Monday, October 31, 2011

Power Outage

The snowstorm this past weekend left us without power.  I'll be back when our services are returned!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mooving Along

My order finally came in from Moo.  I ordered new cards and some labels to send with my packaging.  The cards are 2-sided.  The front has the new logo and the backside of of this card is a photo of one of my earrings.  The nice thing about Moo is that you can upload up to 50 photos to be shown on the backside of their premium cards. 


These photos were taken from my phone so the lighting isn't that great.  But once my raffia comes in, I'll take a nicer photo to share.

And finally, my Etsy shop banner.  I made it so I can add/change pictures every so often.  What I need to do next is figure out a way to change the borders around the photos.   The black just doesn't work for me.

Meanwhile, the first show of Project Accessory was on last night. Have you seen it?  I've tivo'd it and will be watching it within the next couple days.  I'm looking forward to the buzz.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Social Media

This past Sunday, Lori Magno of Moda di Magno, gave a presentation on Social Media at Metalwerx's Vendor Day.

And as you can see by the photo below, there's so many ways to put your work out there. It's pick and choose.  Overwhelmed by the choices?  Lori suggests to just start with one. 

Sites like Google, Yahoo, Bing, MSN - they want to find you. Keywords are how they find you. Use them wisely. Do a test. Think of something you want to buy and then choose some keywords to describe it. What links do you get? Change the keywords and see what other links you get. 

The three main reasons to use social media are:

1. Your audience needs to find you and you need to be in communication with them.

2. They need to find your work, whether your work is branded under your name - or a company name.

3. It provides opportunities to connect to your market. You need to be in contact with your customers - keep them close, keep them informed -- not always selling, sometimes just sharing.

There are other opportunities via social media:

1. Connect to other artists

2. Connect to your suppliers and vendors

3. Shows are using social media to announce ‘call for artists’ (the days of mailing in slides and CDs of images are quickly coming to an end!)

There's something else to think about. The keywords you use - they stay out there. Say for instance you made a bridal necklace and it sold. The keywords you entered for that item on your page will still bring traffic to your site.

And finally, Lori talked a little about Google+.  Another social networking site.  It opened to the public on September 20th and has attracted 40 million users.  It took their rival Facebook three years to reach the 25 million users mark.  So people seem to be flocking to Google+.  Here's a brief video that talks about circles and sharing.

And one of the nice features of Gmail is the chat. So, it would make sense they would take the chat feature and pump it up.  It's called the hangouts . . . what do you think?

 . .    

Monday, October 24, 2011

Marvelous Monday

Meagan Chaney works with low fire earthenware clay.  Her work has been shown nationally and resides in several permanent collections.  In 2004, she was awarded an Artist Residency at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN.  She's taught numerous workshops on basic and advanced glass fusing techniques and mixed media sculpture at the John C. Campbell Folk School (Brasstown, NC) and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (Gatlinburg, TN). There's something very soothing about her work.  OK - I have to stop the madness.  Eight photos are enough, right?

This past Friday's post, which was scheduled, somehow never made it to the web. So Tuesday I'll be sharing that post. For those of you who have tumult in their studio from time to time, I know you'll feel my pain.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ring Toss

I know I'm not the only one of us that suffers from a messy bench.  You can clean up one day, and just a few days later - you've got a mess again.   For me, show preparation is usually the time where it's at its worst.  The biggest problem with this is that it makes it impossible to find things. So, t's happened again.  I've lost something in my studio that I made for myself a couple of weeks ago.  It's not that often that I actually make something just for myself.  But every now and then I have this need to remove my rings when working. So what have I lost now? It was the ring I made myself as a reminder of Jerusalem. I swear I must have a studio gremlin who has a rather warped sense of humor.  I know I'll find it, 'cause it's in there somewhere.  But, on the positive note, a friend of mine just happened to give me something that I hope will avoid these mishaps in the future.

So why didn't I think of this earlier???

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Squaring Up

This past Saturday was the Bead Affaire.  Sales were great - but not as good as prior years.  Mailings were up, yet attendance was also down a little.  It was a beautiful day in New England so maybe people were out enjoying the weather. 

I had also really hoped to have the new iPhone by the time of the show.  Specifically so I could use Square Up.

