Saturday, October 29, 2011


OOOoooohhh! I am SO proud of me!  I spent a good portion of the afternoon working on jewelry (between laundry loads!) for the Virtual Craft Show/Fair.  You remember, the one I'm nagging all my nearest and dearest about?  That I keep telling you is coming up (in a few more weeks) and you need to visit?  Yeah, that one!  I'll be putting a few pics up in the next day or two, but my camera's battery died and I couldn't get any good pics with it before it died. :-(   Got a necklace, watch-bracelet and 6 pairs of earrings made.  Had a BALL making the earrings.  Everything but the necklace and two pair of earrings are going to be part of my Spina Bifida line.  Jewelry with the Spina Bifida yellow to remind us that SB is not a death sentence nor a lessening of the quality of life!  Thus, the delay in getting the pics.  I want shots that do the jewelry justice. 

I did get a picture of the necklace (not a part of the SB line) by using my scanner.  That was a hint from a fellow beader from work and it works, but it works best for larger pieces.  The earrings and the watch were either blurry or the richer colors were washed out.  If you have a large item, want a fast way to upload it to your computer and have a jpg-scan mode on your copier, you can lay the item on the scan plate and, leaving the lid open, hit the scan button.  As I said, the larger items will work very well.  Apparently the scanner feels it has to enlarge the smaller items and that's what seems to cause the problems.  You don't have to put anything on top of the item as the scanner will automatically give it a white background.  If you like, however, you can lay a piece of black velvet-covered cardboard over the item.  It will show up just as well and, if the item is light colored, will keep it from looking lost against the auto-white background.

Happy Creating! :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Don't forget our up-coming Virtual Craft Fair/Show on November 26th thru December 3rd.  It's going to be a blast with all the discounts and give-aways available of hand-made items from the various artisans (including myself!).  I'm working hard to be ready, small in number tho' my items may be in comparison to some of the other ladies, but they've been at this longer than I so...  Still, everyone's gotta start SOMEwhere and this my "where!"  What a challenge to me, personally, to design, create and contribute to this show!  The Fair will be over at Pretty Things and hosted by Lori Anderson.  (whew! she's a busy woman!)  Thanks, Lori!  And, thanks to all who will be coming to see!

Monday, October 24, 2011


I was a little wary of blogging this, but I feel like it needs to be said.  There are some of you out there that are doing an amazing job of creating jewelry and you are sabotaging your sales.  Oh, not intentionally.  None of us think "Hmm... I believe I will see how bad I can cause my sales to be today!" but it's happening (the sabotage, not the self-discussion).

Do I have any credentials for giving you the following advice?  Well, I'm not a marketing manager, but I've done some sales and I took a class in salesmanship while in college (Zig Zigler forever!) and I've seen enough over the years to know what works and what doesn't.

What Works:
Cute, simple, attention grabbing, drawing them in with your verbiage and your photos.  But, most of all, believing... no, BELIEVING in your product. 
Let me use a personal (if non-beading) example.  Shortly after college I had a temp-job working for Pepsi. It was right around the time the new Diet Dr. Pepper came out.  Now, I used to be a Dr. Pepper fiend and I LOOOOOOVED my Dr. Pepper.  I really hated the old, blue can Diet Dr. Pepper and wasn't sure I wanted to try the new stuff, but I did.  It was good! Almost couldn't tell a difference in taste.  During my stay at the Pepsi company, they really wanted us to push the new Diet Dr. Pepper with our customers and they set up a contest to encourage us.  I won that contest because I believed in my product.  I could state with confidence that the buyers would love the new Diet Dr. Pepper and the product would sell as well as the regular Dr. Pepper.  I outsold all the other, permanent sales reps because of this belief. 

