wire wrapping

Featured on The Beading Gem Journal

Are you a fan of the Beading Gem Journal?? I was totally thrilled to be featured on Pearl’s blog this week – Thank you, thank you Pearl!!!  There’s still time to enter to win a $50 Gift Certificate to MyWiredImagination  (drawing ends this coming Monday 01/23/2012) – check out Pearl’s wonderful post at http://www.beadinggem.com/2012/01/mywiredimaginations-50-gift.html for details to enter

Good luck and……
Wrap happy,
Bobbi

 

 

 

 

Faux Bow Angel Wings

Many of you know I spend a good portion of my time in my local bead store.  Being the resident wire junkie, has its perks, it also has its challenges.  One of the challenges is, that I constantly get requests to create or re-create a manufactured finding. The request usually goes something like this….. “I really love blank, but it’s not blank enough. Can you make it for me bigger, bolder, smaller, in silver, in gold, fancier, simpler, blank. blank, or blank.”Angel Pendant

That’s how the Faux Bow Angel came about – they needed bigger angel wings than are commercially available. So to make a long story short… here’s how to make wire “Angel Wings”. You could really make them any size you like, but for this we’re going to make them big – for a pendant size angel.

Materials needed for wings approximately 1 1/2 by 3/4 inches – 10 to 12 inches (25.4 to 30.5cm) 18ga Artistic wire – I like the Non-Tarnish Silver – but you can use any color you like. You can also use copper, sterling, fine silver or gold filled wire, (soft is better.)

Materials for a finished Angel : 1 lg briolette – at least 10 x 20mm drilled top to bottom; 1 bead cone in proportion to the briolette; 1-10mm round bead; 1 4 inch head pin; 1 or 2 6 to 8mm crystal rondell

Tools: flush cutters; chain nose pliers; round nose pliers; extra large round nose ( approx 15mm dia. or larger)

Now if you paid attention to the title, you might recognize the “Faux Bow”  – the angels wings are loosely based on that free tutorial. If you don’t already have a copy – head over to my “Free Tutorials” page to download a copy.

 

After cutting  your piece of wire, straighten it out with your fingers and use round nose pliers to form a small coil at the center.

 

 

 

Hold the wire so the coil hole is straight up and down – not facing you. Place your extra large round nose pliers on the wire to the right of the coil, roughly 1/2 inch from the coil as shown.

 

 

 

Bring the right wire over the pliers, forming a teardrop. The wire should cross behind the coil.

 

 

 

Put the pliers on the wire to the left of the coil, again roughly 1/2 inch from the coil.   Fold the left wire over the pliers, just as you did the right wire, to form a matching teardrop.

 

Your wings should look something like these at this point.

 

 

 

 

Hold the left ‘wing’ and the wire just under it (the right wire you angled to the left) tightly so they don’t move. If you don’t have the finger strength, use a pair of wide nylon jaw pliers. If you let the wires slip on this next part, your wings will shrink and be uneven.

 

Use the wire angled to the right, to wrap tightly around the right wing one time. Leave the wire facing down.

 

 

 

Turn the wings around, so you can get a good grip on the other wing. Bring the free end of the wire towards you, around the wing, and ending in the same direction it was in to start.

 

 

I curled the ends of the wires the same as in the Faux Bow, but you could just cut them short, and tuck them in towards the Angel.

Put your Angel together by threading the headpin from the bottom in this order – briolette, bead cone, crystal rondell, wings, round bead, and another rondell for her halo.

Form a double loop at the top for a bail, and you’re all set – maybe. 🙂

Her wings are cute, but a little too simple looking for me – sooooo….

To give the wings a little more “wingly” shape – At the middle of the outside of the wing, use flat nose pliers – grip the wire, and turn it in towards the center just a bit.

 

 

 

Turn the wings around, and do the same to the other wing.
I think she is just soooo much cuter with her shapely wings.

This one is mine – I kinda like her halo slanted off to one side *grin*

 

I hope you enjoyed a quick peek at Faux Bow Angel Wings. Look for the full tutorial on the Free Tutorials page soon.

