Friday, July 29, 2011

Fun Fun Fun

Some days, life is just a barrel of monkeys. Let's see...
  • The dog scared the heck out of me because her heart was racing as was her breathing after we both were chasing possums on our back fence. 
  • Insomnia... see above...couldn't get to sleep til 5!
  • Tried to pay the sales taxes during said insomnia... but four month old computer would not start!
  • Bookkeeping is not backed up on said computer
  • I took a student's tools home from class so I have to drive in the wrong direction before getting computer fixed.
  • Tax agency won't waive fines on late taxes or give me an extension.
  • Warranty repair place on the computer won't pick up the phone.
  • Much shipping going out today must be dealt with.
And that's just the last 24 hours!

So, I'm just going to show off some chocolate hearts I listed on the glass bead website:

And I'll just mention that I have a 20% off sale on select items in my Artfire. See previous post!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Today is Special

I have a bunch of projects in the works but nothing I can talk about NOW... so... what's a beady blogger to blog about??? Have a sale... and create a topic! Whoo hoo!

I'm offering 20% off four items in my Artfire Shop today - Sunday!

There is no rhyme or reason to my madness...just wanted to find these guys a new home! Coupon code: whimsy

And... fan page members get free shipping IF they mention their status upon check out!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tryin' the Bay...

I'm trying to get rid of my EXTENSIVE bead inventory and have decided to try ebay again. I've had some success getting rid of the household clutter and I'm hoping to find a home for at least some of the hundreds of beads I've made! I swear, the beads are breeding on their own at this point!

I was really hesitant to list beads there but... my finances are in very poor shape. Ebay has allowed 50 free listings a month and I know enough html to build decent descriptions and store my photos elsewhere -- further keeping costs down. I've heard some not so nice things about how listings in US handmade lampwork jumped when the fees disappeared. But I'm hoping I've trained my customers to search for "sra lampwork US," right??? That's the best way to weed out the riff raff there.

And soon, ebay will give us more characters to use in that listing title so hopefully there will be no need to sacrifice those letters!

I've moved a red white and blue set and a Halloween focal there... 'cause it IS time to starting thinking about fall jewelry! Hoping to list more later in the week... Wish me luck!

They are a steal at these prices...I hope you will take a l@@k!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Twitter - Timely Advice

I guess I just petered out on the blog last Friday. I was exhausted from my night class Thursday and just didn't have much to say! (How rare!)

I wanted to share my new twitter strategy with you. I've often written about folks that follow you only to get you to follow them and then they quit following you. I ain't got time for such games! Geesh! So I play one of my own!

I log in and follow back TWICE A MONTH now! I don't worry a bit about all those "xyz is following you" emails  I get.  No, I just delete them. And every few weeks, I go look at my followers. And you know what?  I'm often following the first person on the list...which means all those dozens of followers from all those emails weren't interested in following ME.

The last time I logged in to check, I had two new followers that had stuck with me. And I would rather have two new people genuinely interested in me and my work and dozens of scammers any day of the week!

Do you twitter? Do you have any advice to share???

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fresh Glass 7/21

Howdy! I got a little busy on a cleaning jag yesterday and started listing everything I could get my hands on! I placed items for sale on Craigslist (bulky crap I don't want to deal with shipping), ebay (smaller electronics and that wedding dress I bought for my niece at the studio sale!), Lampwork Etc (tools for PMC and some jewelry from television guests) beads on my glass bead site! Busy!

Today, I was planning to dash downtown and get rid of all the copper cookie cutters that we no longer sell in the shop and maybe sell and old watch or two. I gave up wearing watches in 1994! I had a passive aggressive boss who asked for the time every five minutes (like her ever present computer didn't have a clock!). So, passive aggressive Holly stopped wearing her watch so the passive aggressive boss could bug someone else! LOL! I loved the freedom so much, I never went back!

With all that going on and kumihimo class tonight.... I'm gonna keep this short! Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

VOTE in the Fire Diva's Tide Pool Challenge

The Fire Divas have done it again. It's time for the Monthly Themed Challenge! July's theme is "Tide Pool" and the FABULOUS entries all reflect the ocean and it's changing tides.

Please vote for your favorite entry on the right side of the Fire Divas blog and leave a comment there to be entered to win a $20 gift certificate from Patrice at Shepherd Creations! Please include your email address with your comment so that we are able to contact you about your prize.

Now, let's check out the incredible glass bead eye candy!!!

Please don't forget to vote! And do leave a comment cause you could be the lucky winner!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

24/7 Availability

So sorry to write another rant on heals of my last one but, somedays, I feel like I'm going off the deep end. And this subject has come up several times in the last MONTH for me.

WHEN did our society come to expect 24/7 availability from everyone all the time?  I'm an artist for Pete's sake! I need down time / quiet time / create time!

