2 Hinged cages and a Locket – Tutorial

After 2 computer crashes, countless re-writes, and a heavy teaching schedule, I finally finished my newest tutorial – 2 Hinged Cages and a Locket. It grew much larger than I originally planned, with 3 FULLY ILLUSTRATED variations. I seriously considered separating out the Locket variation as a stand alone tutorial, but the “leave it in” part of my brain won the toss.

This tutorial teaches you step by step how to create a basic hinged cage, with or without beaded embellishments. This is a wonderfully versatile design to hold a favorite stone, maybe a love note, or a treasured trinket. Once it is on a chain, it is virtually impossible to come open by accident.
As a bonus this tutorial also includes 2 COMPLETE step by step variations including a crossed wire and locket style cage.
The owner of a local bead shop showed me the mechanics of the hinge close to 15 years ago. A very dear friend of mine, Master Wire Worker Ed Sinclair, created a published one in 1994. He has generously given me permission to share my versions of the basic cage and a crossed wire technique that he developed years ago.

This is an advanced level tutorial – it assumes you are familiar with basic wire techniques and improvising when needed. It is 28 pages with 67 steps and over 100 crisp, clear photographs. The file size is 2.3MB.

Don’t be intimidated by the length and number of steps – This tutorial covers 3 FULLY illustrated pieces. While this is an advanced level tutorial, intermediate wire workers with a solid foundation of basic wire wrapping skills can, with patience, complete this design.

Thank you for visiting……. Bobbi

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~Bhuddha

Fred – Bare-Eyed Cockatoo

Hmmmm, where do I even begin with Fred. First off, he’s a Bare-Eyed Cockatoo, and the reason I almost didn’t get BabyDoll. Fred is definitely a rescue. He had 3 homes and 2 stints in a pet shop before me. When I got him, he had been in a pet shop (the second time) for about a year.
I blame his first home for many of his worst issues. From what I could find out, they took young Fred home, placed him in a nice enough cage set up in the family room. One very important thing they forgot was to put up a gate, at least temporarily, to prevent their 2 very large dogs from running up to the cage any time they felt like it. To compound the issue, the cage was fairly low, putting Fred at eye-level with the dogs. People’s stupidity, or if you prefer, ignorance astounds me. It is amazing how many “educated” adults fail to realize and acknowledge a parrots prey mentality. Unless you prove otherwise, they view just about everything as something that is going to eat them. Nature has programmed them that way for survival.
After about 3 months, Fred’s first owners brought Fred back to the pet shop, and begged them to take him back. Even though they shared their dogs intense interest in him, they couldn’t understand why Fred SCREAMED non-stop. Now if you never heard a Cockatoo scream in distress or fear, it is a blood-curdling noise comparable to fingernails on a blackboard magnified 100 fold.
Fred didn’t fair much better in his next 2 homes. They both had dogs, and though they didn’t allow the dogs to inspect Fred at will, they both went with the opposite “faux pa”. Every time Fred screamed, they came running – “awww Fred, poor Fred”. Bad move….. Now I’m not saying that should completely ignore a distress call, but running to it every time it screams, only teaches it how to call you to come. Both of those 2 homes did seem to really care for Fred, but were over-whelmed with a large ‘Too with emotional issues.
When I met Fred, his screaming had been reduced to a minimum, being there were no dogs in the pet store. Now I have 2 dogs – an English springer, and an African Mastiff, but I felt confident (or cocky depending on your point of view) that I could help Fred overcome is early bird-hood trauma. That coupled with the fact that it was painfully obvious, he would have no other choice than to live his life in my friend’s pet shop. I just couldn’t stand that thought..
After a trip to the vet, standard fair for new arrivals in my home, Fred was introduced to my already abundant “Noah’s Ark”. I’m not sure, but I think the presence of all the other birds in my house was somehow a small comfort. When we got home, I kept his travel cage covered for a bit, to lesson the trauma of a new and strange environment. The cage I had set up was (is) huge. Its actually a double meant for multiple Macaws. he now lives in one half – Laci my African Grey, his next door neighbor. One big plus for Fred is the cage is very tall (almost 8′). He can get well above head-height if he chooses (not something I’d recommend for every bird, but that’s another post).
After he got settled in and comfortable and happy enough to munch some lunch, I let the dogs out of the bedroom. Now my birds have their own room with a gate; the dogs can only walk by, not go in the room. By the way, my dogs, unlike most, have no interest in the birds whatsoever, except for the occasional treat that the birds fling at them. Fred’s initial reaction at seeing the dogs was as expected – he started to scream. I responded in a very “matter of fact” tone of voice that it was okay, and quietly ushered the dogs outside. Fred almost immediately quit screaming; he actually seemed confused at the dogs lack of interest in him.
Over the next week or so, the routine was the same – if Fred saw the dogs, and screamed, I simply (not all gushy) reassured him it was okay, and took the dogs outside. When Fred saw the dogs and didn’t scream, I rewarded him with his favorite treat, warm carrots and honey. Amazingly the screaming stopped (where the dogs were concerned) fairly quickly.
It took Fred nearly 6 months to fully settle into the house and the daily routine. Now Patches (my Springer) has NO interest in the birds whatsoever – the walking marshmallow could care less, even if one flies to the floor. Suie my African Mastiff’s only interest is the bird’s food – including seed. In the beginning if she ventured to close to the gate in her never ending quest for goodies, and Fred became upset, I simply (gently) scolded her and ushered her away from the gate. It didn’t take long for Fred to figure out that Suie’s only interest was his flung food.
These days Suie is a constant source of entertainment for Fred. Fred will deliberately drop seed, peek over the bars to see if Suie is picking them up, and them grab a foot-full of seed and pelt her with it. Her being startled by this, amuses Fred and he starts laughing. if she won’t come over on her own, Fred actually calls her – “come here, Suie, Suie, come here”. She gets pelted with seed if she actually falls for it – which she does, every time. The other favorite entertainment? Fred waits for Suie to lay down and dose off. Fred has learned, that if utters a certain screech, Suie will jump up, run to the front door and bark. Fred being so high up, he can see the driveway and anyone it long before the dogs – that’s actually how that started – now when Fred is bored, he gets amusement from sending Suie to the front door barking. At that point Fred and several of the other birds start barking, and Suie just wonders off to the bedroom to sleep.
Fred has lots of other issues – he is after all a ‘Too – but I’ve rambled enough for one day.