Wrap Happy,
Bobbi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vitrail Medium Trillion ‘Marcella’ Ring

I played around with these cute 8mm vintage trillion “sew-ons” a couple of weeks ago – the photos are quick kinda crappy phone pics, but you get the idea. They make a sweet ring, even if they are a bit fiddly to work with. They are on my play list for today for another ring and maybe some earrings too 😀

Vitrail_trillion_ring_1
Vitrail_trillion_ring_2
Vitrail_trillion_ring_3

Updated Class Calendar

2 down, 12 to Go – Or How to Register Your Tutorials with the US Copyright Office

So today was a really cool day. I made a trip to my PO box, expecting the regular bills and various sales trash that still plague the earth – and was very pleasantly surprised to find 2 letters from the Library of Congress. You see, almost 8 months ago, I started submitting my jewelry tutorials to the US Copyright Office for registration. At first, I checked my PO at least once a week, sometimes 2 or 3 times, looking for these prized letters. Silly me thought it would only be a matter of a couple weeks, and all my registrations would be sent. Nope, sorry – it’s not quite that easy. Well the registration part is – it’s the “wait for them to be researched, registered and returned” that’s the hard part, especially when patience isn’t your strong-suit.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking – “My tutorials are copyrighted as soon as I create them”, and/or “I put a notice at the end, that says they are my copyrighted works, so I don’t have to register”. Well you’re sort of right. Yes, you have a copyright on your work, as soon as it’s created and/or published; yes your notice at the end, does emphasize that fact a bit more. But, NO, you are not fully protected. It’s still incredibly easy for some nit to come along, and try and say, “no, that’s my work”, and without a Certificate of Registration, you’re a bit hard-pressed to defend against it. Now that same nit can still whine after you get your certificate, but then it is the nit who will be hard-pressed to get anywhere. The other major point, is if you need to file suit against someone for violating your rights, you HAVE TO have that registration before you can take them to court.

No, I’m not planning on taking anyone to court, but I, like every other artist out there, needed to protect myself against the whining nits. The copyright Office takes the time they do, because they do a thorough and exhaustive search, to see if your submission is already out there, and belonging to anyone else. When they send you your certificate, they don’t do it lightly. It’s basically the US Copyright Office standing on your side, saying, “Absolutely, Yes that’s your work”! One extra perk – Your work is also submitted to the Library of Congress as a permanent record! How cool is that?

Now you’d like a little help doing the same for your own tutorials? Well, I’m not an expert, but after 14 submissions, I’m on my way – so here’s some pointers and info to help you through it.

First you need to visit http://www.copyright.gov/ . There are tons of links and tutorials to answer just about any question you could ever have on copyrights. Then click on the eCO login
, read the privacy and security notice, then click on the link for new users towards the lower left side of the page under the login space. Be as complete as possible when you fill in your personal information. it will come in very handy later when you actually start a submission (registering a claim). The submission process has a great feature called “add me” wherever applicable, that inputs all your relevant personal information for you so you are not constantly retyping info.

The biggest hurdle is deciding what type of work you are submitting. For 99% of you, that will be a “Literary Work” in the drop down menu for type. Later in the submission you will have the opportunity to input exactly what all you think is included, ie photos, text, art, instruction, etc. There is a tutorial available at every step of the process if you get hung up. You can save the submission at any point, and come back to it later – very handy. You can work on your submissions as long as you like, there are no time limits set, when you start. It’s only when you send them money, and submit the tutorial does any of it become carved in stone, so take all the time you need.

I found it very handy to fill in every submission, all the way to the payment stage, and then “save for later”. Then whenever I was ready to pay for one, I just clicked on “working cases” in my profile, did one last quick check, and clicked “add to cart”. It’s only $35.00 per submission, and you can upload a pdf (make sure it is secured), directly after payment. You can send the tutorial by snail mail, but you can’t do both. If you send your pdf file, make sure you disable your pop-up blocker for this site first.

It doesn’t take long at all to get the hang of it. You have “working cases” – claims that are started but not paid for; “open cases” – claims that are paid for and submitted, but haven’t been registered by the CO yet; and “closed cases”. Those that have been registered and you have been sent certificates for. You can review any “case” at any time from your personal page after login, and your closed cases from the “my applications” link, also on your personal page.

I hope you take the time to at visit the US copyright Office website. The information is priceless. Other valuable information on the subject can also be found at http://www.sarahfeingold.com/
Comments and questions are always welcome – I’m not a lawyer, but I’ll try to answer you as best I can. If you get really hung-up, and you truly think you need a lawyer, make sure they are fluent in “Copyright Law”, not just patents, and trademarks – different animals all together.

Thanks for listening….

