Thursday, July 31, 2008

Personal Mantras

Just a quick post today.

I've been so consumed lately with little sayings, proverbs and personal mantras, that I shouldn't be surprised that a blot of inspiration found me. I was sitting at doctor's office waiting as usual and flipping through a magazine when I came across the Horoscopes. Along with the simple paragraph foretelling the future each one ended with a Personal Mantra for each sign...which started me thinking about creating larger tags to include Personal Mantras. I think I will call them Mantra Tags.

I have a few ideas which I am going to work on them this weekend... wish me good inspiration.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Vision Board

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my Oprah experience, my introduction to "The Secret" and the Vision Board. Soon after writing that post, I started cutting out pictures and phases from different magazines and items I had found on the Internet. After looking at the clippings for a period time, I decided that regardless of the "holes" I was going to move forward and starting putting together my collage...So here it is (sorry for the bad photo)...

The top left is about and the hope to be "Seen" in National Magazines as well as two jewelry designers that I admire...sigh. I also threw in a picture of Oprah holding a copy of the murder mystery I hope to finish one day. I made a fake cover with my name and she is holding "the faux book." For whatever reason, it makes me laugh. The right top of my board includes phases and two pics that caught my eye...I think it's about finding my muse and truly hating my day career. The bottom right is just one picture and a phrase - a very sexy women with a body to die for...The middle section I have to admit, I feel guilt because it is so materialistic in appearence. It's furniture for my bedroom that eventually will be remodeled (barring any Hurricanes this year), a walkway for the backyard landscaping I am still working on, golf (to play more often or just play better - I don't know yet), living happily ever after with DH. More phases about financial success (worried about the retirement years), a picture of friends hanging out together, the label from one of my favorite wines and then lots of pictures of yellow lab puppies.

So I have been looking at those "holes" and I haven't been able to fill them, perhaps they were not meant to be filled...I am trying not to think too much about it, but the more I look at the board, the more I feel that it's on target. That said, the true test: Will my vision board motivate me to start working in the direction my vision board is pointing?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Oh it's time for some campaignin'...

It's time for me to digress again, our friends at are at it again...
Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

Smokey Quartz and Hammered Silver Necklace

Trying to follow some of the tips I have listed on previous posts:

...I have added a listing the other day to my Esty Shop:

Last week there was a post in the Etsy Forums regarding the Treasury, someone wanted to know why it always seems that the same artists appear in Treasuries that are then post on the home front page. A successful artist responded that it was a combination of a great product, but most importantly she has great photos which is why folk pick her items for a treasury. (Wish I had Bookmarked that post.)

So, as I am looking at this pic, I am still debating the white background verse a texture or printed background. I think this pic looks washed-out and is just, oh how to say it....boring, unimaginative and doesn't shout out, "Buy Me!" I added this item on 7/20/2008 and in four days I have had four views.

Oh how the Picture Taking Gods mock me!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Etsy Tips

Continuing on the theme of Success on Etsy, I have included a helpful post by Sisterjinx. She had previously posted a question, asking the forum, "Etsy Tips ...What did you learn this week?" She then compiled all the information into the following post. It contains several great links to other sites, as well as a few useful forum threads.

sisterjinx says:
I posted this the other day and so many have gotten so much from it and added so much to it that I wanted to try and put it up all in one easy to find post. OK so I have learned SO much from everybody here on Etsy that I wanted to share some of it back to those who might want to know.

Majaba is your friend...I love keeping Majaba open while posting in the forums, listing new items, and I even leave it open when I'm taking a break to check when I get back. You can find Majaba here

The etsy fee calculator is a great tool too. I love checking to see how much I would actually make from an item if I list is for $x or $x. that is here

Poster Sketch is a great tool for preparing for treasuries but also to see if your first photo of an item will work well in treasury. I've used it several times to switch photos around in my own shop so that things are treasury readythat is here

Recently I learned about the top seller's list. I think that is great because I can look at their shops and policies and profiles and see what is attractive about their shops that I might be able to incorporate into mine, with my own style of course.