I know I complained about this on one of my 87 blogs so forgive me if you heard this before. But just a few weeks ago, I lost a class that would have put around 450 bucks in my pocket (and when you live well below the poverty level, as I do, that's A LOT OF MONEY!)!! WHY did I lose the class opportunity? I was in the shop organizing for said class and away from my computer for just less than three hours! I was by both my cell and shop phone but heaven forbid the college CALL ME!
When you order custom work, you still have to WAIT for it to be MADE!

When I complained on my Friend Facebook page (as opposed to the Fan Page, an old colleague of mine joined in. She had gotten a number of her recent film production jobs from people posting on her wall or emailing her through Facebook! Even old / former employers who have her direct email AND her cell phone number!

Then this past Friday, I was in major prep mode for my weekend class and again, away from my computer for exactly three hours. Someone had popped into my etsy and requested I put together a custom order for her of my silicone rubber necklaces. Now, I sell these on Etsy and Artfire so that someone buying one of my hearts has an option for easy display. I sell them for a darn cheap price (and even cheaper on my glass bead website). If someone doesn't figure that out, I'm fine taking extra money cause, hey, I gotta pay the etsy piper, right?

Because I felt guilty being off line for SO LONG, I immediately created the listing and THEN contacted her. No reply. I worried about it a bit over the weekend and tried to remind myself... people don't need to be online all the time. People have lives. I sent her a friendly reminder last night. This morning I hear from her...she "got tired" of waiting and purchased them for a higher price elsewhere!

Gee lady, it would have been nice if you TOLD me before I listed the custom order like YOU ASKED FOR! So... my lesson is your win! Mention this special, TODAY ONLY and get free shipping!

I really just wish everyone had a little more patience. If you need to order something special, remember, artists NEED time to create. If you haven't heard from someone you know in real life, CALL them. They probably feel grateful for the sound of your voice.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Marketing Rant: Music on Blogs

On a personal level, music on websites annoys the ever loving crap out of me! It annoys me on MANY levels.

  • I'm either looking at beads or dogs. What about those topics screams "needs a sound track?" 
  • Who decided YOU (the blogger) should be the DJ for MY life?
  • What if I'm already listening to my own music? I often have my tv on. My dog is making noises and I'm usually on hold for some annoying dreaded service with hold music. Why add to the riff raff of my life???
I feel so strongly on this topic that I readily admit that during the whole One World One Heart Blog hop, if there is music, I'M OUTTA THERE! But all that is just me being a curmudgeon.

Since is this a blog about my handmade bead business...let's look at this from a marketing standpoint. First of all, what if even a few of your customers feel the way I feel? You've already pissed them off. And for what? So you could be all cool and have music on your site?
"Notes"  - Made to order focal by Abigail Lyn

But the one that gets me is... I always think my average customer is somewhat like me. Middle-aged, stressed and doing too many things at once. When I had a 'real' job, the only time I had to shop on line was... during down time at the office....waiting on hold for a client, waiting for all the troops to show up for a meeting, or killing time until I could walk out the door. NOTHING gives away the fact that you are surfing while at work faster than some lame arsed music suddenly blaring out the computer! And now, you've pretty much guaranteed that user will NOT visit your website during business hours again! And if that's the only time she surfs... GOODBYE POTENTIAL CUSTOMER!

And what if your viewers' musical taste differs from your own? Let's face it. Musical tastes vary widely. My three closest friends could never stomach so much as a car ride together with each having a different musical ear that would drive the others nuts (Chopin, show tunes and Eurotrash club music).  Do you really want your customer's to know of your love for British punk? You might think you're cool but your customers might think you're a dork!

If you still feel inclined to have one of those annoying gadgets on your site, at least give your viewers the options to turn them ON.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cool Collections

OK... it's been a crazy morning in this Creek hiker's life. No...I didn't get confused and post to the wrong blog again. It's just that the subject matter of my other blog is a bit more important and time consuming today!

So I'm going to beg off by sharing a cool Artfire Collection put together by my friend Rose of Spawn of Flame:

And here's a cool Treasury curated by Fire Diva's Co Leader Kathleen of Ugly Duckling Beads

'The Glass Says It All!' by UglyDucklingBeads

Handmade lampwork beads to oogle, enjoy, and "chill" out......

Clio Handmade Lampwork ...

Notes- Music Handmade G...

Little Sirona Velvet Gl...

Made to order, pink, or...

Handcrafted Lampwork Gl...

Zebra Lentils - 6 Lampw...

Champagne Floral Focal ...

Electroformed Real Acor...

Sari Silk Tesoro Handma...

Lampwork Boro Focal Bea...

Solar Flair - Organic B...

Big Hole Glass Beads Pi...

Hornbill Pendant Lampwo...

Purple and Green Waves ...

Green Man and his Frien...

Thanks for giving this duck foster mom the day off!