I had preordered my phone online and it was being shipped on the 14th which was cutting it very close.  The phone arrived at around 6:30 p.m.  By the time I got the line transferred and my contacts in, it was 10:00 p.m.  I logged onto the app store, did a search for the free Square app and downloaded it to the phone.  Prior to that, I had signed up for Square and already received my Square reader.  So I was pretty well set to go.  To do a test, on Saturday morning I put through a small charge of $1.00.  Here's the receipt I found in my Inbox.  Notice it even has a little map of the location where the charge was made.

From your account, you can see all the charges that went through that day as well as download spreadsheets of your sales.  And two days later, the payment was in my bank.  It was so easy. 

The Square I think is changing and will continue to change a lot of people's businesses.  Taking credit cards has always been an expense that many businesses can't commit to.   But with the Square - there is no annual fee, no monthly fees, no activation fee, no gateway fee and no chargeback fee.  The swiped card fee is 2.75% and a keyed in fee of 3.5% + .15 cents.  And every card (no matter what kind of benefits i.e. miles, that those cards have) the percent is the same for all - Mastercard, Discover, Visa and even American Express.   

So I'm loving Square up.  I'm still pretty new to my iPhone, but really enjoying it.  And if you have any really great apps - please share!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Marvelous Monday

"Tim Harding became intrigued with the intimacy of fiber and textiles - their textural, tactile richness, the inherent grid of the weave, the pliable plane. His pieces, comprised of cut, layered and stitched bits of silk, have a pixel-like quality reminiscent of pointillism. He uses "simultaneous contrast" - multiple solid colors in tight proximity to create the kind of vibrant richness associated with the Impressionists." 

His use of iridescent hand-loomed Indian silks are collage-layered and done in a reverse applique technique.  It creates such a ripple effect that I found myself mesmerized.  Hope you enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!
                                                         Gold Orange Wave

Chrysanthemum Triptych

Koi No. 22

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bead Show

Time has sure gotten away from me this week.  I've been organizing and getting ready for the Bead Affaire show.  For more info, you can go here.  I'm looking forward to getting out there again.  It's been a while since I've done a show and it's way overdue.  And this show is a very well run, brief show. The doors open at 10 and close at 5.  One day.  Easy.  So - have a great weekend and I'll be back next week!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Marvelous Monday

"Lino Tagliapietra was born on Murano, a Venetian island which has served as the world’s glass capital for the past millennium. At the age of twelve, the artist apprenticed with Archimede Seguso. Training for glassblowers on Murano is traditionally structured, rigorous and slow; yet, within this system, Tagliapietra was a prodigy. After nine years of assisting, he achieved the title of maestro. Subsequently, he worked at several of Murano’s greatest factories: Galliano Ferro, Venini, Effetre International, and La Murrina (which he founded). A massive shift in the Studio Glass Movement began in 1979 when Tagliapietra accepted Benjamin Moore’s invitation to teach at Pilchuck Glass School. There, he established many enduring professional contacts and continuing relationships with students. The importance of his teaching to the development of glass as an artistic medium cannot be understated."

These are just a few photos I've pulled off the internet.  Google images has many images of his work.  It's definitely worth the trip.  Enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pausing to Remember

Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, died yesterday at age 56 after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer.  "Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives," Apple said in a statement. "The world is immeasurably better because of Steve."

 He was also known as Apple's pitchman. Here's a great video of him pitching many of Apple's products. It's kind of a fun walk down memory lane. I've been spending a lot of time on the Apple site lately as I've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the iPhone 4S as I'm sure many others have been doing. So, today, I'm giving pause to wonder how different our lives would have been without Steve Jobs.  I came across an inspirational speech given by him to the graduating class of Stanford University back in 2005.  It's titled "How to Live Before you Die". Great words delivered by a great man.  Take the time to listen - it's so very inspiring.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Marvelous Monday

Davis-Vachon Gallery is a shop I came across on Etsy.  It's owned by the husband/wife team of Dave Vachon and Sue Davis Vachon from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  After working as professional artists, they gradually began collaborative work and have been working together for 25 years.   They also have a website where you can see their complete line.  Hope you enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!                        

                                           Ceramic Sculptural Vessel  

Ceramic Jar

Squared Plates

                                                     Lunar Temple Vessel