Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Love Craftopolis!

I get all of the Etsy newsletters, and last week they sent one with info about tagging. I think that tagging my items is probably one of the hardest aspects of the listing process. You need to make sure that the tags you've chosen are the ones that people will use to find your items. But if everyone is using the same tags on their items, your item may be so far down in the search that they'll still never find it!

That's where Craftopolis comes in. I'm a sucker for numbers and Craftopolis has all of the information I need in one nifty spot. They tell me how many people have stopped by my shop, how many page view I've gotten, how many shop & item hearts, how much money I've made, and which tags were used in searches that resulted in someone seeing one of my items! Gotta love it! :)

I used to use Google Analytics, but I got frustrated because I couldn't always figure out how to find out what I wanted to know. Craftopolis is SO much easier because all the information is just laid out for you. And I simply adore the tag report feature. It's awesome to be able to see which words are effective so that I can maximize my views via Etsy searches. I'm such a geek :)

Be blessed! :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rhino Snorting Drano

I am a novice at making chainmaille, but I really enjoy it, and I love the fanciful names for some of the weaves, like Rhino Snorting Drano :) But I recently had the opportunity to go to a show and I saw the wonderful creations of Majabella by Georgia Siegfried.

All of Georgia's work is done in Argentium Silver, and her rings are hand crafted by her husband, Chuck. It was awesome to have an opportunity to speak with them about their art and the creative process. It's amazing that you can take something so simple, like a jumpring, and create something so beautiful!

Check out all of her beautiful pieces on her website: What an inspiration! :)

Be blessed! :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What color is your personality?

One of the few blogs that I always read is While the Cat's Away. Earlier this week, she posted a link to a personality test based on the colors you prefer, and I can't say I was at all surprised by my results:

You are 59% introvert and 41% extrovert.
  • You are a creative person, with always new ideas, and you know how to apply them.
  • You are creative, you know how to see beauty, you are intuitive and your inspiration comes from the inside.
  • You are strong-willed and active, your actions are determined by your own will, by the goals you set for yourself, and by your need to act and move ahead.
  • You are a manager and a leader, and you know how to organize groups of people and how to give them your energy.
  • You are intellectual and intelligent, you wonder and you inquire before taking any action and setting your values.
I've always thought personality tests are fascinating, but one based on color is particularly so, especially considering my recent creative outlets. I've always known that I'm an introvert, which is why I'm much more comfortable in my basement creating. But, it's pretty cool to know that perhaps I've found something that makes my brain, soul AND personality happy. Validation is a wonderful thing!

Be blessed :)

Time for Vacation?

Well, our house is on the market, and we have a meeting with our realtor today to ramp up our efforts to get out house sold. That means that the Heavenly Denim side of things is going on vacation for a while, which makes me kinda sad. I just haven't been able to figure out how to work neatly. My work area is constantly covered with thread and pieces of denim, so once I finish the last journal cover that's in progress, that'll be it for a while. Hopefully, our house will sell quickly and I'll be able to set up my work are in the new house!

I don't know why, but I've always existed in a state of chaos. It made it interesting for my sister to share a room with me when we were growing up. My roommates in college were always amazed that I could emerge looking so put together leaving such destruction behind! As I've gotten older, I've managed to confine my chaos to my "area", but for now, that's on hold. Perhaps I could convince my sister to come and instruct me on confined creativity! :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Stolen Thoughts

I make jewelry. But so do about 50% of all the sellers on Etsy. It's amazing how different it can be using basically the same materials, but I do look at other people's work for inspiration. And with jewelry, you could absolutely replicate someone else's work. That takes all of the fun out of designing something, but it could totally be done. I also make quilted stuff. And again, I look at other people's stuff for inspiration. With fabric, though, I think it's a little harder to make an exact copy, but, again, it could be done if you really wanted to.

But where is the line between copying and inspiring? There's a wealth of stuff out there. If I see something that I like, sometimes it makes me think about how I could do it too. But if we make the same thing, but in different ways, am I copying you or were you merely my inspiration?

One of my favorite fabric artists (who also happens to be my sister *smile*) is The Quilted House. She and I have some similar items and I've told her that she's one of my greatest inspirations. But when I started making notebook/journal covers, did I copy her design? I'd like to think that I didn't. Hers are made from one piece of fabric & mine are totally pieced & embroidered. Hers have a fabric tab & mine have a magnetic snap closure. But in the big scheme of things they're both the same thing. Although hers have totally nifty inside pockets that I'd love to do, but I can't wrap my brain around the curves. :)

With jewelry it's a little different. There's really a limited number of things that you can make -- earrings, necklaces and bracelets. I make a lot of earrings because that's what I like and personally wear more of. You'd think that there's not a lot of different ways you can make a pearl earring, for example. But if you do a search on Etsy for classic pearl earring, you'd be amazed at how many different earrings you'll find that are all basically the same thing.

Is it even possible to have an original thought in the crafting world? Most of us take things that already exist and assemble it into something different. I really admire the people who take raw ingredients and create something totally new. I'd love to be able to do fused glass or silver art clay or lampwork. (If I can convince my husband to buy me a kiln for my next birthday then we'll be in business *smile*). But until then, I'll keep my eyes open for my next source of inspiration :)

Be blessed! :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Each one teach one...

One of the greatest things about having a wonderful husband who made my birthday totally fabulous, is that I was able to recover 14,000+ photos that had been held hostage on my external hard drive. :)

Before Christmas I had been asked by a friend to help her Girl Scout troop complete the jewelry making badge. I was so thrilled that she decided to ask her favorite jewelry designer to come and teach the girls how to make *real* jewelry! When she sent me the badge requirements, I saw that one portion included "molding", so I decided to bring in my polymer clay equipment, and we could make our own beads.

We had SO much fun! Each girl had a kit that would make a name bracelet and a pair of earrings. I was really amazed by the talent of the girls. It was awesome to watch them select their colors and see what the final product was. It took us 2 meetings to complete, since the beads need to bake for 1/2 an hour and then cool before they could be handled safely, but once they were finished, the girls were able to embellish their pieces with an assortment of crystals and other beads to make their own, totally handcrafted pieces of jewelry!

Be blessed :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Technical Difficulties

I had a wonderful birthday, and as a result ended up taking a week off from my blog!

My husband was tired of hearing me complain about how slow my old Mac was, so for my birthday he got me a new Mac mini! I was totally thrilled! But in setting it up, I realized that I would be unable to transfer all of my information from my old Mac to the new one until I found a specific cable. So until that arrived in the mail, I was in limbo.

One good thing, though, is that I recovered 14,000+ photos that I'd transferred from my old Mac to an external hard-drive that my computer promptly decided to cease communications with. But when I hooked the external hard-drive up to my new Mac, all the photos were there and downloaded effortlessly to their new home. But they're not organized the same way they were on the old system. So I've got all the pics, but I can't find them :) There's definitely a learning curve here.

I got the cable on Friday, and my computers took almost 2 hours talking with one another transferring all the information from the old system to the new. So I have all of my bookmarks and password, all my documents and photos on my new, faster, system. I even took the time to move my desk and rearrange all of the cables so that it's not a hot mess.

While I was in limbo, though, I took the opportunity to continue with my creative brainstorm to design my new journal covers! I think they turned out really awesome! They're embroidered and quilted in my trademark crazy quilt, but they're beautiful and functional! It was actually kind of nice to be *forced* away from the computer for a week so that I had time to work :)

Be blessed :)