Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Posting three times in one day may be a bit more revealing of the current state of my social life than I'm entirely comfortable with, but I just got an excellent New Year's Eve surprise and I'm excited. I just made a sale! I've had the piece listed on eBay for 1 1/2 months, and the sale came as a surprise because I've been gradually phasing out that account. The sellers fees are higher than Etsy and I just like Etsy's overall atmosphere much better. Anyway, this is the necklace:



The picture is one taken before I dug out my macro lens and could be better, but luckily that didn't work against me. The center "Y" station is a design I came up with myself many years ago. I've sold similar pieces in the past, but this is the first of the style I've even tried to sell in years, so this is a sale that makes me particularly happy. What a nice way to bring in the New Year [if a little early]!

Whoever may read this, I hope your New Year starts off just as nicely!

Early Morning Musings

Wow, two posts in one day! This blogging thing may end up working out for me, especially if I continue to find myself woken up at 2am by my cats and lacking the motivation to even make a pair of earrings.

I've been doing some thinking about the pictures for my Etsy shop, especially now that I've taken the plunge and purchased a showcase spot. I'll be featuring the festoon style necklace I recently made [pic links to Etsy listing]:





Actually, Etsy lets you choose and rank what necklaces you want featured. Even after reading a bit about showcasing your items, I'm still not sure if the rotation is something they just do or if it's only contingent upon a sale. I probably just didn't read closely or far enough. This is all quite a learning experience, and I'm still learning how to learn again!

Anyway, in general I know my pics need serious help! On the one hand, I'm much happier with them than I was before I dug out and dusted off my macro lens and re-learned how to set my white balance. On the other hand, I see a lot of beautiful photos by other sellers and know there is major room for improvement in regards to my own.

One thing I plan to do is find a more permanent spot to take my pictures so I can set up my little tripod and leave it so it's right there ready for me to pop my camera unto. The tripod should definitely help with the blurring I inevitably get so I don't have to take and subsequently reject as many pics. The other thing I want to do is get better at cropping my images to feature the most important elements of my items. That can be a bit difficult, because Etsy's editor does its own cropping, but it will just be a matter of understanding its ins and outs so I can make that work to my advantage.

Etsy's most recent e-mail had some great resources for sellers, one of which was a post entitled "How to Improve Your Photos". It's a pretty quick read but full of helpful tips and worth taking a look at if you're like me and still working on your images. It's only one of the many resources I'm discovering that Etsy offers to sellers. Really loving Etsy so far!

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I'm really not one for pics of myself - you're much more likely to see photos of my animals here. However, sometimes it's nice to know who's talking at you, so here's my most recent grainy webcam photo. I think this is from about a year ago, but nothing much has changed other than some lost weight. Excuse the background mess - it's my tarantula's tank on top of one of my skull collections. My mom's favorite things. Good thing I've been long moved out.

I may put up pics of me with different hair colors for fun some time. And yes, those are grey hairs you see. No, they are not the reason I started dyeing my hair - that's been going on for more years than I care to relate at this time.  :)

I'm kind of amused right now at how many views I'm getting in the "Curiosities/OsteoWear" section of my Etsy shop. I'm not complaining - I'm happy to have them. It's just funny that those items are getting about 10 times the number of visits as my "normal" stuff. We humans do love a spectacle!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Completed Black Silver Project!

Well, this is how it turned out. It's actually been done for a while, but I've only now gotten around to making another post here. I'm happy with it, and the garnets are beautiful AAA quality. The picture here is in inside light, so the garnets look almost black, but I have an outside picture in my Etsy listing so you can see the gorgeous deep, deep red. I was careful to hand-pick the nicest garnets from the strand I bought, so they're the best of the best. Photo links to my Etsy listing. What's really nice is that some people have favorited [hearted] it already - it feels good to have something you work hard on appreciated.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Planned Black Silver Project

I just received some beautiful deep red garnet beads for a necklace I'm planning using Thai Karen Hill Tribe fine [.999] and sterling [.925] black silver. I'm excited about this one, as I expect it to have a nice goth-y look. My plan is to use all black silver, but I may end up throwing in some "white" silver for a contrast if I think it's needed. It may be an absolute disaster, but in my head it looks awesome.

This is the first necklace in a very long time for which I'm ordering particular components vs. using what I already have on hand [which, truth be told, is quite a lot!]. The worst part is the waiting, especially since my materials are being shipped from Thailand and could take up to 4 weeks to get to me. I'm sure it will be worth it, though - I'm very partial to fine Hill Tribe silver, and the oxidized silver that the Karen Tribe produces has a beautiful blue tint in the light. I'm hoping to do my own experimenting with the oxidation process using Liver of Sulfur in the near future, and one of my goals will be to replicate that amazing blue sheen.

Starting Over - A Kind of Introduction

I seem to do the starting over thing a lot, which I guess is just the nature of having a serious bipolar disorder. The good news is that I'm down to one medication, Celexa, on which I seem to be stabilized. I'm beginning to care about things again, things people take for granted, things I used to care about - not the least of which is my jewelry designing and creating! After years of truly not seeing the point, my interest has been rejeuvenated and I'm working again. I've graduated from weekly therapy sessions and the possibility of being hospitalized to taking care of myself, leaving the house for things other than doctor appointments, and maintaining a kind of schedule. I walk, exercise, eat meals again, see family every once in a while, have goals, and finally have a creative outlet about which I care and for which I can actually summon the motivation and discipline.

I've learned from my disorder that change is one of the only true constants, and therefore I'd better just embrace it, work with it and be grateful for the good times. Right now, things are better for me than they have been in many years, and I am absolutely grateful. I am still having trouble socializing, and I'm quite slow to accomplish things, but my brain is working again and I do get things done. I also smile sometimes now, which I honestly thought I would never do again.

As I sit here, I have my two baby rats asleep on my lap, a cup of coffee in front of me, an order to ship, and some jewelry supplies on their way. Life is good. With a touch of luck and some head-work, I'll be posting again about my current design ideas and whatever else comes to mind.

My Dear Readers