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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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 ๐Ÿ˜€

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! ๐Ÿ˜€ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ ). I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend!


8 wheels, 2 feet. February 21, 2008

Tuesday night the school had a skate night at a local skating rink. Now, back in ‘the day’ (let’s say, ohhhhh, 20 years ago), I was one of the kids you saw racing around the middle, skating backwards around the others, dancing WHILE skating. Those days? Gone. I could barely stay on two feet for the first few rounds! A couple of laps later, I was getting back into it, more comfortable, and my shins had stopped burning. Then BAM! Hello hard floor and totally skinned knee under jeans. Ow. I made a few rounds with Lili, Colby and his friend Ricky were passing us every once in a while, and we had fun ๐Ÿ™‚

Yesterday, the boy was home sick. Yay for being back at school! Next week, I’m scheduled to go in to Lili’s class because I’m her V.I.P. ๐Ÿ˜€ Cool! The teacher emailed me and said it was today, and I panicked- but we got that straight.. whew! She said to talk to the kids about my jewelry (they get to ‘interview’ me), and I said I’d bring in some of my more durable items ๐Ÿ™‚

I finished another painting, this one’s my favorite so far! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ve listed it on Etsy !

La Catrina’s Margarita

I’ve got beads, too, but they’ll be up tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚ Today I don’t feel like doing much of anything, it’s a very cold blah day, and I feel like I need a day off. Winter depression is dragging me down here at the end of the season, and I can’t get motivated for much of anything. Bah! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll be back tomorrow to post bead pictures!


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.ย  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.ย  So, I did ๐Ÿ˜€

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.ย  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.ย  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!ย  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.ย  So, mail tomorrow, little painting, getting some points on Club Penguin for the LiliBean ๐Ÿ˜€

Beads are on eBay, painting is on Etsy! ๐Ÿ˜€


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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚
  • 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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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! ๐Ÿ˜€


Venturing out February 10, 2008

Filed under: etsy,Knitting,La Vida,Lampworking,yarn — pyropagan @ 6:35 am
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Without the kids, on a Saturday! Yippeeee!ย  Hubby today told me to get ready to go pre-noon, because we were going out.ย  Out? On a Saturday?ย  Wow!ย  So, we got in the car and headed to Huntington to Homier… to pick up bandages.ย  Best bandages in the world, I tell you.ย  100 fabric bandages for a BUCK!ย  Anyway, once we were there and picking around- it’s mostly a tool store, but they import a lot of trivial trinkets, geegaws and gimcrack- I found the most perfect storage table.ย  3 wire baskets, 3 shelves with a glass door- and all my yarn fits in it ๐Ÿ™‚ย  For 20 bucks, I couldn’t pass it by, so it came home with us ๐Ÿ˜€

yarn stashย storage

Hubby says it looks like a store ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  I have my knitting needles in a vase and the double pointed needles in a glass curio jar, and I have to figure out what to do with my circulars.ย  They’re a mess!ย  So, after buying THE table, we stopped at the pet store and picked up bunny vitamins, then off to dinner at Market Street Grill in Wabash.ย  Crawfish bisque, SO good, Caesar salad, bread, and I was so full by the time the actual dinner came that I ate one shrimp and put the rest in a to-go box ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Sooooo yummy!

Nothing on the glass front today, I’ll be back to work on that in a day or two.ย  In the meantime, here’s a GORGEOUS Etsy listing from Fr3d. She iz teh r0ckerz!! You can click the pic to go to the listing ๐Ÿ™‚

Back in a couple of days- I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!


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.ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚ย  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!ย  I have an aluminum block that was once a wire bending jig for wired jewelry- it now holds my dipped mandrels.ย  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.ย  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.ย  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.ย  The third is up on eBay (and I put two new focals in the Etsy store ๐Ÿ™‚ ). ย ย  That’s enough photo hogging for the day! ๐Ÿ™‚

So there we are for the day!ย  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.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚ย  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 ๐Ÿ˜€ย  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).ย  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.ย  We have some awesome artists on this team! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  And I’ll have to find a way to get a button on my sidebar for this, too ๐Ÿ™‚

School was out today, because of fog and flooding, and it’s still raining/sleeting.ย  I don’t know what’s up tomorrow, but I did manage to get some beads made today amidst the hysteria!ย  I’ll be posting a little about them tomorrow.ย  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!ย  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.ย  *sigh*ย  I don’t want to make organics because the colors just don’t inspire me right now to create.ย  I want color, and lots of it, a rainbow spree of joy!ย  Hopefully this will catch on soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚ย  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! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  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!