28 Feb 2008

blogging will recommence 5 March!

19 Feb 2008

hello! things are busy and moving along! I have posted two applications for huge craft fairs -- the deadlines are now-ish for shows at the end of this year! madness. So hopefully I'll be accepted to at least one show. I have been showing around two new designs for rings of which I have no photos as of yet, and have been getting positive responses. These two are to form the basis of two of the gallery collections. One is very modern and the other is more modern-quirky. Well, quirky implies a certain whimsical-ness, so perhaps eccentric is a better word. In any case, soon I will be filling out those ideas with matching pieces and will be taking photos.

15 Feb 2008

Right, so Reddit and Delicious are two more social bookmarking sites. They work the same way as Technorati, really. And StumbleUpon. And Digg. All these sites are very similar indeed. You register, you see the list of sites that people have given the thumbs up (ie marked as a favorite, submitted, or whatever wording that particular site uses). The more people like something, the higher up the list it goes. With Reddit, the set-up is, in terms of format and font, pretty old school. It's not very pretty and it's just a list of links. But they do have a very cute little icon:

<-- this little creature is the Reddit icon. So, yes, these are two other social bookmarking sites.....you bookmark, other people bookmark, and hey presto you get to see the sites that are the most bookmarked. (One advantage of using one of these sites to hold your bookmarks is that you can access them from anywhere, not just your home or work computer. Also, you won't lose your favorites/bookmarks if your computer dies!)I still prefer StumbleUpon because you don't need to go back to the StumbleUpon page to find links. With the others, it seems to me, you always have to return to their page to browse through pages that are popular. With StumbleUpon, you just keep clicking the "Stumble" button on your address bar, so you don't need to go back to a central page. Just to make that clear, here is a screen shot of the StumbleUpon buttons: (Incidentally, if you want to make a screenshot and don't know how - find the button on your keyboard on the right hand top side which says "PrtScn" and press it once. Then open "paint", which is under accessories in the start menu, and go to edit-->paste. It will paste in your screenshot. You can also paste it into PowerPoint directly.)

Also, if you want to read more about StumbleUpon, Technorati or Digg, see my previous posts. (you can find them by looking at the right hand side of this page under my labels.)

14 Feb 2008

Ok, so tomorrow I will be writing about Reddit and probably Delicious....because I just found out that the builder people are coming tomorrow to replace the broken door & window! Which means I have to clear out all the spaces around the window (door is already clear) so they can reach it to do their work. On the one hand, GREAT, it's finally being done. On the other hand, EEK, I have so much to do today and I have to plan carefully because tomorrow I will not be able to use my workshop. Ho hum. So, tomorrow more blogging, today less blogging!
I took a decent photo yesterday of my peek ring:

13 Feb 2008

Had another useful lesson today....and am having a hectic day! I have to go again in an hour to another appointment. Hopefully I'll be able to get more done this evening. I made some new rings yesterday that I'm very pleased with. They are the beginning of the Gallery series - the series that I plan to bring around to local Galleries to see if they are interested in selling my work. I need to finish my craft fair applications this week as well - nearly there, just a couple more photos and finish writing my CV and a covering letter. Right, well, that's all for today but I have been looking into Reddit - another bookmarking service and I'll be posting about that hopefully tomorrow.

12 Feb 2008

Oh my!! How cool is this -- on Etsy, you need a banner along the top of your store with your store name. Well, you could do without, but it looks much better with. So there's a Banner-generator!! You can just type in your shop name and your tagline and get a banner! Sooooo useful!! Perfect for people who are just starting or for those who don't know how to make a banner. You can find the banner maker here. And here are some results when I tried it:

Eet ees COLD today. brrrrrrr. I can feel it seeping in from the windows. There is frost on the rooftops again.
So I'm trying to get together the right photos to apply to a couple of craft fairs. It's hard to know what photos to choose, having never applied before. I took some "group" photos of my small stud earrings. This is one of those: (but before I do that -- I thought that type of earring was called a stud earring, but it seems to be called a post earring....I wonder if that's a dialect thing, or if that's just me getting it wrong....)

11 Feb 2008

I needed a better hammer to finish rivets. My current hammer was too big to finish rivets neatly. So I orderd a hammer which I think will do the job - a ball pein hammer. Also referred to as a "jobbing hammer" on the supplier website, presumably because it has a LOT of uses. Anyway, so the hammer arrived and it is very cute and little indeed. Here's a photo which may or may not show the cuteness of the hammer:
(And in other news, all cement dust has been removed, all solder cleaned, etc. so that's over! hurrah!)

10 Feb 2008

Note to self: never, ever, ever, EVER let the jewellery bench get covered in a thick layer of cement dust again. It took long enough to clean the living room!!! But the living room is fairly minimalistic, so just a bunch of large items to clean. The jewellery area is filled with teeeeeeeeny little things, every last one of which had to be hoovered, dusted, wiped clean, etc. I am now in the process of cleaning my bits of solder. See that period at the end of the last sentence??? That's how big the bits of solder are. I could throw them away and just start again, but it seems too wasteful. So I'm cleaning them. Bits that small float in water, I have discovered. I should have thought of that beforehand. Now I am picking these little bits of solder off the top of the water with tweezers. ha! what fun!
Anyway, at least that's the last bit and everything else has been cleaned. I met the people who want wedding rings on Friday evening and it went well, so I have a quote ready depending on what material they go for. First I have to wait for them to send me the drawing of what they want engraved on the rings and I need to call the engraver to find out how much that will cost. The costs add up quickly, not least because everything has to be sent back and forth with Special Delivery post, which is 4.75 pounds each way. Add the cost of the jiffy bag, and it's basically another £10 every time you need to post something to get engraved, set, hallmarked or to the customer.
Right, I must get back to picking bits of solder out of water and then I have promised to go on a long jog! :-P

