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Monday, October 31, 2011

Who you callin' Fat?

TL0151FR Miyuki TILA - 2 Hole Japanese Flat Square - Transparent Cobalt Matte ABYo' momma is so fat -- when she sits around the house, ...

Early last year - Miyuki brought out a new bead - a 2-hole flat square bead called "TILA."

Confusion reigned as to the pronunciation of this word? Acronym? What was TILA, except that it resembled "tile" - the approximate shape of the beads.

Well - over the past year - pronunciation has proven to be "Tee-la" - rhymes with "Lee-la." I had written on the TILA page that it rhymed with "Smile-a" - which I researched and got from somewhere, but haven't the foggiest idea where now.

And, apparently - the term "tila" - rhymes with "smile-a" is rather close to the phrase that means "You're fat."

So - my apologies to the skinny tile beads. I don't think you're fat. ;-) Phat maybe, but not fat.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Joy Of Metal Clay: Copper Poppy Brooch

Here is a little project I worked on yesterday. A copper poppy brooch...made with Art Clay Copper (using a large circle cookie cutter and an ellipse or football shaped cookie cutter)

Roll out a piece of copper clay 1 mm thick and cut a large circle. Since I was using copper clay, I went big using a 2 inch circle.

Divide the circle into four parts (I used a circle which I had folded into four) and mark these four points. At these points you are going to use the ellipse cutter to cut notches in the circle.

Place the circle into a doming block. To shape and dry.

For this piece, I am going to put a brooch finding on the back and I want the back to be flat so I put a piece of paper in the bottom of the dome. (this makes the bottom flatter). See below, I just fitted a small piece of paper in the bottom of the dome.

Dry the piece.

Once dry, create a cutout shape for the brooch finding you are going to use. I used an inexpensive nickel finding that I am not going to fire but will glue on with resin after firing. (the finding is pictured below). Also you can embellish the front of the flower' oops I forgot to take a picture of this. You can place little balls or I took a ring of copper clay and textured a center (see below).

The piece now needs to to be pickled, polished and brooch placed on. I may try a few other things too. I will share next week.

Have a Happy Halloween tomorrow....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Business Chat - 5 tips to rock at shipping

Isn’t it such a thrill to open your inbox and see that new order? Big happy dance! Now let’s ship that order out.
Packaging and shipping services are some of the best opportunities you have to communicate with your customers and remind them why they should continue to shop with you and not someone else. Clear communication and super cute packaging will give the customer nice warm fuzzy feelings, and happy customers are repeat customers.

  1. Make sure your shipping policies are very clear and very easy to find. Communication is key for online shopping. Your buyer should know the following:
    a. are they purchasing the exact item or one similar that you will make when it is ordered, if so how long does it take to make
    b. what method do you ship by, do they have a choice of shipping methods
    c. how much is shipping to various countries
    d. how long does shipping take
    e. can they upgrade the shipping if they need it faster
    f. what will the package look like

  2. Let the customer know when the order has shipped, how it was shipped and when they can expect it. It only takes a minute to send an email with this information and that is the best minute you can spend. Not only are you letting the customer know that you’re on top of your business, you’re managing their expectations. We all know what it’s like to keep checking the mailbox daily waiting for a package, if the customer knows it won’t be there for 10 days then they won’t get so antsy. If you sell work that is made to order it’s a really good idea to send an email stating that you received the order and let them know the expected shipping date. When the work goes out the door, send another email letting them know it’s on the way.

  3. Say thanks with a handwritten note. Your customer has chosen to purchase handmade work, keep the handmade connection going. And connections are what are really important. A handwritten note shows that there is a real person behind their purchase, it’s a nice touch.

  4. Make sure all your contact information is included in the package. The buyer knows where the work comes from however if this is a gift you also want the recipient to know. Make sure they can find you again to purchase more!

  5. Pretty packaging is important. Who doesn’t like to open presents? You only have one chance to make a first impression, make it a good one. If they open your package and get all excited and happy then they’ll associate those feelings with you in the future. I personally don’t decorate the shipping envelope as I have found that really well decorated envelopes go missing more often than plain ones. To make up for the plain outside I use lots of tissue paper and ribbons inside. It only takes a minute and costs pennies. Time and money well spent to make a customer feel special.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A little of this, a little of that.