I learned how to refund on paypal as opposed to sending the money back. I guess it saves you on fees. Here's the thread:

Site that keeps track of known scammers:

There is a site.., where it shows the percentage of etsyians per it is! :)

The top of this thread discusses the best days to post items also if you use majaba, keep it open while listing, it helps to determine. I did this for a few days and for me it was about 3 - 5 pm CST which is 4 - 6 EST (etsy time)

You CAN pay Etsy with paypal.Here's the thread that gives instructions

A thread with a GREAT tutorial on how to make a treasury. For any of those who
have been trying to get one and not getting one you might want to have a peek.

Link popularity check is one of the best ways to quantifiable and independently
measure your website's online awareness and overall visibility. Simply put, link
popularity refers to the total number of links or "votes" that a search engine
has found for your website. check. and find out who is linking to your site.

Hope you find this helpful...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oh Yes the Schedule is Here!

I must digress for one day, my most next favorite thing after banging on metal is HOCKEY...

Before I continue, I must add a small disclaimer, although I have been living in South Florida for several years, I am a NY Rangers can a girl from Queens not be one...That should also know that after years of attending Panthers games those Cats have made a special place in my Fan Heart...

This past week's All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium (remember I'm from Queens...i.e. Go METS) not only marks the half way point to the baseball season, but also marks the final days before the long awaited release of the 2008-2009 NHL Schedule. This past April, after a few non-emergency, nothing needs to be replaced in the house years, DH and I finally were able to buy a pair of Panthers Season tickets. It's been a long Spring and Summer so far, waiting, waiting, but soon the wait will be over...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Avatar Question - Product Photo or Shop Logo?

Following my previous thread about success on Etsy - there was an interesting post this morning on the Etsy Business Topics Forum regarding Avatars.

Flourishjewelry posted a question about whether shop's avatar should be a product photo or was it more professional to use the shop's logo. The reason for her question, "I wonder if I would get more looks that way since I know people "shop" from avatars. What do you think?"

I always thought that it was more professional to just use a logo but the comment that people shop from avatars opened my eyes and probably confused me a little as well...

She went on to say, "I was reading a thread about whether people look at, therefore shop at, a store based on whether they like the avatar. Most people said that the avatar was what made them want to stop and shop..."

emmebaby added the comment, "I've heard about the "avatar shopping" many times before, but I totally disagree with that. Most avatars that show items from a persons shop I will NOT click on. I don't know exactly why, but it usually looks less professional to me. I like your logo and I'd stick with it. ☺"

Another POV was provided by CassandraRussell, "I am drawn to product avatars because they depict what you are selling. There is so much jewelery on etsy that you must make your distinct though. When I first glanced at your avatar I was not sure what it was. I am an avid etsy jewelry collector and am naturally attracted to avatars with those pics. I have done several jewellery's avatars now --you can see them on my blog: to see the improvements. Remember an avatar is also how people on etsy will identify you --it is like a logo."

So this morning I went back into my Etsy Profile and changed by Avatar from just my name to my shop name with a background. Which would you shop?

Plain - just my Shop name?

This was the first attempt, I tried to center, but then recropped the pic for an off centered look....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Success on Etsy

I've been doing some research on how to be successful on Etsy and of course there is a lot of conflicting information out there. I thought as I sorted through it all I would highlight some of the sites for your review as well.

There is one common theme that I found as browsed through the various sites and information and I think it's important to note that Etsy is just one avenue toward your Success.

That said, let's begin...
I want to start with a link that I found on Etsy Wiki. This is a great article by Ms. Dynomite, (, "Ms. Dynomite's Formula for Selling on Etsy" and here is the link:

What I liked best about this article is that she has a no nonsense introduction:

"Yes, selling on Etsy can be difficult...It takes a lot of time and energy to have frequent sales on Etsy. Success on Etsy does not just happen. It requires an investment of time and learning new skills."

In summary, Ms. Dynomite's outlines 7 fundamentals for selling on Etsy which include:

  1. Have a well fleshed out store
    part 1: fill out all fields
    part 2: Consider posting store policies.
    part 3: Be thorough and personal in your descriptions.
  2. List frequently (not all at once)
  3. Post in the right category
  4. Use your tags (you have up to 13)
  6. Have a unique and quality product

As she breaks down the 7 tips, she also includes several links throughout the article to support her tips. You should also check out her Recommended Reading:

Why Haven't I Sold Anything - which will provide you with additional information regarding Selling tips, advertising, promotion, newbie tips and links from the Etsy forums...