♥wrap happy,
♥Bobbi

http://facebook.com/BobbiMaw
http://facebook.com/MyWiredImagination
“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.” ~Albert Pine

New Tutorial Release – Crystal Hoop Earrings aka "Honey I Shrunk the Bracelets

These wonderful hoop earrings evolved from my Swarovski Crystal Bracelet design. They can be made as big or as tiny as you like – I’ve “shrunk” them down small enough for a nose ring and of course they started as a bracelet :). This is a high-level beginner to intermediate project. The project is not complicated, but does assume you are familiar with; basic wire handling skills, such as cleaning, straightening wire, turning a basic loop, and completing a basic binding wrap.
The tutorial is available in both my Etsy Shop and on Craftsy. I hope you get a chance to check it out – while you’re there check out other fun designs you may have missed like the Knot a Ring, and Cuffs and Vines Earrings.
♥Wrap Happy,
Bobbi

 

 

Nose Rings aka Honey I Shrunk the Bracelets


Nose Rings aka Honey I Shrunk the Bracelets
Originally uploaded by BobbiWired ~ MyWiredImagination

A friend on another forum really liked how tiny these hoops were getting, and it put the thought in my head, that maybe they would work as nose rings too. Soooooo here they are. Shae had gladly volunteered to be my guinea pig to see if they are comfortable to wear and fasten. I’ll keep ya posted 🙂

♥wrap happy,
♥Bobbi

http://facebook.com/BobbiMaw
http://facebook.com/MyWiredImagination

“If at first you don’t succeed, do it like your Mother told you to.” ~Unknown

Blast From The Past Series….. Part Two

Going back to the very beginning, bangle style bracelets were the very first thing I ever learned to wrap more than 20 years ago; what actually started my addiction to wire.

At the time, I was heavy into leather work and Native American style jewelry. I made leather and bone jewelry; custom saddlebags for motorcycles; and yes leather whips upon request. The tooling and sewing were taking an awful toll on my hands, and I needed a new creative outlet. A very dear friend, who owned the bead shop I haunted at the time, suggested wire wrapping. My hands were so bad, I told her, I didn’t think I could do it. I was seriously drawn to it, but it was several months after her initial suggestion, that I decided to give it a try.

She (Millie), sat down with me one night after the shop had closed, and showed me how to make the basic bangle. I still have the very first one here somewhere in my stash. The bracelets above were the next ones I made on my own (the Labradorite on the left was second – the Cloisonne’ on the right my third). The Scarab bracelet in the center was the first attempt at branching out beyond the basics. I was hooked!!! The wire was not near as hard on my hands as I thought it would be – I doubt I would have cared or stopped if it was – I was in love! The Cloisonne bracelet by the way, my Mother snagged as soon as she saw it – she was my biggest fan and snagged most all my “firsts” of any design :)).

Those first few months I couldn’t make enough of them, and after wearing one to work, everyone seemed to want one. I was averaging 10 to 15 bracelets a week, just for the people in the office where I worked.

The only drawback, was the way Millie had taught me to construct them was extremely difficult. Planning took soooo mmuch time, to get the right number of beads, and the wire just right to get the bracelet length right. Those of you who have my Swarovski Bracelet Tutorial, know I don’t construct them that way anymore. The modifications didn’t happen overnight – I experimented with many, many different construction techniques before I settled on the one I currently teach. Please don’t get the wrong idea – there is nothing wrong with the traditional way to make them, I just thought there had to be a better, prettier, and definitely easier way. Sadly Millie has long since passed away – I would have loved to show her how the basic bangle had evolved.

Though I’m definitely a “ring girl”, the bracelet is still one of my favorites to teach. The way I teach the construction now, it’s almost impossible to get the length wrong, and if you do, easy peazy to fix it.

I even experimented with tension setting a faceted stone in this style. Definitely one of the pieces I ran across that I’ll be revisiting…..

Well I’ve bent your ear enough for today, so I’m off to get some “chores” done LOL, and hopefully get some wrap time in!

Thanks for stopping by – Take care and…..
Wrap Happy,
Bobbi


Blast From The Past Series….. Part One

Some of you may know, I recently did a major revamp in my house, and moved my jewelry workspace into my “bird-room”. In the process of organizing and moving everything, I ran across a lot of wire work pieces I hadn’t seen in many years, and had forgotten all about.
That revamp lasted all of a month, and I had to rearrange it all again. You see my roommates’ folks want to move down with us, so I gave them my bedroom, and moved my things into the bird-room…… not all that bad, the room is huge. In the process, I found more “antiques” :))

Most of the pieces I swore would never see the light of day again. Then I got to thinking of a lot of the new wire workers I’ve met over the years, and the comments I’ve heard. “Your work is great, I wish mine were that good.” “I just make stuff for myself, it won’t ever be good enough to show or sell.” There have been oodles of other comments, but you get the idea.