Poor lonely blog. Yet again, I have a sick one at home - and of course I'm running like mad trying to get everything done. I should just forget about most of it, and chill out with the sick one. And of  course amuse myself with facebook.

As many of you know, most of us are serious dog (and cat) lovers around here. Dwyn our webmistress extraordinaire recently completed her level 1 Schutzund training with her dog 'The Dude', who is also a contender in the Fido casting call! If you're so inclined please vote for him  We'd love to see 'The Dude' in a fido commercial! :-) (Dwyn may in fact strangle me for this, but that's ok - she'll take it back if he wins)

And for something just plain silly - cuz it's Friday, and I say it's allowed. I think Dwyn and I both agree on this one - couldn't pass it sober ;-)

Have a wonderful weekend - and don't eat all of the Halloween candy before Monday ;-)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New This Week!

Swarovski does Denim

Swarovski is dressing down and going Denim! Actually - Swarovski bling has been a great combo with denim for ages, but in this case - it actually is the colour of denim that we are talking about.

As I mentioned on the blog last week, the new colours and shapes from Swarovski are starting to roll out.

27753012427266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 8 mm Faceted Xilion Bicone (5328) - Denim Blue (1)So this week, we are pleased to offer you - Swarovski Denim Blue! This is a lovely shade of blue - similar to Montana - but a bit lighter. If you mixed it with Montana, you would get some nice, natural shading that could make for a more natural look - were you so inclined! Often, the Montana is a bit dark - so I think this is a great colour - besides - it's bluuuuuuue. How can you go wrong with blue?

Because these are spread out all over the place, neatly sorted into their respective categories, here is a consolidated, handy list of all the new beads and pendants!

27753012015266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 6 mm Faceted Xilion Bicone (5328) - Denim Blue (1) 6 mm Faceted Xilion Bicone (5328)
34762021157266 Swarovski Elements Pendant - 18 mm Faceted Heart (6202) - Denim Blue (1) 18 mm Faceted Heart (6202)
11720122398266 Swarovski Elements Rhinestones - SS 12 - Xilion Rose (2028) - Denim Blue (144) SS12 Xilion Rose (2028)
34762021097266 Swarovski Elements Pendant - 14 mm Faceted Heart (6202) - Denim Blue (1) 14 mm Faceted Heart (6202)
27750403025266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 18 mm Faceted Donut (5040) - Denim Blue (1) 18 mm Faceted Donut (5040)
27750402025266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 12 mm Faceted Donut (5040) - Denim Blue (1) 12 mm Faceted Donut (5040)
27750401029266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 8 mm Faceted Donut (5040) - Denim Blue (1) 8 mm Faceted Donut (5040)
27750401010266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 6 mm Faceted Donut (5040) - Denim Blue (1) 6 mm Faceted Donut (5040)
27750001725266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 6 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Denim Blue (1) 6 mm Faceted Round (5000)
27756211040266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 18 mm Twist (5621) - Denim Blue (1) 18 mm Twist (5621)
27756211070266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 22 mm Twist (5621) - Denim Blue (1) 22 mm Twist (5621)
27756211010266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 14 mm Twist (5621) - Denim Blue (1) 14 mm Twist (5621)

11720123328266 Swarovski Elements Rhinestones - SS 20 - Xilion Rose (2028) - Denim Blue (144) SS20 Xilion Rose (2028)
27750002623266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 10 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Denim Blue (1) 10 mm Faceted Round (5000)
27753012569266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 10 mm Faceted Xilion Bicone (5328) - Denim Blue (1) 10 mm Faceted Xilion Bicone (5328)
34761281070266 Swarovski Elements Pendant - 12 mm Mini Pear (6128) - Denim Blue (1) 12 mm Mini Pear (6128)
27756011396266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 8 mm Faceted Cube (5601) - Denim Blue (1) 8 mm Faceted Cube (5601)
27753011333266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 4 mm Faceted Xilion Bicone (5328) - Denim Blue (36) 4 mm Faceted Xilion Bicone (5328)
27750001051266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 3 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Denim Blue (36) 3 mm Faceted Round (5000)
27753011069266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 3 mm Faceted Xilion Bicone (5328) - Denim Blue (36) 3 mm Faceted Xilion Bicone (5328)
27753012427266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 8 mm Faceted Xilion Bicone (5328) - Denim Blue (1) 8 mm Faceted Xilion Bicone (5328)
34761281035266 Swarovski Elements Pendant - 10 mm Mini Pear (6128) - Denim Blue (1) 10 mm Mini Pear (6128)
27750001247266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 4 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Denim Blue (1) 4 mm Faceted Round (5000)
11720122834266 Swarovski Elements Rhinestones - SS 16 - Xilion Rose (2028) - Denim Blue (144) SS 16 Xilion Rose (2028)