Free Places to Advertise -

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ahead of the Trend

Not really, but I just wanted to say it, at least once. Over the years, I have noticed that I will create something, sometimes it's a great design and the design sells, other times I thought it was a great design but it doesn't sell well. Then, out of no where I will see it reappear as either a trend a few months later or in a magazine. Now by all means I am not saying that this has occurred often, but enough times now that I am starting to wonder about, such as how am I marketing myself and my designs.

So I received my August issue of InStyle magazine (yes that too is on Vision Board) and was flipping through the pages to the "Your Look - Instant Style" that's the section where the editors put an entire outfit (including accessories) together. One of the accessories were a cute pair of Hoop earrings by Lisa Stewart (which I will add right now, is an extremely talented artist and this post is not about this designer, therefore Lisa if you ever stumble upon this Blog, please do not take this as an insult) that are accented with tiny pearls and finished with simple earwires.

When I saw the earrings I had to shake my head because I was having that deja vu feeling again. Two years ago this design had sold well at several shows in New York and last year after my sister sent back the remains of unsold designs, I found two leftovers and added them to my Sales Section on my Etsy site:

I had also made matching necklaces for each of these designs, but those completely sold out.

Then last year, I was feeling lazy and didn't want to make my own soldered rings so I purchased hoops but accented them with tiny Swarovski crystals.

I sold several pairs and kept the blues ones which today I still think of as one of my favorites.

Now, are the pair in the magzine much cooler...probably yes but I can't help asking myself, "So was I ahead of a trend?" ...Probably not, but again, I just wanted to say it once.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's Been A Great Few Days...

First let's begin with last week, after 49 weeks of hitting the snooze on my Task Reminder - which kept popping up on my Outlook saying "Hey remember you were going to look into advertising for a Indie Holiday Gift Guide that you been watching for the past three years?" So I did something that took less than 5 minutes to accomplish (which I should add, it probably took longer to hit the snooze button for the last 49 weeks), I sent an email to the Indie site inquiring about their holiday guide. The next day I received a response and two days later, I snagged two spots, one in their Holiday Guide (coming to a website near you in October 2008), the other is a spot in their upcoming Spotlight on Emerging Designers.

Second, in my previous post, I wrote about the Fall promotion sponsored by the organization Count Me In and SheFinds and on Tuesday I received a notification from SheFinds confirming that I was on their list of participating designers for our SheFinds/CMI collaboration this September. This means that during September, SheFinds will feature original accessories created by independent designers that incorporate either the motto “Believe In You”, the Count Me In or Make Mine a Million $ Business® logos, and/or the colors into the design. I have agreed to pledge to donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each piece to Count Me In. I have until August 15th to submit my design pictures...I better get busy. Hopefully I will remember to post this under the Promotion Forum on Etsy.

Third, on Wednesday I received an email from a possible advertier. We are in the process of emialing each other, so I will let you know how it works out...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The SheFinds & Count Me In Promotion

There was an interesting post on the SheFinds website, regarding an organization called the Count Me In for women's economic independence. From the Count Me In website:

Our Mission

At Count Me In, we believe in YOU! Our mission is to promote economic independence and the growth of women owned businesses. Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence is the leading national not for profit provider of online business loans, resources and community for women entrepreneurs.

SheFinds is running a promotion this Fall to raise money for this organization as well as help small designers (is that me?!) get the word out about their designs.

During September, we (SheFinds) will feature original accessories created by independent designers that incorporate either the motto “Believe In You”, the Count Me In or Make Mine a Million $ Business® logos, and/or the colors into the design. The designer will pledge to donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each piece to Count Me In.

So I have completed and submitted the pledge form, and I guess I wait for some type of notification. If I am accepted I think will designed a pendent with the phase, "Believe in You" but I am going to solder a small cabochon on the corner, perhaps with a Chakra stone that corresponds with the phase. My fingers are crossed, wish me luck...

Here's the link if you want to read the actual post on SheFinds:

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Terrible name for a necklace?

Quiet day, worked on filling an Etsy order, (can you believe I sold another "Even Monkeys Fall From Trees Necklace then experimented with new backgrounds and tried to update some of the current pics on Etsy that didn't thrill me.

I also finished and added another piece to my Words of Wisdom collection. Giving Birth to a Baby is Easier than Worrying About It. It is a Japanese proverb - "Anzuru yori umu ga yasashi," the literal translation (I think) is "Giving birth to a baby is easier than worrying about it, " however, I'm not sure that I like the name. It's meaning - Fear is greater than the danger...An attempt is sometimes easier than expected.

Perhaps I should attempt another name for this necklace...maybe "An Attempt is Sometimes Easier Than Expected."

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Recent Post in the Etsy Forum

I was reading through Etsy's Business Forum and I found this post by another jewelry artist:

AzhuresJewels says:
According to various forum posts and info I have gathered in books I am doing everything wrong if I want to sell my jewelry.

  • I don't pay attention to the pantone color forecast
  • I don't think of what clothes are in style and make jewelry that will look good
  • I don't follow trends in stylesI don't offer suggestions on what style clothing a particular piece would look good with or which body type it flatters
I tend to make what I feel like making and what I find beautiful. If i like the colors I will use them. I feel that if I follow the those recommendations I will be compromising myself as an artist and simply selling out to please the general public. Now don't get me wrong I want to sell my jewelry, I can't buy supplies unless I sell...I just find it frustrating that according to the professionals and those who have succeeded in become top sellers I should compromise myself. Does anyone else find that this is the case?

The post, at last view was up to 84 post and at one point was on verge of hurting a few the artists' feelings, but it looks as if everyone has moved past the misunderstanding. This post has gotten me thinking again about that signature style that I have been searching for...the one that as soon as you see one of my pieces you can say to yourself..."oh yes that a hmmills design...

I added my two sense...In the days of my website and selling at shows, I found that the doing the items you listed in your post were true, but as jwlrywrkroom writes...[If you compromise yourself you will ultimately be unhappy,yes??Besides,I have read here on these boards,over and what makes you happy!I truely don't believe that anyone,successful or not,didn't create just from their 'insides'.I think when we shop,in some ways we are directed,in that the shop or show that we attend,has already been swayed by the market.But we still go and buy what we love.I never know what it is I'm looking for,I just buy what it is that I see beauty in! Sometimes,it sits there,with nothing planned,then one day it springs to life in my mind. We all have our own style,that fits whoever sees the same beauty we did in it.I think your shop is very nice!] I felt I was running my own sweat shop right before a (even though I wish I was one of those sellers w/ tons of sales), I think I am happier not following those rules...

In the end, crazyfunkycool summed it up best:

crazyfunkycool says:
WOW! Great post. I think it is a fine line for all working artists.I continually struggle with finding and defining my style. I've struggled with trying to paint or create "what's selling".I find I am happiest with my work that is authentically me, not an imitation of someone else. And happily this is the stuff that sells best for me. And this is the stuff that has gained me some repeat business and a little following believe it or not.If you FOLLOW trends you will always be "behind".I would rather create the trend or craze... I'd rather be ahead of the curve. I'd rather follow my heart. Lastly I recently came across the following quote: "Always be a 1st rate version of yourself, instead of a 2nd rate version of somebody else" --Judy Garland

...finding my signature...think I need to add that to the vision board...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Law of Attraction

A few weeks ago I got home early from work and flipped on the TV and the Oprah Show was on. I was about to switch the channel to TNT (love Charmed) and I was thinking that I couldn't remember the last time I saw Oprah and the next thing I knew I sat there for the remainder of the hour.