Thanks for visiting
~Bobbi
“You can learn many things from your children. How much patience you have for instance.” ~Franklin P. Jones

Getting Your Work Noticed On-Line Be Seen, Be Seen, Be Seen ~~PART 3~~

Okay – class?, class?, class? – oops sorry, had a Sister Mary Elephant flashback.

Before I move on, I’d like to share a small experiment I did recently using elements from the first 2 Be Seen articles. You did read them didn’t you?
I recently put 4 photos up in my Flickr account – 2 of the Mens’ Diamond Ring, and 2 of the Double Swinging Topaz pendant (both are in the gallery here). One each (ring and pendant) photos, I just added to my jewelry groups I belong to. The other set I added to my groups AND added them to Diigo, Mr Wong, Delicious, and Stumbleupon. The view differences were staggering. For the ring photo 1 (heavily bookmarked) the views were 134 for one day, while the un-bookmarked photo 2 received only 43 views. The same for the pendant photo 1 – bookmarked, the views were 271, and photo 2 received only 15 views. Social bookmarking DOES work.

Google Tools

Now that you’ve added your work in every social bookmark you can, (http://mywiredimagination.blogspot.com/2009/10/getting-your-work-noticed-on-line-be.html ) and started a blog (http://mywiredimagination.blogspot.com/2009/09/getting-your-work-noticed-on-line-be.html ), now it’s time to for more tools to get you into searches, and see how well things are working, AND see what needs to be changed to be more effective.

First you’ll need to get a Google account if you don’t already have one. Now before you start groaning about having another e-mail account (I can hear you), aside from being about the best e-mail service on the planet (no I don’t work for them), it is loaded with simple, but very useful tools. Gmail is free, and though it may take a little getting used its well worth it.

1) You have the ability to enable POP3 settings (without having to pay extra like Yahoo), so that you can still use Outlook, and Outlook Express mail.
2) You can have all your other mail accounts forwarded to Gmail, and access them all from one location, and set up filters and folders to easily keep track.
3) You have labels and filters, you set up so your mail is automatically sorted and labeled, and be color coded. Corra helped to put this one to the best use, as I have it set up to sort my sales, and PayPal receipts.
4) There is built in chat with other Gmail contacts, with one click…
5) A one click vacation responder with personal message…
There is a search mail function that actually works well, and tons of other features.
2 of the most useful features (I bet you thought I wasn’t going to get to it) are Google Alerts and Google Base

Google Alerts “http://www.google.com/alerts”
I have igoogle as my homepage, so to get to alerts, I just click on the “my account” link at the top right. Underneath your profile and personal settings are the tabs to access all sorts of useful goodies besides Alerts and Base.
Adsense — Blogger — igoogle — Talk — Docs — Orkut — YouTube — Gmail — Picassa Web Albums — Adwords — Groups — Web History
If you click on “more under try something new”, you have a full page of tools worth checking out.

Once you are on your account page, click on alerts. For the most part you will want to choose “comprehensive” to get the most information from your alert, but you can set the alert for specifics, such as news.

Now you enter your search terms – You’ll want to create a new alert for each term. Set up alerts for your name; your user ID – all of them if you have more than one; your shop name, again all of them if you have more than one; your products, especially if they are very specific, such as the name of a tutorial or a very unique design to YOU (try not to use just the term ‘tutorial’, you’ll be flooded with all kinds of miss-information); the title of your blog(s), the address of your blog(s); your username at every site you’re registered at, or have an account with such as http://www.facebook.com/people/Bobbi-Maw

There are no limits to how many alerts you can create, so ‘cover all your bases’. Set up a folder for “Google alerts”, and color code it so it doesn’t get lost in your mail.

Not all returns will pertain to you, but those sometimes provide useful info too, in helping to refine your alerts, and see what people are searching for. I set my alerts to once a day – that’s once a day for EACH alert, which depending on how many alerts you have, will determine how much info is returned. Most alerts will show what folks were searching for, and where they finally landed in their search.

Google Base
“http://www.google.com/base”
Now to help move you along, there is Google Base, a free service for submitting all kinds of content for Google to host. You manually put your products and info into Google search engines. You can post items one at a time; use a data feed by uploading a spreadsheet or XML file which allows you to uploaded multiple items at one time; or for the techno-savvy there is API.

All 3 options have wonderful, very detailed instructions.

If you already have an Etsy shop – http://letsets.com has a free Google Base formatter. You just enter your user name or ID number and click “fetch my items”. It returns a complete list of all your shop items. At the bottom of the list, is the link to save the XML file to your computer, and even a link right there to take you back to Google Base to input your whole shop into Google.You can set it to renew on a monthly basis, or delete and re-create it, it if you have a lot of changes in your shop.

Now if you’ve stuck with me through all this go have a beer, cup of hot tea, or play at recess – you earned it.
Thanks for listening….SEE ya soon………..
~Bobbi
http://MyWiredImagination.etsy.com
http://www.KarmaWired.blogspot.com

Meet Artist Gordon Uyehara – Precious Metal Clay

Sunday September 20, 2009
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm PST

Where:http://www.livevideo.com/liveshow/The-Jewelry-Connection
Join The Jewelry connection for a live interview with guest independent jewelry artist Gordon Uyehara of Hawaii! Gordon is a well loved and highly revered teacher and designer in Precious Metal Clay.
From Mona Hair – Jewelry Connection “His interview will be incredibly informative and his review of work will no doubt be a marvelous experience. It’s an honor to welcome Gordon to the broadcast room and I’m looking forward with great anticipation to sharing this experience with you!”

