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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

As one year comes to a close...

Another one is just beginning. Sitting at work this morning at my desk with no real work to do (not that I'm complaining) I'm getting the chance to reflect on this past year. Much has happened this year.
There have been graduations, military commissionings, marriages, new homes, new furniture and many new ventures. With new ventures specifically I mean the fact that I have started to make (and sell) jewelry. I'm not totally sure how this happened but I'm enjoying my new hobby/business. I have a few websites, a blog and a new community of people to share my ideas with. I have not yet sold anything online but I have made several offline sales. I currently have 2 orders for custom pieces. I really do hope that the online portion of my business takes off. I'm quite hopeful about it.
The entire Art Fire community has been great. Through the forums there I can find all of the support that I need and then some. The other sellers on Art Fire are just supurb. There does not seem to be many bad apples in that bunch and I hope that it stays that way. 2008 has treated me well and I hope that 2009 does as well.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Check out Studio Art Fire...

My wire wrapped lampwork bracelet is up on the blog. Check it out!
Many thanks to Tim for the feature!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Working on my photos...

So my photos get better bit by bit. It's a slow process because I am not always available to shoot in the daytime when there's natural light. I can't hover over the piece because then it leaves a shadow. The dang macro feature on the camera is a pain in the rear end as well. The macro setting is sooooo sensitive it's ridiculous. I'm hoping that I get a chance to take some pics this weekend and revamp some of my listings before I go on vacation on Monday cuz I really won't have the time when I'm up in NJ visiting my family.

We'll see I suppose.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I found the BEST local bead shop.

So I'm going to be featured in the issue of Bead Unique that's comming out next month. I wanted to find a place locally that sells it because I'm not sure if I want to subscribe to it yet. On there website I found this local bead shop Atlanta Bead Market. This is the cutest store! It's a bit on the small side but that's ok. They have a great selection of all kinds of beads, semi-precious, seed beads, czech glass, pearls, swarovski, silver and a ton more. Judy, the owner of the store is just wonderful also. She said that once the magazine comes out she's going to post it up in the shop with a note about how I have been in the store. The prices here are pretty fair, they are a bit more than I'm used to paying but the quality more than makes up for it. They also have some really hard to find things also. They have a ton of classes, a few of which I'm going to take to imporve my skills.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I found the best way to make earring cards!

So I've been looking for a relatively inexpensive professional looking solution to display my earrings and package them so they don't fall to the bottom of the little zip top baggie that I put them in. I've been doing some reasearch on the subject and found the perfect thing. My earring zip top bags are 2" x3" so I needed something relatively small. A standard business card size is just a bit too big. I have some old place card sheets lying around from when I got married last year (we printed up our own cards) so I thought that they would be about the right size. Well I checked and they are the perfect size if I cut them in half. All I need to do is to fold the top part down a little under an inch or so and poke 2 holes in the card (a push pin works great) and insert the ear wires. Voila, the perfect earring card! These cards also work if you will be displaying them at a show. You can preprint whatever you want on them or leave them blank. Mine are blank for now but I'm going to work on printing up my store name and website on them. Total cost for 96 earrings cards? It's about $5 for a package of 48 cards. Cut each of those cards in half so you get the 96. That comes out to about $0.05 a card, it's only about $0.03 a card if you can get the pack at 50% off like I did.

Here's a few pictures to show you.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Torn between promoting my 2 different shops...

So I have 2 stores. One on and the other on I really like the artfire layout and everything a lot better and was considering closing the shop handmade store but I got an email that a pendant necklace that I made was going to be featured in a magazine and that they found the necklace on my shop handmade store. So I have no idea what to do. I really haven't had sales at either shop but I'm hopeful that after the magazine comes out it will boost my sales.

Friday, December 12, 2008

So I found out today that....

One of my pieces is going to be featured in a magazine. See my post for my Round Pendant necklace with the swarovski crystals. That piece will be featured in Bead Unique in the January issue so be on the lookout!

Join Artfire and Sell!

For a low $7/month you can sell on Artfire. Yea they have a free store but you can only list 10 items at a time. Now there's Etsy which charges $0.20/listing and then a 3.5% commission once an item sells. For $7/month I can have unlimited listings, for right now I have 30 listings so were I on Etsy that would be $6 right there not including commission of course. I'm in the process of making about 10 or so other things so that would be another $2 right there, I already made up my $7/month for this month.

Check it out.

Register on

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I think that I need to buy some more supplies

So I was looking at all of the materials that I have in stock. The answer was not such a good thing. I need to re-stock in a bad way. I think that I need to try branching out into some different mediums.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quite possibly my favortie supply shop.

I love this online retailer for my jewelry making supplies. They have everything that I need and I don't have to buy 50 of something if I only need 1 or 2. Check them out, they have the best Swarovski prices that I've seen yet even when my local craft store is having a 50% off sale. Best part is that they offer free US shipping with no minimum order.

Artbeads Jewelry Supplies

My favorite piece that I've made so far

So this has got to be my favortie piece by far. I found this cool pendant and made a necklace for it. It's a round black & white pendant that has this really cool crackle effect to it. I made another necklace similar to this one for myself with a purple pendant.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

So I totally just love Art Fire

They just seem to have all of the features that I want/need and a website layout that I just love. I still do have the shop handmade store but I think that Art Fire is my new love. For just $7/month I can have unlimited listings and track my stats to see the views that I'm getting. Plus I just love the forum, they call it a chatterbox. Check it and me out on it if you get the chance.

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

Free Traffic for your website or blog!

So, I started this new website traffic thing called link referral. You can use it for free (I do) or can become an upgraded member. So far both of my websites have been getting increased traffic and hopefully it will generate more sales. To stay in the top half of your category all you have to do is to log in once a day. If you want your status bumped up just pick 5 sites to review a day and visit 25 more.

Monday, December 8, 2008

So I started another website that I think I like better....

So I knew about but decided to check out Shop Handmade first. I have some things listed on shop handmade but I'm thinking that I like art fire better. Yea I can have a free site on art fire but I like the features that I'm paying for the verified membership. So take a look at my other website and let me know what you think.

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade