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Archive for January, 2009

Old Style but Not Old Fashioned

January 31st, 2009 at 09:08 am

Seven or eight more of a big handful of discards given to me by a lampworker hobbyist friend have been made into a punk-meets-grandma necklace.

WEB-LIKE BLACK & WHITE LOCKET NECKLACE


Starting with the beads in the upper right, I added a few onyx stones, a bit of silverplated chain, and some black leather.

Not for sale (yet).

Can You Stand One More Product Photo?

January 29th, 2009 at 12:51 pm

This just might be my first $50 item, except I hesitate to put it in the art gallery shop because the salt air (we are in a harbor right off the beach) wreaks havoc on the goldplate:

TROPICAL MIX NECKLACE & EARRING SET


Desc: Many strands of freshwater pearl, glass, stone and metal gathered by gold(plated) cones hang on 18" fine link gold(plated) chain. Exotic tropical peaches, moss greens, creams, lavendar and golds. Matching earrings on 14K GF hooks.

I volunteer down there this weekend for a couple hours and will see how things are moving (or not) and how many visitors lately (usually January-March is very slow cause it's COLD down there).

A decision to put up or wait until summer, our high season, can be made after then.

btw, SA'ers, I autofeed these blog posts to twitter now, therefore the emphasis on and plethora of merchandise photos.

Discard to Disbelief - A Cinderella Story

January 28th, 2009 at 10:42 am

A friend gave me a bag of glass bead cast offs last December. Just those he made in the process of learning. Gratis.

Creative design, ingenuity and some copper wire later and VOILA -

SPIRAL COPPER LAMPWORK NECKLACE


(...dang, I shoulda took some before and after pictures...)

Hard to let this one go, but it's destined for the art gallery shop, priced at about $40.

Once again, just going to show 'I AM the Frugal Artisan'.

How I started my biz w/free supplies and more...

January 27th, 2009 at 01:01 pm

Silly other facts and truisms about Pretty Cheap Jewelry.

...why you should not start cross stitching EVER NEVER

...why I'm a carrot

...and see the cross between Leonardo daVinci and a flip flop

http://dzfantasy.blogspot.com

it's a rich site, give it a minute to load. Thanks for lookin'.

Fun, Food, not to mention Profit!

January 26th, 2009 at 01:01 pm

It never rains in Southern California? Well it did on this past Saturday on a planned 'semi-private' home boutique I helped organize.

About 20 sellers of my internet craft club set up shop under a grand carport instead of the circular driveway of our gracious generous host.

We held workshops and demonstrations in the garage. We chatted and enjoyed each other's company immensely. (How often do you meet up with so many of your online buddies??)

And although the major numbers of visitors were deterred by the rain, most of us sold a few items anyway. Just the icing on the cake!

I sold a set of 6 of these embellished wine glasses I crafted:


And speaking of cake, the hostess fed us sweets and teas and cakes and lasagne and more!

Not bad for a rainy day!

Great Fun with the BigWigs

January 21st, 2009 at 11:58 am

Havin' fun over on Twitter finding celebrities, politicians, and other smarty pants to follow. For example:

- Cesar Millan (the dog whisperer)

- Yoko Ono

- my ABC evening news co-anchor (he followed me back, maybe they will notice my work?!)

- Barack O'Bama (ok, he has 164,000 followers, so I'm a little speck in the crowd, but he followed me back! Or at least some staffie did).

Found these folks using http://www.oddtwits.com

And just figured out how to autofeed my blog posts to twitter. Lessee if this one works.....

Inaugural Dawning - Set of 2

January 20th, 2009 at 06:39 am

A short series of photos I took 1.19.09 from my weekend property -

(lots of memory, hope they don't take too long to load...)



Made Small Investment in Advertising / Received nice big check from Dec show

January 17th, 2009 at 08:53 am

My internet craft club used 'Weebly.com' (free website host) last fall to promote gifts for the holidays. The site manager is a tech savvy whiz, a graphic designer by trade, and an angel in disguise.

This spring is the 2nd edition of the website and I am joining in the fray. We are contributing a nominal $8 for a 12 week period. The money will actually be used for small internet ads for the site, not toward any club member's pocket!

Only the front page is ready (I am in the 5th row at the moment, but the items change frequently). Have a look if you want:
http://www.handmadeincalifornia.net/

Note the 'Chatterbox' (in the header for now but a tab at the top) - there will be announcements of special deals.

I already have a special deal to add (see it in my shop announcment also Pretty Cheap Jewelry

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In other small biz news-

Sales from a small town show I participated in Dec 2008 came yesterday, $140. NICE. It was for a 2-weekend show which I did not have to be present (very very convenient). I believe they collected sales tax and that is part of the check so actual goods sold were worth about $127. ALL of this check has been applied to fees for 3 shows in 2009.

Soooooo, that just means I am sticking to my Resolution #2 - Make a Profit in 2009. (read: raise prices).

First big show is in April, the city sponsored Art Walk. Thousands stroll the downtown area and I have a table right smack in the thick of things. Wish me much luck, to be sure I will be blogging my preparations, hopes, dreams and results.

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Just one last note: Google analytics giving me lots of good data! Folks using keywords 'guitar jewelry' clicking on these items consistently, so guess what I'm going to add to my webstore?

Pearly White Guitar Pick Earrings



Teal and Plum Guitar String Bracelets, Set of 3

Another widget from Google (any volunteers?)

January 13th, 2009 at 10:23 am

I maintain a private google group for my mailing list, ie no one can post or see your email address. It is simply for me to send 1ce or 2wc a month offers to fans.

Today I noticed google offers a widget for me to use on my blog for sign ups.

See it there in the lower left sidebar?

Maybe a visitor or two will be interested. I use this blog for more than SA'ers, such as announcements to craft members, features of artists, etc.

I try to make my email offers full of zany trivia, fun facts, and above-all really rock bottom specials and freebies. For example, I had a Gorham crystal sleigh frame to give away with any December order (click on the 'visit' part of the widget to have a look at some of my offers.)

So, once again, Google comes through! Maybe I'm just slow?.....

WOWEE ZOWEE Google Analytics!

January 12th, 2009 at 06:43 am

The host of my website (etsy.com) allowed us to connect visits to Google Analytics starting last Friday.

WOW! First off, in the first 24 hours I had something like 29 visits to my site, half of them new visitors and half of those from google search alone. I even can see the search terms used !! Whee!

Folks are using 'cheap jewelry', and more. I am very impressed to be getting so much traffic with so little effort.

And am dumbfounded with surprise how good Google Analytics is, how easy, and how much info they are giving (FREE!).

Now for the million dollar Q!
How can I turn these visits into sales!?

I need a good, short, sweet to the point, consultation with an expert! A tech savvy marketer! Without spending anything or as little as possible.

Am going to contact the Small Biz Development Center (SBDC) here in town in coming days. They have advisors who will meet with you free (I used upon start up a few years ago). At least to see if there is an internet guru over there.

BTW am working very hard getting ready for a very exclusive home show a week from Saturday. It's in a gated community full of high income folks. I'm helping organize the show and suggested that vendors provide free workshops/demonstrations as an attraction (that doesn't cost sellers extra money).

Not only will the demos be fun and educational (who doesn't want to do a little card making or whatnot?), they should bring in some customers.

I volunteered to run a beaded wine glass workshop, and have finally perfected the technique which most beginner types should be able to accomplish. We'll see! It's harder than it looks - here's an example of what I'll be teaching:



Of course, the person will take home the one they make. And if they want a pair, more will be for sale at my table. What would you pay for one? I set the price at $10 ea.

Can I, Will I, Dare I

January 5th, 2009 at 08:34 pm

charge $50 for something this year (and make the sale)?

......New Year's Res Status.......

RESOLVED
1. Refrain from reading/posting in the weekly Etsy team forum.
Why? Because:
a. huge time sink
b. return on the investment is poor
c. stressful to compare to others regarding their sales, new items, traffic to their shop, etc.
STATUS AOK so far, trying to re-use the time to twitter and spread out posts in other places more as a low cost promotion.

2. MAKE A PROFIT IN 2009
Yes, some of my prices are going up.
a. Items online remain reasonably priced. However, nothing can be listed so low as to undercut my in person sales.
b. Items sold in the art gallery lose 1/3 (they keep) and must be priced accordingly.
c. I keep all income from weekend fairs and specialty shows except for a few percent on credit sales. And need to make enough sales to cover the event fees!
STATUS GOING FOR IT with this new item!

Squiggle Doodle Scribble Chain Necklace
Pure imagination anchored with a heart locket. Fun to look at, inside and out.
A true original $48.00


3. Wear mascara most weekdays. OK, this one is just cause I am such a dolt when it comes to looks. Gotta do something easy! You would think it's a no brainer, but you don't know me!!
STATUS so far so good