Where:http://www.livevideo.com/liveshow/The-Jewelry-Connection
Time: 12pm PST 2pm CST or 3pm EST depending on where you are in the USA; if you’re in Europe show time is 9pm except in the UK where it is 8pm

If you create a user ID at this site you may real time text to the show and even join us with your own web cam if you so desire! Nothing at all is required to simply join the broadcast room and watch the show!

This is a wonderful opportunity to meet world renowned Precious Metal Clay Artist Gordon Uyehara. Don’t miss it! See ya there :))

For those of you who haven’t seen Mr. Uyehara’s work, pop on over here to his personal gallery site:
http://www.geocities.com/gtrsolo/index.html

~Bobbi
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~Bhuddha

 

Getting Your Work Noticed On-Line Be Seen Be Seen Be Seen ~~PART 2~~

There’s lots of tips and tricks I’ve tried, too much for just one or two articles, so here’s is another ‘installment’ – Hope you find it useful.

Did you finish all the suggestions from the first article? No??? What ever have you been doing? snicker – sorry – ahem – There’s a little more to Blogs and Flickr, I wanted to mention….

For those of you just starting out, if you don’t already have a blog – Get One? Blogspot.com makes it incredibly easy to create one – there is a nice selection of standard templates, and tons of help and how-to guides for creating one. They are easily updated when you get brave enough to mess with the html code…And before you start groaning (I can hear you), if I can do it, anyone can! Now there was a time I swore I would never have one, and couldn’t for the life of me see the point – Now I have 2. Aside from showing off what I’m up to jewelry wise, they’re fun and a great “release” of sorts.

When you start getting your work “out there”, people want to know what you’re working on, how you made it (what inspired you). When people start to find your blog more and more, they become more interested. You can even attract followers – folks that like what you’re writing about, and want to keep up to date. Talk about your shop you have, Etsy, Artfire, or whatever – do a post about the latest craft fair you went to and/or were in – a great new piece you just struggled to make and now your tickled pink with. Every now and then, throw a personal post in there – not the new sexy nitey you got to wear for hubby, you won’t like the followers you get with that – but say – What you got or made yourself for your birthday – A great holiday to Australia you went on – Your roommates hilarious attempt to bring a motorcycle home in the car. Something that adds a feel for who you are, what you’re like – a more personal touch to the jewelry they are going to go buy in your shop. And yes people become interested in your work, and want to buy it – or ask do you have a tutorial for it. That’s exactly how I got started selling tutorials on-line BTW. I have taught in person for years, but it wasn’t until my blog that interest in tutorials came about – Well that and the encouragement of a very dear friend.

When you write your posts, make sure you add photos (blogspot does most of the work on this one too), but try not to over load it, remember some of your readers might be on dial-up. I try to keep the number somewhere around 3 or 5. The odd number comes from my art and photography classes, many years ago – It helps keep the piece balanced and pleasing to look at. If you write just a short post, use just one photo, place it to one side, and wrap the text around it.

One of the biggest things to remember about adding photos, is to make sure, they are crisp, clear, and well focused. You don’t know who’s going to look at them, and while they may look okay on a small screen, you have to think about if someone is going to look at them from a bigger screen computer, or if they are going to blow it up to get a better look.

Once you have a blog and Flickr started – tie the 2 together. Blogspot makes it so easy to add a slide show from Flickr. All you have to do is go into your ‘dashboard’, click ‘layout’, select ‘add a gadget’, enter your Flickr user name, click ‘save’ – poof you’re done. That wasn’t so painful, was it? If you already have an Etsy shop, you can add your ‘Etsy Mini’ in a similar fashion. Artfire has some great promo buttons, that unlike Etsy, actually link back to YOUR shop.

Both Flickr and Blogspot have wonderful widgets to add to your Flickr and Blog to provide more information, or to be entertaining, just try not to get TOO carried away – (I’m still working on that one BTW)……

see ya soon…..I’ll Be Back with more 🙂

~Bobbi