9 Feb 2008

yay! the ring arrived back from the stone setter!! It appears it is Apatite, not Topaz as I thought. Which means it's a very soft stone. But the ring looks good, I think. The setter did a super neat job. Have a look:

8 Feb 2008

I am nearly finished with the website update now. Just need to change all the photos where I had earrings next to a thimble for size to photos with the earrrings on Anastasia (as my sister has decided to call the head). Then ideally some page numbers instead of "previous" and "next" and then that's more or less it for now I think. The "previous" and "next" buttons worked well, but now they're not so good because there are so many pages. So it would be better if there was a page thingy....like "Page: 1 2 3 4 next". A friend of mine is looking into it because it's Javascript, not HTML, that's going to solve that. I like Javascript, it's brilliant, and I understand the logic, but I don't know the syntax. All of that means I can't make changes to the Javascript myself, but at least I can see when whatever I want requires Javascript so I can call my friend and pester him to help.

We spent last night cleaning up the cement dust in the living room, woo hoo what fun. Today I have to tackle my jewellery bench, which is also covered. It's even more of a problem in the jewellery room because of course cement is hard. Harder than silver. So it would scratch silver if I left it laying around. It's going to be a pain, but it must be done. sigh.

By the way, the spell check button on Blogger no longer seems to be working, so sorry if there are lots of typos.

7 Feb 2008

I just posted some new little post/stud earrings on Etsy. I was quite happy with how they turned out...

I'm nearly, nearly done with my major website update. A friend came over last night and did a change that I think will really make a difference - you can now click on the main image of the item and go straight to that item's info page. It should make it easier, more intuitive to get to the right page. Just two more items that need more photos and their pages updated, and then I can announce the update, hurrah!
I still want to make one other change, but that is less important, I think.
Anyway...........the levels of cement dust have gone down in the house, thank goodness. The new door might be finished today! hurrah! Then the rest of the cleaning can commence...sigh.

6 Feb 2008

Well, the finished ashtray --> wine bottle coaster photo is going to have to wait a bit. The house is completely covered with a layer of cement dust. Every little crack, surface, cup, table etc. is covered with a layer of grey dust. It's a complete mess and it's hard to do anything. I can't mix the resin in this mess to finish the coaster because if it gets the cement dust in it, it might not work, it will be grey, and it'll be a mess. This dust is all due to a new door being put in. I can't wait for it to be sorted!!!!!!!
In other news, I'm nearly finished with the ring for that big blue stone that I posted about before. I'm excited to see how it turns out and will post a photo as soon as it's done.
I also learned a new technique today that I'm very excited about because it's the perfect technique to help me make a holder for these brown pods I have. The pods are from some tree but are totally solid and don't rot or anything - they are dried. I haven't been able to think of the right way to make something interesting out of them until I saw this folding style today at my teacher's studio! Photos hopefully to follow in the not-to-distant-future.
I'm also preparing to enter some big craft fairs. I'm very nervous not only because of all the work involved (that's doable...) but what if I get rejected?? These shows are curated... Eek....I will try though, and then even if they don't accept me, at least I know what to do for next time.
Right....well I'm off again soon because I need to deliver some items....stars!!! These earrings and a matching ring:

5 Feb 2008

1. What time is it?

What are you most afraid of:
death of loved ones

Favourite food?

Your natural hair colour?

Have you travelled?
yes, lots, my whole life

Love someone so much it made you cry?

Been in a car accident ?
only a teeny fender bender and i wasn't driving

Benz or Lexus

Favourite day of the week?

Favourite Restaurant?
Satsuma on Wardour Street in London

Favourite Flower?
dark red rose

Favourite sport to watch?
windsurfing, or tennis if it's a good match

Favourite Drink?

Favourite ice cream?
i'm not crazy about ice cream, but ben & jerry's used to do one with chocolate covered pretzels in it that I really liked.

Disney or Warner Brothers?
warner brothers

Favourite fast food restaurant?
taco bell

What colour is your bedroom carpet?

How many times you failed your driver's test?

From whom did you get your last e-mail?

too many to list!!


What means the most to you?
family and friends

Are you Tall or short

What is your Favourite colour?

How many pets do you have?
none, although I'd love a cat but can't because I'm allergic

What would you like to accomplish/do before you
be successful

4 Feb 2008

I'm working on converting a 1950's silver ashtray into a wine bottle coaster. The ashtray was a gift for ex-employees of the Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij (Dutch ship transport company). It was in my dad's family, and has been passed down and passed down and the design isn't that...erm, well, it's kind of ugly. But my dad wanted the bits that were engraved, because it belonged to his family and the engraving is actually the nicest bit of the ashtray. So, I'm converting it. So, this is the photo of the ashtray with the pieces with the engraving on cut out and hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to post photos of the finished coaster...

2 Feb 2008

Just a random photo of the first mini clothes peg I made:

1 Feb 2008

My plans for the week got a bit sidetracked! I was planning on working at the bench but then I tried a new bit of javascript which is super easy to use! It's a slide show/gallery which lets you choose if you want the pictures to change automatically (and if you do, at what intervals). It also makes it a lot neater to have lots of photos of an item because it includes the thumbnails in the gallery so people can choose if they want to view the thumbnails or not - thus also freeing up a lot of space on the page. I think it works better and looks nicer. I'm working through my website updating with this new feature....and also making a clearer link to my Etsy shop to make it easier to purchase. And while I'm at it, also putting more new photos and new items. I'll post here once the update is actually finished....

In the meantime, follow the link below to see one of the pages I've already added the gallery to - and let me know if you think it looks good!!!