Not-so-daily bits and pieces about my art, stuff for sale, and every day epiphanies

A long slow Caturday! February 24, 2008

Filed under: ebay,etsy,Knitting,Lampworking — pyropagan @ 1:07 am
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I spent quite a while lazing around this morning before I finally started taking pictures for auctions and Etsy listings today, but I did get the rabbit cage cleaned 😀 Not a whole lot to talk about today, it’s been pretty much “stay home on the couch, stay warm, work on auctions” day! A lot of Food TV on in the background as I worked really is getting me in the mood for diner burgers, fried chicken and ribs, though… LOL!

One photo from each of the sites, then I’m off to knit and watch a movie 😀

Limpid (on eBay)

Trailside (on Etsy)

Of course, the set was inspired by the focal! I loved the way Trailside turned out so much that I made an entire set out of the base bead… now, being handmade, silvered boutique glass, they didn’t strike EXACTLY the same, but the idea is the same! 😀 Yummy lentils, both.

I’m off to knit more of the Horseshoe Lace cardigan- only three more miles of ribbing to do (with thin yarn, tiny needles, seems to be taking FORRRRREEEEVVVVVEEEERRRRRR! 🙂 ). I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend!


What an unusual day at the torch! February 19, 2008

I had a very weird day at the torch a couple of days ago, and ended up with some beads that, while they are still *me*, are new to me.  I’d gotten a floating sterling silver heart pendant from the hubby for Valentine’s day, and the design (mass marketed, I’d never try to translate a handcrafter’s silver into glass without permission!) was so neat that I looked at it and said… I have to make some of these out of glass.  So, I did 😀

Aren’t those just the neatest idea? I had a devil of a time getting them made, but hopefully if they’re well received, I’ll work on the technique so they go easier.  Whew!

Then, some more button flowers…

(just a thumbnail of that one.)

I got a new set of bright dotty calaveras made, and a button set with some silvered glass that I think looks rockin- I hope someone else thinks so too!

Saturday, we sat and watched movies at home after dropping the kids off at gramma & grampa’s house.  I took the time on the couch watching so-so artsy movies to paint, and came up with this for my second painting for sale (and it’s still listed, no one jumped on this one yet! :D).

La Catrina out for a lunch date in her pearls and roses!  I so enjoyed this one… already have a third sketched out to be painted after shipping gets done tomorrow. Today was President’s Day, no mail, so I didn’t get to send anything out.  So, mail tomorrow, little painting, getting some points on Club Penguin for the LiliBean 😀

Beads are on eBay, painting is on Etsy! 😀


Promotion, location, location…(and a lot of extra side dialog) February 18, 2008

The old saying goes, “Location, location, location!”, but when you’re talking internet sales, it’s not all about the location. Sure, having your website easily found is one big hurdle jumped, but there’s so much more to advertising your work on the web, whether you’re a glass artist, painter, pattern designer, seamstress, graphic artist, or any other kind of artist (I could go on here- I know so many talented artists! Bookmakers, altered book artists, found object artists, metalsmiths, you name it!).

What do I do to promote my beads (and now paintings)? I hate to say it, but I’m horribly lazy when it comes to promotion. The easiest, really, though I hate to admit it, is listing on eBay. I have always considered the listing and ending fees, and even the PayPal fees, an advertising cost. Considering the fact that about 80% of my sales are completed through eBay, it’s effective. Second front of advertising is direct email through my newsletter. Every time I list auctions or Etsy items, I send out an email to buyers and browsers that have subscribed to my email list. I try to keep it down to no more than 2 a week so they don’t get sick of seeing me 🙂 Third, I’ve joined the Glass Haven’s Etsy Street Team to get more exposure and help other glass artists get the exposure we need. Later, we’re hoping to take out small ads in leading bead magazines to draw more buyers.

I won’t spam other blogs with my listings, but I will post here and there a comment, and I’ve noticed some of my blog clicks coming from other blogs (some totally unrelated to beads or jewelry). My blog currently has pretty low traffic, but any traffic is good traffic! 🙂

I really should do more in the self-promotion field, especially since I want to migrate more towards Etsy and my website for sales, but until funds pick up, print advertising is a no-go. What else could I do to advertise?