Why am I bringing this up?  Well, I've been bopping around the blog-o-sphere and some of you who use your blogs to sell your product have a tendency to point out the product's problems.  I'm not talking about those who make the actual beads and have to point out a flaw in the product for the customer, I'm talking about those who have created a piece of jewelry then proceed to bash their own job; "I'm not really happy with this, but..."  "This isn't my best effort, but..."  "You can see where I messed up, but..."  STOP IT!!!  Seriously, stop it!  The only one who can really see the flaws is you.  I promise.  Unless the flaw is a fatal one, in which case you wouldn't be selling it, would you?  Be proud of your hard work, let the public know it's a good product, guarantee a free repair within the first month of purchase if anything happens (as long as they include a copy of the receipt) but don't tell people where the problem is as you see it.  Believe in what you're selling and the customer will believe in you!

What doesn't work:
Well, of course, we've already touched on the biggest one as far as I'm concerned.  Product-bashing.  What else?  Too much cuteness doesn't work.  Over-playing the hook.  Too much verbiage about the product, too many photos or too few. 

I, personally, like to see at least 3 or 4 different views of something I'm considering buying over the 'net.  I can't try it on myself, so extra views are important.  Only one shot of a product and I'm likely to move on to the next shop.  Too many (10 or more) and same reaction.  Moving on! People don't want to be overwhelmed, but we don't buy if we're underwhelmed, either. Also, consider placing something in one or more of the photos to give a customer a sense of size.  You'd be surprised how that helps.  I've bought things in the past with no perspective photo and found them to be much, much smaller than I'd thought from the picture and, due to disappointment, didn't return to that seller for anything else.  Just make sure it's not something that pulls attention away from the product (i.e., don't stick a cute, cuddly kitten into the shot!)

Which leads us to too cute and another example.  A number of years ago, about the time CGI was becoming popular for cartoons, etc., there was a commercial for Stain Master carpet.  I only know this because someone told me what the product was.  I was too caught up in the cuteness of the commercial to remember the product.  By the way, that commercial?  It lasted less than a month.  My salesmanship teacher always told us too cute and folks forget what was being sold.  Guess he was right.

And, the hook.  You want to have something (a picture, a quote or favorite saying, SOMEthing) that catches the eye and has something to do with your specific product or you can use as a brand (think GEICO lizard, eh?).  Check around the different blogs and Etsy shops and see.  The more successful ones have banners, pictures or sayings that correlate with what they're selling or talking about.  Don't over do it, though.  You don't want it to look like your teenager's messy room spilled over into your computer!  And be sure that your hook reels 'em in.  You don't want to catch their attention only to lose it again because it was TOO cute or TOO funny or TOO artsy.

Last example, this one about catching and losing:  in my college speech class, our teacher kept stressing the importance of a hook in the beginning of your speech, that you needed something to catch the audiences' attention.  One student took that too much to heart and, on practise day, stood to deliver a speech about his and his dad's visit to Pearl Harbor.  His hook?  He suddenly went into a "surfers" crouch, as if balancing on a surf board, and began singing the opening to the Beach Boys' "Surfin' Safari!"  The class sat in stunned silence, eyes huge, as he belted out his song, then straightened and began speaking.  At first, there were a few quiet titters and one or two ~snerks~, then, suddenly, the entire class burst into laughter.  After calming down the teacher praised him for catching our attention, but pointed out he'd immediately lost it, too.  So, be careful, take your time before you put up your banner/picture/saying, make sure it represents you and your product, but don't over-do.  You don't want the internet version of "catch-and-release" going on at your site.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


No, I'm not actually participating in this one (i.e., not selling) but I do have plans to hop around to all the blogs that are.  These are some terrific artists who either create jewelry or create the findings the rest of us use in our jewelry creations.  It's amazing what and who you can find.  Please, go take a look at the host site, Melinda Orr Metal & Clay Jewelry Designs, enter all the participating sites to win the give-aways and enjoy! :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I can't believe it... I have actually signed up for my first Craft Fair/Show!  Well, okay, the Show is actually on the web, but it's still a great way to start off my new venture of selling my hand-made items.  The Craft Show will be November 26 to December 3 and will be hosted by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things.

