Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Did you notice the little widget to the right ------------->

It's called an Entrecard. It's a fun way to advertise on other people's blogs and to discover new blogs. How does it work? In a nutshell, you go to the Entrecard site, sign up and add their code to your blog.
Entrecard users will request to put their 125x125 pixel card on your blog. If you accept, it's automatically placed on your widget for 24 hours. (One ad at a time.) If you don't wish to advertise their blog on yours, you can decline the request. If you like the ads you come across, simply click and visit their blog.
You earn 'credits' for each ad you accept. You can also earn credits by clicking on the Entrecard ads on blogs you visit -- referred to "dropping" your card. These credits are how you pay for the ads you'd like to place on other people's blogs.
How do you know where to advertise? Clicking on "campaign" will allow you to browse Entrecards, click links to their blogs, and if you like what you see, you can request to advertise. Since I'm new and have few credits, I look for newer, inexpensive blogs in the art, fashion, or hobbies categories. I then check out their blog to see if I think it would be a good fit for my ad.
I avoid blogs of jewelry artists whose work are similar in style to mine. I also look at their blog's site traffic, and where they've placed the Entrecard widget. If it's too far down the page, I hit the 'back' button.
I've discovered some fun blogs via Entrecard. It's a fun marketing tool, one person I know received an Etsy sale from an Entrecard connection. It's no only for onling sellers. Non-commercial blogs are on Entrecard, too. It's for anyone who'd like to drive more traffic to their blog.

My Entrecard looks like this:

A Little Bird Told Me...

One of my latest creations....

It started when I was trying to create something out of sterling wire - I won't even say what because it's embarrassing that I ended up so far off my original mark. I wasn't pleased with my progress and in a mini-fit of frustration, I smashed it. Being rather frugal, I couldn't just throw the mess away so I considered how I might be able to re-purpose it.

It looked rather like a bird's nest, albeit a rough one. And so yet another inpiration was born. As the saying goes, there are no new ideas ... so a quick search of the internet revealed (googled 'birdnest pendant').

Nevertheless, I like the way it came out. It's more organic (read: messier) than some of the more structured wire birdnest pendants I've seen online. The "eggs" are cultured freshwater pearls that are woven into the nest.

I wore my creation a couple of weeks ago to a class I attend and one of the other women in class asked me to make one for her. I've also made a pair of birdnest earrings.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Beaded Spheres

Last fall I posted about a beaded ball (for lack of a better term) that I bought in a bead shop that was going out of business. I've been enthralled by the silly thing ever since. I tried searching online to find out how they're made - no easy feat, when you're not sure what they're called. I did finally find some printed instructions that, for me, were way too complicated.

I more or less put the idea aside while I'm took care of my computer issues in December. Since then, I found a brilliant tutorial on a blog called My Daily Bead. The author's technique is so much clearer than anything I've come across.

The photos above are a few of my creations. The gray ball is made from 6mm bicone Swarovski crystals. It's a tad 'disco-ballish' for my taste, but it's easier working with larger beads when you're just starting out. It's made with 30 crystals.

The small white ball is made with tiny seed beads and is smaller in diameter than a dime. I modified the instructions so that I used 3 seed beads for every one bead used in the tutorial (a 3 to 1 ratio = 90 seed beads).

I followed the instructions to created the ball using rice pearls and attached them to earrings. It was a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to buying tiny bicone crystals and making these into pendants.

Drop me a comment and let me know what you think.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Celebrating My 12th Sale

Since joining the Etsy site one year ago (almost to the day - Feb. 25 is my Etsy-versary date), I've sold twelve items. Eleven were Etsy sales, one was an in-person sale. Now, I know 12 isn't a stellar number, but still...

A year ago, I couldn't imagine selling a single one of my little creations. Today, I sold one of my favorite pieces. It's a one-of-a-kind (OOAK, for those of you who like acronyms) triple strand aventurine necklace with Tribe Hill silver flowers.

I'll ship it tomorrow and celebrate with a Caffe Mocha.