Friday, April 26, 2013

Fashion Friday - Almond Blossoms

I thought I would use one of my own jewelry designs. This piece called Almond Blossoms is really pretty in person yet it has been languishing in my shop.... price reduced again and again...sigh.  I really like it... crystals riding a roller coaster of wire...hand hammered sterling flowers and a little pink bell flower dangle. It's available on Ebay.

I do think the colors of teal and pink and silver work really well together.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Published! Finally!

I have always wanted to have a bead published as part of someone's jewelry design and it's finally happened! A necklace designed by Suzann Sladcik Wilson has been published in the May issue of Bead Style Magazine. Here's the cover if you happen to be a in a bead shop or craft store:


I also got a nice mention in their newsletter this month! It's about halfway down under "Designs We Love."  Suzann is the owner of Beadphoria and writes and designs and is just amazing!

A Woman's Heart necklace design by Suzann Sladcik Wilson. Focal bead by Holly's Folly. ;-)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spring Cleaning

I've been a busy girl! Obsessed with my new Glass Bead Blog, teaching several classes this week, trying to expand my teaching horizons by applying  to several new schools (time consuming paperwork!). I'm also trying find more affordable health insurance as my current one is more than I make most months...this for a girl who avoids doctors like the plague! But that is MORE time consuming paperwork!

I'm also trying to start a new business venture that will actually bring in some income since it appears I won't be getting a job any time soon.... Can you tell I'm in the "Throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" phase of panicking about my finances???

I have beads to list...but no one seems to be buying beads. Buying beads motivates your bead maker to list beads... I forgot to even photograph today's "fresh glass!" And I have a couple of orders for Memorial beads...

So in the middle of all the things I "should" be doing... what am I actually doing??? Spring cleaning! I've been going through closets and washing walls and cabinets!

And then there's this project:
 I ask you, if not for my little label, could you actually READ the label on this frit jar??? I can't...

I'm not knocking any one frit maker... I love them all but... over time, the labels ALWAYS fade. And I have a hard enough time seeing anything! So out came the label maker...

It was a BIG project:

Which led to an even bigger one... but I will save that for another post!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Glass Beads Daily Working It

Last week, I mentioned my new blog  for all glass bead makers and lampwork jewelry designers to share their work. Glass Beads Daily has been the result of being on teams that just didn't work for me and is built under a single premise: Add a link, share a link.  No team rules, no check in, no treasuries to build. Share, promote, and done.

While the site is still in it's infancy and we're waiting (not so patiently) for the bots and spiders to find us, I thought it would be interesting to list my usual round of glass beads on ebay and NOT promote them anywhere else.

Normally, I would be tweeting each listing, promoting links on my usual round of bead sharing sites from LE to various Facebook groups and I do get a handful of views that way and pick up some watchers who are not serious bidders.

But two days ago, I shared one of my keys on Glass Beads Daily and ... l@@k at my views:

Now you may think this is a fluke but, notice the two listings below the one I shared...similar search terms and titles!  And look at the paltry number of views on the other items - par for the course on Feebay.... sigh.

And I have no bids yet but... It feels good to know my new baby is getting me some traffic. I've had others tell me they are getting traffic and even sales. I know this will be good for all of us, especially when those bots start finding us!!!

If you make glass beads or utilize lampwork in your jewelry, come on over and share!!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Beads of Courage Flame Day

The SoCal Flame Surfers sponsored a Flame Day last Saturday for volunteers to come and make large glass beads for Beads of Courage. Donna Conklin, owner of The Mandrel, provided the space, gas and torches.

 Here's Donna working on a mushroom bead:

 This is Kathy working on a caterpillar bead:

 And here's Charlie Warner working on a garden critter:
Notice all the toys on the table??? They are there for inspiration! We also had pages of coloring books taped on the walls. Kid stuff is great inspiration as the drawings and toys are usually in the simplest form!!

We made over 70 large beads in 4 hours!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fresh Glass 4/15/13

I've started working through Kim Neely's Creativity Bootcamp for Lampworkers...trying to find my mojo. I must say, yesterday was the best torch session I've had since my sister died. These photos are actually from the last THREE sessions and honestly, I'm not in love with many of the beads. Just yesterday's...but you'll have to guess which ones they are.