  • a small ad or two in bead magazines (Beadwork, JustBeads, Bead & Button, Jewelry Artist, etc.)
  • post more often (or at all!) in my eBay discussion groups- I get behind in these because of my antisocial tendencies, so going back to post that I have listings feels like spam. Not a good feeling.
  • send in submissions of my work to aforementioned bead magazines. If accepted, that’s wonderful free advertising!
  • post in my blog more often, and promote the *blog* as well as my website and auctions
  • join a banner exchange for jewelry designers (I hate to say that the top 10 lists seem a little skewed, and this only seems to work if you have the traffic to begin with- I’ve seen people post that their banner is almost at the top, would you please go click it to raise it in the listings?, etc, which doesn’t seem productive to me, just… Yay, my banner’s at the top, not that any buyers actually clicked on it, but I have lots of friends… hmmm)
  • have promotional contests- comment on my blog and I’ll chose one a week at random to receive a bead, or a percentage off of purchases. I’ll have to think on that one. This smacks of ‘give me free stuff, not that I’d buy your beads’, and I can’t say I haven’t joined a contest just for the free stuff with no intention of ever purchasing from a company.
  • wear my own work as jewelry. For the most part, I only wear the same 6 rings, my Brighid’s cross, and the necklace hubby gave me for Valentine’s day. I should wear my own beads- bracelets, earrings, etc. I have commented on people’s jewelry, and hopefully they would comment on mine and I could launch into full diatribe about how I made it, designed it… yes, that sounds really… er… I should instead just say thank you and hand them a card with my website 🙂
  • drop cards at local boutiques, and bring in samples of finished jewelry. Yeah, I have time to make up finished stuff, eh? Not! LOL There is a local (I say local, they’re 15 miles away) bead store that I went into when I *really* needed some sterling silver wire and Swarkies… I was treated so rudely and the prices were so outlandish (I’m talking 75 cents for a single 6mm crystal Swarkie) that I left my bead tray on the counter and walked out, but not before telling the owner that I was appalled at her service and prices, and pretty much told her she’d never have the pleasure of selling my most incredible, insanely gorgeous, well crafted, detail oriented lampwork beads. So there.
  • show at craft shows. We do have a lot of these in the area, within a 50 mile radius or so. The only problem with this is that I have a hard time collecting backstock. I tend to sell continuously (because face it, I need the money now) instead of holding onto things to sell at shows.
  • be better with MY service. Ship faster, send little promotional goodies, pretty packaging. Right now I seal the beads into a pouch of bubble wrap with an impulse sealer (if you’re looking for one, Harbor Freight has a GREAT 12 inch sealer- I love it). I could add organza bags or ribbons, buy boxes, etc. I do always include a business card- unless it’s a serial buyer who I know is getting tired of getting them 😀 I spend a lot of time at Vistaprint getting magnets, calendars, etc. Etsy has GREAT promo people (see users kittycrossbones, pixelmade, sassycat, or just search for ‘promo’ on Etsy!) who will make buttons, magnets, coasters, mirrors, little matchbook notepads, with your graphic. They’re faboo, and I need to get more.

So, with all that said, there’s so much that you can do to promote your online and brick and mortar sales. I just need to prioritize! Do I need an ad, or 5 more skeins of that gorgeous wool? Hrmmmm…

I’ll be posting more later- new auctions are going up and I want to show off my new painting, too! 😀


Approaching laziness! February 8, 2008

Filed under: ebay,La Vida,Lampworking — pyropagan @ 5:42 pm
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Ahh, here comes the weekend!  I plan on doing nothing but knitting and watching movies.  Except I really wanted to make a set of button shaped beads based on this focal I just listed…

Yummy, huh?  I love the glowing silver inside it!  Only a canes to pull, some silver to cut, and I’ll be all set (as long as my clear comes in today… hmph).

A good glass friend of mine is contemplating selling her torch to pay some bills- this winter has been rough on a lot of artists, and the economy isn’t looking up.  We’re all hoping that with tax refunds coming in, people will buy jewelry, in turn, jewelry designers will need beads.  Cross your fingers for us.  Anyway, our glass forum is begging her not to sell it, and she said it’s amazing how upset we all are about selling a torch and it shows how dedicated we are to our art.  LOL… She’s right, but I got to thinking, what would I do if I had to sell mine for the cash?  Unlike her, I don’t have a day to day job, so if I really needed the cash, I’d spend all day torching for a week and put some buy it now auctions up, crossing my fingers… I could usually come up with at least a couple of auctions that would sell. But if that didn’t work?  I know I’d be crying as I put it up for sale!  Vicious cycle- sell the torch to get money, then how do I make more money to buy a new torch? Yep. Conundrum.

So, auctions are up! Yay! Prepare for laziness 😀


Re-appropriated February 7, 2008

Filed under: ebay,etsy,Lampworking — pyropagan @ 3:44 am
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Artists will try using ANYTHING in their art.  Now, glass artists might not use plastic or anything of that sort, but if you put something metal in front of us, I bet you that we can figure out how to use it with our glass 🙂  I have tools that you wouldn’t ever associate with lampworking in my glass room, and even if you saw them, you might have to ask what the heck I use them for!  I have an aluminum block that was once a wire bending jig for wired jewelry- it now holds my dipped mandrels.  I have a tiling adhesive type trowel attached to a ‘third hand’ base for leveling out beads- the serrated edge holds a mandrel just right for me to rotate it and round out hot glass.  Butter knives, tongue piercing hemostats, sugar tongs, stainless steel chopsticks, a magnetic knife strip, auto body dollies, cute little brass molding hardware… I love going to Home Depot and Lowe’s as much as hubby does.  Never know what you’ll run across and think.. You know, I could do THIS with THAT!

So, here’s what I photographed today- the first two photos are prize beads for a Mardi Gras thread I posted in The Glass Haven.  The third is up on eBay (and I put two new focals in the Etsy store 🙂 ).    That’s enough photo hogging for the day! 🙂

So there we are for the day!  I did no torching today, instead opting to play with my new gorgeous yarn and work on mitered squares (my first), and catching up on LOLcat posts.  🙂  Tomorrow’s looking like there will be no school, so I may hide and torch for a couple of hours while the kids watch a movie 😀  Bad mommy…


The TGH Etsy team! February 6, 2008

Filed under: etsy,Knitting,Lampworking,yarn — pyropagan @ 4:07 am
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I’m a fairly active member of one glass forum, The Glass Haven, posting there pretty regularly (well, a lot more regularly than I blog :D).  Several of the members there have an Etsy shop, and the forum owner thought it would be a great idea to set up a TGH Etsy Street Team. Yay! Here’s my button for the team:

I’m going to have to revise my item descriptions to include something about the team so that we can have buyers network better through our items.  We have some awesome artists on this team! 🙂  And I’ll have to find a way to get a button on my sidebar for this, too 🙂

School was out today, because of fog and flooding, and it’s still raining/sleeting.  I don’t know what’s up tomorrow, but I did manage to get some beads made today amidst the hysteria!  I’ll be posting a little about them tomorrow.  For now, some eye candy from one of my girls at The Glass Haven, SleekBeads, and you can click the link to go to the Etsy listing:

If I had the cash, this would SO be mine… so.. someone buy something! LOL!  While it’s gray and dreary outside, I’ve been attempting to kick the designers into happy gear with bright beads, full of color, but.. they’re not going over so well.  *sigh*  I don’t want to make organics because the colors just don’t inspire me right now to create.  I want color, and lots of it, a rainbow spree of joy!  Hopefully this will catch on soon 😉

In the meantime, I started a pair of armwarmers with a Garnstudio pattern, and had to frog it because my circular knitting gauge was wayyy off from my flat knitting gauge, so it never would have fit.  But, the yarn (which I posted yesterday, I think) was BEAUTIFUL in the lace pattern, and I can’t wait to see it in mitered squares and finished knitted pieces 🙂  I’ll start that again tomorrow, after listing new eBay auctions and Etsy listings.

I finished reading Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts, and I’m scrambling to see if The Hollow is out yet. If it is, I’m splurging with the next payment that comes in! 🙂  It was COMPLETELY engaging, and the storyline rocks. Can’t wait to see this play out to the final end.

That’s all for tonight, I’m outta here!


Bunny! Whoopeeee! February 5, 2008

Filed under: Knitting,La Vida,Lampworking,yarn — pyropagan @ 12:22 am
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Last night, we went to the pet store to pick up guppies to feed:

and crickets to feed my son’s lizard (no lizard piccy, sorry!), and we ended up leaving with…

YAY! I’ve wanted a bunny for years. This little guy (yep, he’s got a dot, not a is named Bunnicula, and he’s a dwarf rabbit. Anything other than dwarf, I don’t know. We set him up in a cage with lots of room to play in, and I’m doing research on what kinds of toys they like, and how to make them feel safe and comfortable. He’ll be well loved! Wille (my basset hound) sniffs him constantly when he’s out, and loves him to bits. He’s been asking for a kitten for a long time now, so I figured a bunny would slip by as a cat 😉

And… new beads are up. Still on eBay at the moment, trying to let bead browsers on the bay know that I’m moving shop to Etsy and my website. Here’s a peek!

Annnnnd…. I got yarn. The yummiest yarn I’ve ever bought so far! The seller is Yarntopia Treasures on eBay, or Yarntopia Treasures on Etsy. I had to get more of the Arctic Rose I just bought, for a mitered square lace up tank top. NOM!!1!!!11!! Here’s the Arctic Rose colorway (borrowing her photo 🙂 ). Succulent!

With the extra I ordered, I’ll have enough for some fingerless gloves, too!