Saturday, February 9, 2008

Restyling photos ...

I've been busy the past few days retaking photos of various pieces. I've been told that my photos on Etsy are a tad too cold, sterile, drab, even though the pieces themselves are beautiful. I've agreed. So, for your consideration, some restyled piccies (old/new):

Let me know you think!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Interesting Tidbits

Firstly, Lynne Davies has an excellent blog every indie artisan/crafter would do well in spending some time reading. Clear, concise writing style elevates this one above the swirling masses. Great tips are provided on improving one's site/Etsy shop that are practicle and easy to implement.

Secondly, have y'all heard about the DeBeers class actions lawsuit? If not, get educated on it. Find your receipts and get your reward! We bought a beautiful ring last year, but did not keep the receipt. No matter, the ring was purchased at nearly 50% off so we'd probably be excluded.

"The bottom line is that consumers paid more than they should have for their diamonds." Thank you! I've been harping on this for a while now. To anyone who would listen, but my audience was never of any significant size.

Paint me as a simpleton, but my understanding is that scarcity of a bauble is what commands high prices. Diamonds are not scarce. They are abundant. Very abundant. Even excluding the industrial grade and focusing on the stones that have the coveted color, carat and clarity, they are abundant.

Larimar, on the other hand, is very rare. While pectolite is a common mineral found everywhere on our planet, there is only one little spot, and globally speaking we're talking microscopic spot, on our planet where it comes from the ground in the amazingly beautiful color of the Caribbean sky.

I was able to score some last year in Tucson (now why did I have to remind myself how depressed I am that I am not there AT THIS MOMENT!). Here's a piece I made with this pretty blue rock:

You can find this piece here ... at a fair price(!) ... in my Etsy shop.

Hope everyone who is deserving gets their piece of economic justice from the diamond king! If you do, would you mind spending it on the offerings of an independent artisan? We are everywhere.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Well ... dang!

I saw this last night on Etsy's Crafting and Business forum.

Loosewirestudio has been a strong voice of reason on the Etsy forums and one of the most helpful of the old-timer brigade. Her frustration with the tone and tenor of many of the postings in the various fora rings a familiar tone to many of us ... especially the newbies.

I'm a newbie to Etsy and therefore a newbie to Etsy forums, but I not a newbie to life and good behavior. In five decades, with life literally more than half over, one had better have learned something along the way!

I used to belong to an organization called Tough Love. I'm not providing a link because I don't see the "offical" site. But Google will provide a lot of links for you. (BTW ... the reason for my joining Tough Love has become a source of happiness and pride in my life.) One of the things I learned is that unconstructive criticism is abuse.

There are rules to constructive criticism.

#1. Commend first. Find something good and positive and state it clearly.
#2. Common ground. Let the person know you've been there and none of us are perfect.
#3. Critique. With graciousness. Avoid negative terms.
#4. Offer a solution. Critiquing without suggesting a way to improve is wasting everyone's time.
#5. Commend again.

When I was brand-spanking new to Etsy I was crituqued on a few things ... primarily my banner. But I was commended first (my photos are fairly decent). The critiquer gave me the reason why she didn't like my banner. She let me know there are folks on Etsy who can help me out. I went to one, got my new banner (thank you Callista) and tweaked a few things. I'm very grateful for the honest constructive criticism and even convoed the individual to give her my thanks!

I hope Loosewirestudio comes back to visit with us in the fora of Etsy. In the meantime, I encourage readers to visit her shop and see beautiful work.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I love Sundays

They are such relaxing days, even though they may be full of things to do.

I got up early this morning, checked the e-mail, uploaded pictures to my Flickr, joined new groups, sent pictures to group pools, joined the hubby and our buddy Nino on a walk to our local grocery store for needed groceries, made a nourishing breakfast of lowfat plain yogurt and blueberries, poached eggs and whole wheat English Muffin.

I think the walk did me good! Feeling younger, more energetic. I'm spending too much time either glued to this monitor or sitting at my work table. Must get the blood flowing again! I may even think about getting back into 5K shape. Lose a few dress sizes.

Here's our bud:

Yeah, he's a Pit Bull, the much-maligned breed of the domesticated canine. They are NOT bad dogs. High maintenance, definitely. Intelligent, playful, energetic, loyal, tenacious.

I met a new friend from Etsy because I joined a Flickr group devoted to red-nosed Pits. She's a fellow devotee to this amazing breed and does beautiful feltwork. Check out her Etsy shop. I've got my eye on this listing (here's the photo):

Nino's coloring is more fawn than cinnamon, but he's got all the rest of the traits of "The Old Family." At her suggestion, I've joined a great forum of like-minded appreciators of these great friends.

Please do not judge our dogs based on the bad rap Pits are getting in the press. Often the breed responsible for any particular attack being reported isn't even a Pit Bull. Story writers just grab the breed name and use it as a label. That's just wrong.

I'm thankful that my little Texas town understands the integrity of our Pits. If you are in want of a dog, please contact your local animal shelter and rescue a Pit. You won't regret it!