I’ve decided that maybe showing some of my older pieces, wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all. You see very few, if any, wire artists pop into existence fully skilled. I certainly didn’t. My passion for wire started over 20 years ago, and continues to grow and develop everyday. So…. from time to time, as time allows (I’m probably already in hot water that the Cuffs and Vines tutorial isn’t finished yet), I will photograph and post some pictures of my older work, in the hopes that maybe it will inspire a “newbie” wire artist with little self-confidence to keep working at their craft, and not get discouraged.
If wire is what you love, NEVER give up, no matter what. That’s advice I’m going to follow for myself as well.

These are some of the very first pieces I did – over 20 years old for some of them. I haven’t found the very first piece yet, but it’s here somewhere :)) hideous, but it’s here…… So far I’ve found more than 300 pieces – some of them I cringe when I look at them, but others not so much. There are even quite a few I plan on revisiting *grin*. Most of these I had no clue what I was doing. I’d sit at my bench many, many nights putting pliers to wire to see what I could come up with. I desperately wanted to learn wire wrapping, and since no one really taught it, I had to experiment on my own. The Labradorite pendant was what I felt was my first true “success”, though I look at it now and cringe at the tool marks.

The Amethyst Crystal on the right side is from the first wire wrapping book I bought, about 1995, “Moods in Wire” by Ed Sinclair. It’s an awesome book for beginners. Mr. Sinclair is a true Master in our field; is and always be my friend and idol :)).

I suppose I’d better get back to my tutorials – no rest the wicked……… :))

See ya soon………………..
♥wrap happy,
♥Bobbi
http://facebook.com/BobbiMaw
http://facebook.com/MyWiredImagination
“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.” ~Albert Pine

Post One Promote One…..

Hey Fans Of My Wired Imagination – Join me in Post – Promote – Share
Just one little catch 😀
Promote fellow handmade artists/friends. Show off your work and the work of your friends and fellow artists.
You can post as many different items as you like, but you must be a fan, and for every item you post, you have to promote a different artist/item in return……
Promote HandMade – Post – Promote – Share
You can post to discussions or to the wall with the title “Post One – Promote One”
http://Facebook.com/MyWiredImagination

thank you for visiting…..

~Bobbi
http://facebook.com/BobbiMaw
http://facebook.com/MyWiredImagination

“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

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

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

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

Getting Your Work Noticed On-Line – Be Seen, Be Seen, Be Seen

While a couple of articles have been written on this already – I thought they left out a lot – So here’s my ‘stash’ of useful goodies and thoughts…
Whether you have a shop (or two) on-line, a blog, or just pictures of great jewelry you make – none of it means anything if people don’t see it.
Here lately in my own efforts to get my work “out there”, I’ve ran across a lot of ideas, tips, and tricks for trying to ‘get seen’ – Some work, others, not so well.
The first is a collection of what’s called “social bookmarking”. Bookmarking services (free), keep track of your bookmarks on-line (useful in itself in the event of a computer crash), but in my opinion, under-utilized in promoting yourself.
The light went on for me when I got an Artfire shop. It comes with wonderful ‘shop stats’. Besides showing how many hits you’ve gotten – it also shows the referring URL – where and what someone was looking at, when they came to your shop/blog/whatever. There are great widgets you can put on your blog, and Flickr that will provide similar stats. Flagcounter, and Feedit’s LiveTraffic are 2 of my favorites.
Addthis.com provides free code to add the “Share Button” to blogs, Facebook, MySpace, and stand alone web sites to make it really easy for others to share your work too.
Back to the bookmarking – This is the ‘short list’ of what’s out there – Some work, others’ don’t, and some may not pertain to what you’re trying to accomplish, but you can try them out for yourselves. – I have an account (free) in about 90% of these, and I’ll go through and highlight some of my favorites. You can ‘Google’ any of these to get the actual URL, and a short description…..
Some of these you’ll notice aren’t exactly ‘social bookmarking, but they perform a similar function…The idea being to get SEEN… When you set up an account, make sure you put links in your profile of everywhere your work can be found and/or purchased.

