this, particularly after the massive changes that adversely affect small sellers over the past few years, but being the eternal optimist I kept hoping for the best.

I looked at some things the other day, though, the way I used to look… research of past sales in my area. Holy cow. The bottom line is that people aren’t going to eBay for quality artisan jewelry.

My time is precious so I prefer to spend that valuable commodity in more productive areas… mostly, my own website.


VAT & Import Duty Calculator

Kind of neat. http://www.dutycalculator.com

Short post tonight… going back to Sharks game now.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cellphone Instant Language Translator and New Listings

Lori, thanks for the nice comment! That suede bracelet is totally the kind of thing I would wear… like, it would be my “go to” bracelet. I won’t even bother showing it to my son… he wouldn’t understand. :-)

My current “go to” bracelet is a fab bracelet of lampwork on elastic (yes, you heard me right… I’m a proponent!) made by Bonnie Jacobsen.


New Listings

I stayed up too late last night (habit from two weeks off work).

Need to make sure I go to bed earlier tonight.

Got three listings in (click a pic for more info):






Cellphone Instant Language Translator

Have you seen this app? And it’s not an online app.



And it’s almost 10pm and I’ve got to jump into bed (with Little Dorri on my MP3 player… OMG, Matthew Macfadyen… sigh…).

After this, I need to load up season three of Fringe.

TTYL!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Organizing My Living Space, Necklace or Art, and New Listings

New Listings

Finally took some time to make a few new items. Here they are (click a photo for more info).









This one already sold:


It’s funny; several of these are multi-strand. Something I’m less than comfortable with. I find it rather hard to make everything come out to the right lengths. Maybe that’s why I continue to do them… the challenge. Heh


Necklace or Art

Some things I learned this week while looking around at listings for necklaces.

If I were buying a necklace, I would want to see what it looks like in the “as worn” position. There are a lot of listings for necklaces that look great artistically arranged in front of the camera. But I still want to know what it looks like in its practical use… as a necklace… hanging from someone’s neck.

One exception… if it’s a minimalist type of thing, like a pendant on a chain, then no… a model photo isn’t necessary (unless I want a better sense of size).


Organizing My Living Space

Okay, onto something else… cleaning my digs.

It was a big job, but here’s how I did it:

Mentally divide the room into a clock and start at noon (then work around the clock until you return to twelve).

Pick up one item at a time and decide these things about it:

1) Do I want to keep this in my life?
a) If no, toss it (or put it in a pile of stuff to sell on eBay/Craigslist)
b) If yes, go to next step

2) If “1b”, is it something I want:
a) In my immediate living area
b) Somewhere up on a shelf or in a closet
c) Somewhere even further like put away into storage

3) If “2c”, put item into box to take to storage area (label outside of box)

4) If “2b”, put item into box that will go into closet or on shelf (label outside of box)

5) If “2a”, do I already have a specific place designated for this item so when I want to find it, I’ll know precisely where to go?
a) No
b) Yes

6) If “5b”, put it in that place immediately

7) If “5a”, create a place for item based on how often it will be needed

Here are some of the areas I had to create last week:
• Frames for projects
• To sell/trade (non beads/jewelry)
• Craft papers
• Large Etching Supplies

Otherwise, I pretty much had a place for everything. It all just needed to be put away.

As I clean, I pick up all papers and put them into three piles:
1) Things I need to take care of in the next week or two
2) Things for the business
3) Things to put into the filing cabinet

Numbers 2 and 3 can be further filed away some night while I’m watching tv.

Well, I’d better get back to stuff. Happy New Year everyone!!!

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