And come join the fun and amazing party over at Glass Beads Daily! We've got some of the best lampwork, glass beads and jewerly on Etsy, Ebay and Artfire showing off over there!

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Heart of the Matter

The fashion layout was inspired by the stunning glass bead heart necklace created by Donna Conklin of Prima Donna Beads and The Mandrel. Donna is a gifted glass worker and her beads are so pretty!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My New Baby: Glass Beads Daily

Sorry I've been ignoring you, but I have a new baby! Glass Beads Daily. Why start another glass bead blog when I already have this one???


Well, it's the result of taking many internet marketing classes, my years with the Fire Divas and more recently, PromoFrenzyTeam on Etsy. I know what doesn't work... Team rules, schedules and mandatory stuff. Who has time for that when many artists already spend more time on the computer than they do making their art!

I also know what DOES work... Ease of use, a public (no-logins) site for fans to view eye candy and no rules. I also know that it is far easier for me... a shy artist (insert eye roll...but believe it or not, I am fairly shy!) to talk about ME. But I can talk about and share other artists' work from dusk til dawn. I know many others feel the same! Cross promotion DOES work!!!

So I built a site that I can maintain in minutes a week! I do accept advertising (very low fees!) to help this starving artist pay for some of the back-end coding that I had to purchase. But it's FREE to share!

On day one, we had over 300 visits and got 10 gorgeous entries and a handful of followers! Yay! And day two is off to a roaring good start!

So... I hope you come visit us over there... I promise lots of eye candy. And if you have a glass bead listing to share (or even a blog post about glass beads), please feel free to do so! And jewelry makers who utilize artisan glass beads are more than welcome too!!! Come share the link love!!!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Fashion Friday -- Make My Brown Eyes Blue

So sorry, Fashion Friday is VERY late. I guess I have spring fever. I simply forgot! OY! But glass bead jewelry is always inspirational, no matter what day it is!

This fashion layout was inspired by the amazing glass bead eyeball earrings made by my dear friend Janel Dudley a/k/a JanelDudleyBeads on Etsy. Eye beads are considered lucky and protective in many cultures.I just think they are AWESOME. I think it would be neat to have a set in several colors and mix and match! Fun stuff!!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

More Merchant Services Research

It really pays to check the price of your merchant accounts from time to time. I had been with Intuit and loved it... 24/7 AMERICAN customer support by phone is a BIG plus to me! (Wish more banks understood that!)  And their prices were cheaper...when they started... but not any more!

The above is my research... the yellow highlights are companies that won't work for my business for one reason or another... some of which you can guess by my notes on the right: lots of charges charges (charges for no reason), no phone support, etc.

I was kind of shocked that I can save so much money by encouraging people to check out with Paypal and putting in their own credit card number vs. me putting it in. Another thing I hate about that is, I have to have my phone or Ipad handy even though I'm working on a computer in my shop... sucks when your space is crowded!

The last column is one I recommend anyone test when checking out a  merchant processor. What is your average sale amount??? Run the numbers on what that sale will cost you with that merchant. How many sales do you average every month? And what are your total sales? Knowing those numbers will help you save!!

This research made me want to send folks directly to Paypal for almost a 40 cent savings on my average order... Hey, when you are a starving artist...every penny COUNTS!

But I knew folks have a bad view of Paypal. I posted notes on my fan page and home page and the comments piled up! Did you know that if you are locked out of your Paypal account and yet your credit card is tied to that account, you cannot pay the "simple" way that Paypal advertises!??!

I was surprised that Google (a much friendlier company in many eyes) has Google Wallet now. So I set it up on my bead site and created some new buttons to make the shopping cart clear as mud...

Hopefully it will save me a few pennies. I will be switching to Paypal Here for classes... again a few pennies savings. And you can always get Paypal Phillipines on the phone (yaythat'sgreat...NOT!) and even sometimes Paypal Colorado...which is great!

My ebay sales were a bust and I still have a puppeh surgery to pay for so, relisted and reduced and ending in two days! Please take a l@@k at my auctions!