Ask – Furl – Reddit –
Backflip – Google Bookmarks – Segnalo –
BallHype – Kaboodle – Simpy –
Bebo – Link-a-GogoSlashdot
BlinklistLinkedInSpurl
Blogmarks – Live – STUMBLEUPON
DeliciousMagnolia – Tailrank –
Digg – Mister WongTechnorati
Diigo – Mixx – Twitter
Multiply – Yahoo Bookmarks –
Fark – myAOL – Yahoo Buzz –
Faves (Bluedot) – MySpaceFlickr
Favorites – Netvouz – Yardbarker –
FeedMeLinks – Newsvine – Yahoo – MyWeb –
FriendFeed – PropellerYouTube
FlixyaBlogLog

Now you’re probably wondering how social bookmarking can help you – Here’s how most of them work – You bookmark a site, photo, item, whatever, and most offer the option for a short description and TAGS, so that your bookmarks are search-able by other users. Be as thorough on your tags as you possible can, and make sure when the option comes up, that you set your bookmarks “public”. (Don’t worry, most have an option to set each bookmark as public or private). One of your primary goals is then to bookmark YOURSELF. Now you don’t want to bookmark just yourself, you’ll turn some people off thinking that’s all you’re are doing is advertising.
Bookmark your friends sites and offerings, artists you admire, wonderful stuff you run across on the web – you surf, you know you do, use it. After a while (a very short time on some) other users will see your style, and tastes, and frequent your bookmarks more often.
My favorite, and according to my stats in Artfire, one of the most used – is STUMBLEUPON. It has free toolbars to add to your internet browsers, and a nicely laid out account format – You can even acquire fans :). Stumble yourself, your newest listing, latest post on your blog – they will get seen! Stumble is wonderful!
Delicious, Diigo, Mr Wong, Magnolia, BlogLog, MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube, rank close seconds. Delicious, Diigo, and Mr Wong, also have browser toolbars available.
Flickr is under-utilized too in my opinion. There are millions of photo fanatics on the web – use them. When you have an account, (and I posted more info on this at http://www.jewelrylessons.com/jewel/node/7967 ) don’t just include photos of your jewelry. Include pics of your animals, a great wedding you went to, beach photos, your kitchen remodeling project etc, and tag really, really well!! Someone searching for kitty cat pictures for example, finds your photos of your babies, and 9 times out of 10 will look at some of your other photos. They see your pics of your newest works, and while they weren’t intending to shop searching Flickr, your pieces peaked their interest, and they will look for links in your profile, to see where you sell. Before you think that’s all to Flickr, search out any and all groups, (there’s even one for JewelryLessons.com hint, hint) that you can contribute related pictures to..
Here’s an example of what I mean – I love and raise Parrots and Lories – I joined every group I could find related to them, from Pet Birds, to Lorie-ographers, and posted pics of some of my babies. I actually get people from jewelry un-related groups to come and look at my work. They came to look to see what other great bird pics I have, and end up seeing my jewelry. One woman from a Lorie group, made her way to my Etsy shop – Bingo!

Don’t be afraid to join jewelry groups either, even as a ‘newbie’, they can be a wonderful source of encouragement and ideas, and again, your work is making it’s way around the net. People mark their favorites, and someone else looks at their favorites, and marks some of their favorites, and so on, and so on.

One more before I go – (I know you’re thinking you’re reading a revised version of War and Peace) – Don’t forget TWITTER – Now again don’t just post sales or listings, people will tend to get annoyed, and stop following you. Make new friends, keep up with current ones, subtly keep them up to date on what you’re working on…

As I run across new outlets and ideas, I’ll come back and share them here – I couldn’t go through all of what I’ve tried in one article, you’all might fall asleep :))

Thank you for visiting………
~Bobbi
“Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live. “~Mark Twain

NEW Tutorial Release ~~~ Ornate Double-Terminated Focal-Clasp

Hi All – Just finished my newest tutorial, and am really excited about it! The primary project in this tutorial is a progression of my Swarovski Crystal Bracelet. It assumes you either have that tutorial, or are familiar with that style of bracelet. Only the modifications to the ends of the bracelets to fasten to the Cab Top Clasp are covered, not the entire Swarovski Crystal Bracelet tutorial.
When finished the Cab Top creates a nearly INVISIBLE clasp.

This tutorial teaches you step by step the techniques needed to create the Cab-Top Invisible Clasp, along with variations that include the Multi-Strand Bracelet, the Watch-Top Invisible Clasp, and the Ornate Focal Clasp for necklaces. This is an advanced tutorial, though if you’re comfortable in the basic skills set, the steps are detailed enough a patient intermediate level wire worker can accomplish these projects.
I hope you get a chance to check it out! Also available in my Shops – a Bracelet Tutorial Package for both the Swarovski Crystal Bracelet and the Ornate Double-Terminated Focal/Clasp. Purchasing them together saves you 25%!

Many, many thanks to Perri J ShaktipajDesigns for her continued support, friendship, and wisdom.

Background art in the cover photo, courtesy of Sabrina.


Thank you for stopping by…………………Bobbi
“Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.” ~Tolstoy