On this episode her guest were three life coaches (???) and they were discussing positive thinking, the law of attraction, writing a list and hiding it for later?? and that book "The Secret." What caught my attention was a statement about thinking negatively and you will attract negative...and one of the guest said "The universe is listening..." I was in awe. I think I am going to make a pendant with that verse. The next thing that peaked my curiosity was the Vision Board, which I have to admit at first I was a bit turn off by how materialistic it all sounded...Some of the letters from the TV audience discussed how they had written a wish list for Mr. Right, luxury cars, trips, money, homes, etc on their boards, but I guess when you have a dh that loves you and you have a house (but oh for one on a culdesac) cars (but not that BMW X5) and your lifestyle is comfortable, those things would not be foremost on your mind.
When I started thinking about what I wanted, what had been my hopes and dreams, it all came down to success as a writer, success as a designer and exiting (stage left) from my current career path (which has contributed to the material items listed above), success at my weight control, successful friendships and finally a successful marriage and lots and lots of Labrador puppies.

The instructions are very simple, from the blogger site - "Law of Attraction" - Create a "vision board"... cut out pictures, words, anything from magazines, photos... anything you can find. Glue them all on a poster board and create your dreams visually. Look at it everyday, see yourself in that house, car, clothes, relationship... envision your future. It works!
Below is an example:

I find it funny how as I start to give up on things, my jewelry designing, my website, I even started writing a who-dun-it (and then stopped again), that I stumble upon this episode. So I have put up some paper above my hammering worktable and I have been clipping out some photos and words from magazines. I haven't attached my clippings yet, the reason, I don't want dh to laugh at me, but then I guess if I think that way - it defeats the purpose... The other day I did lay out what I had cut out so far and that it was time, but I feel that I am still missing something.

I guess I should get busy, once I am done with my personal vision board, I'll post it for all to see...
Happy 4th of July...perhaps it's independence day from the negative...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ah Bridesmaid Season

Well one of my sister's BFF is getting married next month. Now that I think about it, I think that it will be on or about the 15 year anniversary of my first marriage...(but I digress). So she asked me last week if I would make the jewelry for her bridal party and not only did I say say yes but I also said that it would be my wedding gift to her (I have know her since I was in the 6th grade) ...5 bridesmaids and 2 Jr. bridesmaids later....

So now I am on a quest to find this Apple Color. On my way home yesterday I stopped into the Plaza that used to house a David's Bridal but apparently they have relocated. So I guess I am either going to swing by the store down at Sawgrass Mills or I am going to wing it...

I was thinking about using Swarovski Crystals - there are two colors, one is Indian Red:

but I don't know if it's too dark the other is Light Siam.

My sister suggested a mix of the red and clear crystal. So many little time.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Proverbs - Part 2

I have made some additions to my Words of Wisdom collection:

Adversity Builds Character Necklace - The Japanese Proverb "Ame futte ji katamaru", rained on ground hardens, meaning adversity builds character.

Don't Give Up Necklace - Japanese Proverb "Keizoku wa chikara nari," Continuance (also) is power/strength. Meaning: Don't give up. Just continuing to hold on will yield/reveal strength and power. Continuing on after a setback is its own kind of strength. Perseverance is power. ...

Love Needs No Words Necklace - The Japanese Proverb "Me wa kuchi hodo ni mono o ii," the eyes speak as much as the mouth meaning that love needs no words...

Each charm begins as brass wire hammered flat for texture and each letter is individually hand stamped. Charms are attached with brass wire to a gold-filled chain. Necklace measures 16-18 inches with extender chain.
I will be expanding my collection, so visit often:


A proverb (from the Latin proverbium), also called a byword or nayword, is a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated, which expresses a truth, based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity. They are often metaphorical. A proverb that describes a basic rule of conduct may also be known as a maxim. If a proverb is distinguished by particularly good phrasing, it may be known as an aphorism.

Proverbs are often borrowed from similar languages and cultures, and sometimes come down to the present through more than one language. (thanks Wikipedia...)

So last year I made a necklace with brass tags stamped with a Japanese Proverb, "Sara mo ki kara ochirua," even monkeys fall from trees...anyone can make a mistake. I sold a few at a couple of shows and most recently two on Etsy. I have decided to expand upon this and have added a section to my Etsy site called "Words of Wisdom." ( I will post a few pics tomorrow.

"Even Monkeys Fall From Trees" can be found in my Etsy page: