Jul 24, 2008

Amazing Boro Beads

I'm in love with the boro bead creations of Jacquelyn Rice of C.N.Y Glass Studio and this necklace and bracelet ensemble might just become one of my favorite pieces to wear. I searched high and low for the perfect complement for these recent blue topaz finds and I was overjoyed when these three beads arrived from the New York studio. They are precisely what I had in mind.

It's always a joy to develop a personal piece of jewelry. That's likely where I feel most comfortable. I know the customer so well!! So creating this set was pure fun...

Notice how these wacky glass beads unify the color palette in the bracelet. This is my first use of Ranjan's stones from Spectrum Gems in Jaipur (large faceted rondelles of smokey quartz and lemon topaz) which I feel were the perfect foil for the electric blue of the Swiss Blue Topaz faceted dice, faceted nuggets and faceted rondelles from Bead Palace.

In fact, I'm so taken with this type of glossy boro bead, that I just signed up for a weekend lampworking workshop at BeadFX located in Scarborough (eastern Toronto suburb about 30 minute drive from me), where they teach soft glass, but I'm already getting prepared to leap as soon as I can into borosilicates.

A few minutes of online research revealed that boro bead making differs from soft glass primarily due to the hardness of the glass, its coefficient of expansion, need for hotter flame and different annealing. Other than that, these media may be rather similar to work with when hot. So I'm hoping to learn enough basic lampwork techniques this weekend to get me off to a good start. I'm already dreaming of bead designs, color combos, and applications.




















No, I don't have a kiln yet, but I have this stuff. That's our year old airedale Amy guarding disposable tanks of MPS a methyl acetylene that apparently burns hotter than propane. And I have a wee Gentec torch. I've also got an acetylene tank system too with big torches (one of the few benefits of owning my own bicycle manufacturing company) but I haven't found out yet if I need this big equipment for hard glass making.


I can't wait for my lampworking weekend. Suffice it to say that I'm delighted to be learning something new.



Jul 12, 2008

SassyDLite Montage on YouTube




This is a montage that I just made at One True Media. My montage features SassyDLite Spring/Summer 2008 Jewelry Collection.

Elayne from ChezChani just posted info concerning this fab concept on our eSMArts yahoo forum. I'm impressed with this montage feature and I found it was very easy to use. Elayne is one of the talented artisans on our eSMArts etsy team.

Here's my montage with music score on my Facebook.
There is a copy on my YouTube too!

Jul 6, 2008

etsy Social Marketing Artisans group

My venture into the social marketing sphere is progressing well. Several weeks ago I started eSMArts, a group for etsy and other artisans interested in learning and applying the latest ecommerce promotion techniques in order to drive traffic to their etsy storefronts and other sales sites.

I was looking for like minded souls interested in promoting their art to work with me. eSMArts has its own mandatory yahoo forum where all information concerning social marketing is stored and shared. eSMArts also refers to our talented group of artisans who sell online at Etsy.com.

Our global collaborative consists of artists from all media and genres. We have seventy contributing members, 30 auditing members who have yet to establish an online sales venue and more applications arrive each day.

We stipulated from the outset that we were looking for artisans of handmade goods. An etsy storefront wasn't a requirement at first but for administrative purposes we may need to revisit that issue. We may amend membership criteria down the road limiting new entrants to etsy sellers in good standing.

To sell handmade goods on
etsy, either you or a member of your immediate family must be making (or directly supervising the creation of) handmade goods. So that requirement goes without saying.

Etsy (owned by eBay) provides a user friendly shopping cart that accepts PayPal (also owned by eBay - big surprise). Etsy does no promotion however. Listing fees are only 20 cents per item which is great. But unlike eBay, Etsy doesn't even feed products through to google base. So merely setting up a lovely etsy store doesn't mean you'll make any sales. Your items likely won't show in search engines unless they've been promoted elsewhere on the web.

Veteran etsians have known for some time that the only way to crack the promotion problem was to form large supportive groups who cross promote one another. These groups were originally geographically based, hence the term "street team".

The etsy community consists of thousands of artisans from around the world. Check out the hundreds of thousands of wonderfully handcrafted gift items available for immediate purchase at
http://www.etsy.com/!

Etsy's community is a very inspiring place for we creative types - being surrounded by so may creative folks pushes us to achieve more. And I'm noticing that even our newest etsians have made a few sales already. See our gallery of creations.

The difference between eSMArts and perhaps many of the other etsy "street teams" is that we are not merely a chat group. Each member of our team is 100% commited to promoting the endeavours of our team. We feel that fully participating in one street team is more than most artisans can handle. For that reason membership to eSMArts is limited to those who do not already belong to other etsy groups.

Our eSMArts etsy team members are currently moving through the intial setup phase of building etsy storefronts, learning more about taking quality photos to display their art in the best light, setting up online web logs (blogs) and doing online networking.

We've gone through a few growing pains, but I'm full of pride when it comes to my new team. I'm increasingly proud of their willingness to help each other and the hard work and time each member has invested is already paying off. Our
team blog is taking shape too.

If you're interested in working with us, if you'd like to sell your handmade goods online, or if you're currently an etsy seller who doesn't belong to other etsy street teams, click the link in the sidebar to the right. Come see what the excitement is all about. We'd love to work with you!

What happened to my blog?

Everything was working fine. I edited the html on all pics to include anchor text and links to the various items as featured for sale online.

Things appeared to be great for several week. Then, today I'm browsing my sites and lo and behold, many of my pics aren't showing up. Blogger has removed anchor text and linking code from several images.

Is this why veteran html users leave blogger?

So I'm fixing things up, reinserting pics and adding linked text within text paragraphs. Now things look corny. But let's hope I don't have to go through all this a third time or I'll consider switching to a more sophisticated blogging platform. You know what they say about busy people - we rely on using the right tool for the job. And right now hassling with Blogger's predefined structure is getting in the way of my creativity & productivity.