Saturday, October 31, 2009

Copper + Torch = Surprises

Torching copper is like a nail-biting adventure story where the heroine (me, of course) can either conquer or go down in blazing defeat & frustration. I've found no magic formula to guarantee victory over the copper. But what the stubborn copper doesn't know is that I am just as stubborn! I'll torch, then re-sand, then torch & re-sand as many times as it takes to have that AH HA moment of victory & sweet satisfaction.

Here are my latest 2 examples, where I sanded/torched no less than 10 different times before AH HA:) I think it was worth it. PLUS my niece Courtenay (necklace- recent visit here) & daughter Laurie (pendant-Big birthday), who received these as gifts, really loved them.

Cheryl Z's online stores: Seattle Chic and Classic Beadwear

The Dilemma of Being a Fancy Button

QUESTION #1: If you wanted to revitalize your well-loved lady's coat or jacket, OR you wanted to create a knit capelet, OR close the flap on a knit purse with a STUNNING BUTTON, what Search terms would you write in your favorite search engine?

When I posted my first 2 Buttons in my online Etsy jewelry store, I had to categorize them as "Supplies" or "Jewelry." But which???

NOTE: The only differnce between these items as supplies/buttons vs jewlery/pendants is the location of the loop! I felt like I had created Jewelry, but which word would a shopper use to Search? I learned that on Etsy a shopper would look under Supplies, not Jewelry, for even a fancy button. So I tossed my gut feeling that I had created Jewelry & labeled them Supplies for Etsy.

Which brings up...

QUESTION #2: Would you pay $32 & $38, respectively, for these "Supplies/Buttons"? If not, what would you pay if the loop were on the top edge, making them "Jewelry/Pendants"?

Which brings up...

QUESTION #3: Why not move the loop from the back to the upper rim & sell them as "Pendants"? Check Search results for "handmade designer buttons" vs "handmade designer pendants" to see why.

MY REVISED STRATEGY is to post maybe 3-4 wonderful jewelry-quality button designs in my shop among the handmade jewelry items, hoping that shopper Searches on "buttons" will find my shop. Searches on jewelry words certainly haven't. Thank God for loyal, local fans & 4 boutiques. The online market is a major challenge for jewelry artists unless Oprah discovers us.

So it's not easy being a fancy button, trapped between 2 worlds! Plus I feel I'm in uncharted waters by adding my new product line& I can't swim.

Cheryl Z's online stores: Seattle Chic and Classic Beadwear

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Photography- Frustrations

HELP! I've been taking hundreds of new pics for my new Etsy shop with its New Black Look. I re-take & edit pics until the (1) item & its colors look as realistic as possible & (2) the item "pops" against the black background.
Last night, when seeking comments in the Etsy forum, someone said that "my pics were too dark & hard to see"...
...which brings me back to my tenuous relationship with my favorite geeky toy VS what YOU see on your computer?

PLEASE HELP save me by clicking the "Comments" link below & answer these questions:
1. Are ALL the pics clear & easy to see in Gallery mode? (HINT: On Seattle Chic's home page, click "gallery" in the small link "view:gallery/link")
2. If not, which specific pics have problems?
3. Viewing on Mac or PC?
4. What operating system?
5. What Browser?
6. Do you know your screen resolution? (In Windows: Rgt click on screen, then Properties, then Settings for "screen resolution".)
6. Any insights on how I can produce pics that look good on BOTH OUR SCREENS?

I have a PC, Windows XP Pro, and use Internet Explorer. My screen resolution is very high==> 1280x1024 pixels.
To edit I use either Photoshop Elements (very old version) OR Picasa. Thanks for your help!!!

Cheryl Z's online stores: Seattle Chic and Classic Beadwear

I'm Baa-ack for a Fresh Start

Since my June post to say goodbye to online activities, my physical health is back & I'm so grateful!! I'm ready to dip my toe into online waters again, hoping I can resist the urge to jump in. So "Unwired" is back in business, tracking my path as a sole proprietor & jewelry artist.

The other good news is that I've replaced my original Etsy store with a new one that better reflects where my busy hands have taken me while I was getting well. Seattle Bead Creations, as in BEAD, was a suitable name until I took my first wire-wrapping class. It became even less suitable when I took my first metalsmithing class! As my passion for all 3 skills took over my life & my house, BEAD barely described what I did all day.

The Old Me==> The New Me==>

Too bad Etsy won't let us change our shop name... That would have been so easy. But I've made a fresh start with a new shop, new name, new banner, & new icon. Let's not forget The New BLACK Look for Seattle Chic, decided with the help of folks who voted in the blog poll to the right.

These last many months have been a busy time of healing, creating, & renewal... in all regards. So check out the Old Me VS the New Me. I hope you like what you see:)

Cheryl Z's online stores: Seattle Chic and Classic Beadwear