So, be ready.  Tell your friends.  Have your credit cards at hand. There's going to be a Craft Show with lots of amazing people showing off their Holiday Best for sale.  All items will be hand crafted so be prepared to get all your Christmas shopping done over that 8 day period and also to drool (have a napkin or hand towel ready!) as you see what these creative people I'll be rubbing virtual elbows with can do! (you may have to buy yourself some Christmas presents ~heehehehe~)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Okay, who broke my winning streak? Huh? Huh!?
Oh, well, I guess this means I shouldn't play the lottery any time soon. Congrats to Amy from Copper Diem!

Yes, folks, it IS all addictive.  Whether it's writing, sewing, knitting, or beading/jewelry making it's as addicting as... well... gambling.

Okay, I'm reaching a bit, (okay, maybe a lot) but I now understand the gambler's urge (to a VERY small degree).  My last post, I showed you the great sets of earrings I won and, now, I'm entering blog contests all over the place!  For one thing, I'd really like a chance to win Barbara Lewis's Grand Prize over at Painting With Fire so I'm entering by making comments on as many of her Book Tour hosting sites as I can (sites like Pretty Things by Lori... she's got an especially interesting article with tips on getting into the beading magazines which actually scares me, but we all need to get out of our comfort zones, eh?) (oh, and, no particular preference on prizes from Painting With Fire, unless you ask, in which case I'd say the torch-fire kit... but, hey, I'm flexible! ~hee~) However, through all that blog-hopping, I'm coming upon other blogs with give aways going on and, yes, I'm entering them, too.  You never know, I might actually be on a roll, here! (okay, one win, but still a roll! right? hello? *crickets*)

Anyhoo... one of those sites promises to enter me in their contest if I mention (and link them) on my blog, but I have to get it done by... oh, look, today! So, I am mentioning Yolanda's Clay Bead Talk blog as of right now.  And, yes, there's a link attached to that name.  See the color change? Click it! Please, click it.  You don't want to be the cause of my winning streak breaking, do you?  And, these are the beads she's giving away; cute, eh?    Now all I need to do is "like" her on FB and add her to my "follow" blog list for two more chances.

Cross your fingers.  Go, winning streak, go!

Monday, October 10, 2011


My soon-to-be-received earrings
Cool, eh? Thanks, Linda!
 Several of the art sites I'm following are having contests to promote the new book of fellow artist Barbara Lewis of the blog Painting With Fire Artwear. And I was the winner of one contest (yay me!). I won a pair of handmade earrings and some copper shapes to play with from Linda at Objects and Elements. SO excited!! Anyway, below is a list of the rest of the virtual book tour (blog to blog) for those who'd like to tour some other wonderful and inspirational sites:

October 10, Andrew Thornton,
October 11, Lori Plyler,
October 12, Diane Cook,
October 13, Lori Anderson,
October 14, LeAnn Weih,
October 15, Jen Judd Velasquez,
October 17, Melissa Meman,
October 18, Lisa Crone,
October 19, Shannon LeVart,
October 20, Cindy Wimmer,
October 21, Laura Twiford,
October 22, Erin Prais-Hintz,
October 24, Jennifer Cameron,

Take a tour, enter any contests and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I've had a book (Kindle edition) on my wish list for a couple of weeks, now, and I finally purchased it.  The reason? Well, I "accidentally" found the blog of the author this book through another beading/craft blog I follow. The book is "Torch Fired Enamel Jewelry" by Barbara Lewis and I'm looking forward to reading it.  After all, who wouldn't love the idea of getting to create jewelry AND play with fire! (~heee~) I'm also looking forward to exploring her blog "Painting With Fire Artwear."  I like learning new things and I think, as an artist, I've evolved to the point where I want to create my own beads and findings instead of buying them all the time.  Don't get me wrong! I still plan to buy plenty of beads (haven't figured out, yet, how to create my own garnet, amethyst and other semi-precious stone beads) and I plan to create plenty of wearable "art" (necklaces, earrings, etc.) but I'd like to have the skills to create what I need when a design calls for something I may not have in my stash or that I can't find on the internet or in the local craft store.  Hence, the desire to learn new things (plus, it proves I'm not dead, yet!)  
(plus, also, I get to play with fire!!)