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Thursday, January 23, 2014

USPS Postage Increase January 26, 2014 with Instructions for Updating Etsy and eBay Listings

Starting Jan 26, 2014, new USPS prices for domestic packages (which is anything more than ¼ inch thick).

“Online” is the price if you print the postage at home

“Stamps” is if you go to the post office or otherwise place actual stamps on the package

International rates aren’t changing; just the highlighted domestic postage rates.

For instructions on changing or updating your shipping prices on Etsy and eBay, check out my blog post from this time last year (the previous postage rate increase).

I have been unable to confirm the new price (if there is one) for Priority Small Box Flat Rate when purchasing from a physical post office rather than online.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Adding Off Site Links to Your Etsy Shop, Recycled Jewelry, Stamping on Metal Clay, Invaluable Tools, Argentium Prices


I’m doing this challenge with the EtsyMetal team I belong to where we’re trying for one year to reuse, recycle, and repurpose stuff we’ve already got in our workshop.  Here’s what I came up with for the first week.
The enameled heart was supposed to be earrings but something happened to his mate.  The textured bronze heart was a teaching example.  The silk ribbon I’ve had for years.  I buy things ‘cause they’re cool or beautiful (or usually both) and then never use them.  Argh!  So anyway, I put all three together and now have a unique and funky necklace for sale.

These little hearts were old stock copper that I’d probably prefer to hoard since my supply is limited but that’s NOT the mentality I need.  I hate using something I know I will never see again, but I can’t keep everything.  So I enameled on these and they turned out so stinking cute!  I did the first few with the torch, but then switched to the kiln for the transparent colors because the base coat on those is white and I can’t keep white enamel clean with my torch.

Stamping on Metal Clay

Someone asked me the other day if you can stamp on already fired metal clay.  So I tested it out and the answer is yes.  On flat pieces, anyway.

This metal is softer and more porous than traditional metal, so go easier with your hammer blows.

Invaluable Tools

Okay, these aren’t really tools, but they are two things in my workshop I’d hate to live without… and both recommended to me by the same person.  Thanks Elizabeth Dauch.  And thanks for gifting one of them to me.  You rock!

So the two tools (or items, really) are…
A cup bur for my dremel.  I love this so much better than using the hand tool.  Sorry traditionalists.

And a universal chuck for my dremel.  This thing saves me HOURS each week, I'm sure.  Ha ha ha!  All the dremel bits I need in any given jewelry making session seem to alternate in shank size so I used to have to change the collet out constantly.  Ugh!  Now, it's SOOOOO easy to use any bit size I want.  Yay, universal!

Etsy’s Latest Announcement

Speaking of yay... now, apparently you CAN list your other website(s) in your Etsy shop/listings.  According to this article called Clarifying Offsite Linking Policies (click to read), here’s the current stance on non-Etsy links…

“As long as you’re not urging or suggesting that your buyers leave Etsy to make a purchase, you’re welcome to include any links you want in your shop - to your personal website, your blog, other online venues, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.”

Keep in mind that although you can put these URLs in your shop announcement, your item descriptions, and your profile, they will only be clickable (hyperlinks) in this special section of your About page.

This section is called RELATED LINKS.

To get links into those spots on your About page:

Go to YOUR SHOP: BLAH BLAH STORE NAME (upper right of your Etsy screen).

Click on “Info & Appearance”

Click on the second tab there… “About”

Scroll all the way down to “Shop Links”

Add what you want there and hit SAVE.
Argentium Prices

And last but not least, in case anyone wants to ride on the coattails of my research today… I was looking up prices for one ounce of 20 gauge Argentium.  Here’s the breakdown…

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Resolutions, Dealing with Bookmarks, Metal Clay Designs, Etched Brooches, SRAJD Pinterest Board, Etsy Search Engine Tips, Instant Digital Delivery System, Photoshop Cool Tips and Tricks

I guess I’m supposed to be writing about New Year’s resolutions right about now, eh?

Truthfully, my December was so jam-packed including surprise visits from family that I didn’t really have time to consider any new year’s resolutions.

I signed on to take part in a RRR challenge with the EtsyMetal team.  RRR stands for “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle all the crap we have laying around on our benches and in our studios! Finish all those projects, use those stones we've been hoarding, take a look at that old sketchbook.”  It’s the “Use What You Have” challenge.  I’m going to set a goal of one RRR/UWUH piece per week.  So that’s kind of a new year’s resolution.  Wish me luck!

I also started organizing my computer’s bookmarks last week.  The idea is to NOT be on a page and go, “Oh, I’ll bookmark this now, just throw it on the bookmark bar… and then later I’ll sort out where to put it.”  Ugh!  That is stupid beyond all belief…. For me, anyway.

I am a person, if not of lists (which I am), then of folders.  So, using Chrome’s BOOKMARK MANAGER (I love it!), I’m organizing my bookmarks into folders such as:

  • Blogs I want to follow
  • Recommended Movies and Books
  • How to Projects
  • Things I May Want to Buy
  • Videos I Like
  • Bead and Gem Info
  • Marketing Articles
  • Photo-editing articles
  • Photography tips

Now, what I need to do is each time I get ready to bookmark a new URL, I need to not just throw it in my bookmarks bar to be sorted later.  I need to right there and then put it into the appropriate folder. 

And now that it’s a new year, it’s time to look over the 2013 sales and see how I feel about certain aspects of the business.  Things like, is it worth it to stay with Etsy, eBay, my own website, etc.  I’ll report back here after I compile the info.

And I don’t think I ever showed you all the pieces I made during my last stint at Hadar’s studio.  Here they are.  A couple have already sold but most are still available.  Click here if you want to see what's still up for grabs.

Then I also listed a couple of etched brooches that had been sitting on my work table for about six months.  The text one is from a section of an Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem entitled “Sonnets from the Portuguese”. The other one is images of watch parts.



From the Internet (snippets I collect as I go):

If you’d like to check out some of the awesome jewelry by the members of the organization I founded for self-representing artists, click here.

Here’s an article from Etsy’s blog with a couple of tips to help improve your SEO (search engine optimization).  Because we all want to be found, right?

And speaking of Etsy, do you sell tutorials on Etsy?  If so, I hope you’re taking advantage of Etsy’s digital delivery system.  I love it.  For more info, click here.

Have Photoshop and looking for more cool things to do to your photos?  Here is an article of “70 Of The Best Photoshop Actions For Enhancing Photos”.  “The compilation consist of 70 of the best Photoshop actions collected from all around the web from photo effects to actions for even creating photo borders, An essential design resource for all designers weather your an expert or an beginner.” 

Even if you don’t have Photoshop, I’ll be you can do a lot of these in Photoshop Elements and/or Gimp.  Click here to read the article.

So happy new year, everyone!  Have a great 2014!