TL0037 Miyuki TILA - 2 Hole Japanese Flat Square - White SatinTL0140FR Miyuki TILA - 2 Hole Japanese Flat Square - Transparent Cherry Red Matte ABIn other news - the new colours of the TILA beads! 30 new colours to play with! BTW - it appears I've been mispronouncing "TILA" - it should be "Tee-la" - rhymes with "Lee-la" - the one-eyed mutant on Futurama. Two-holed bead rhymes with one-eyed mutant - how's that for irony?

s30857 Magazine - Art Jewelry -  2011 - Novembers30858 Magazine - BeadStyle -  2011 - NovemberLatest issue of Art Jewelry and BeadStyle too!

Other cool stuff around the site, so go ahead, click on a link or a picture above, or start with the Main Page, if you are feeling intrepid, (there is a LOT of stuff there), or chunk it down into bite-size portions by checking out the categories: Click on a link and go crazy! Firepolish, Pressed Glass, Swarovski Crystal, Seedbeads, Stone and Pearls, Preciosa Crystal, Metal Beads, Other Cool Beads, Findings, Metal Clay & Supplies or Books, Kits, Tools. Look for the "new" tags!

Or maybe check out all our free, yes, free projects. A new one every week.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lampwork Stuff that ISN'T Jewelry

Not everyone wears jewelry - beats the heck out of me why not - but there you have it. It's a funny old world.

So, you bought this great lampwork bead, you were going to make it into a pendant for a friend, when she says to you in casual conversation - oh, I never wear any jewelry except for this locket my grandmother made me, and I never take it off. Hmmmm.

Well - we have a bunch of stuff that you can use to make gifts that AREN'T jewelry - using lampwork beads, beads with large holes, and beads that you have made using wire coiling, polymer clay, metal clay, etc. (Just make the holes large when you make them!!)

For instance - how about this butter spreader - or canape knife - not entirely clear what distinguishes the two, actually.

Assembling this is easy. Test fit the bead - to make sure the length is ok. Most of these non-jewelry accessories come with a screw on end, but sometimes the bead you selected is a little longer. In that case, we have glue-in end caps.

If the end of the lampwork bead is not even, you can grind the end off to make it smooth if you have a lapidary grinder - glass is soft enough to grind very easily - just keep it cool with water. This really is an optional step!

28400507-01 Findings - 8 mm O Ring - Black Rubber (50) (Bulk pack)Alternately , you can add a rubber ring between the bead and the end to fill any gaps. If you are going to screw the end on and not glue it, I highly recommend a rubber O ring to prevent tightening the screw from chipping the bead.

Mix up some two part epoxy and put a little on the shaft, add the bead(s), and then a little in the end hole, and put on the end cap.

Prop the item upright - so that glue doesn't ooze out the sides. A "Third Hand" is excellent for this - and many other similar operations.

Find the supplies you need here! (Link will open in a new tab or window.)

Other large hole beads

(Look for beads with a 3 mm hole or better.)

s24388 Tools -  Third Hand - Double with Clips (1)We may have some of the "Third Hand"s in store - we don't ship them. They aren't hard to find - Princess Auto, and anywhere that sells soldering supplies generally has them. They are generally inexpensive - around $15. Sometimes you see them in those big flea markets with other interesting tools and gadgetry. Very useful for holding things at just the right angle while the glue dries.