handmade jewelry

Guess My Size – Ring #2 aka Freebie Fridays

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Well It didn’t take long for folks to guess the first ring  – Congratulations Bonnie !! – So on to the next one – Please see my earlier post Happy Holidays and Guess My Size for info and entry rules.

I am going to slow things down just a bit though or you’all will guess them faster than I can take pics and add them to the game. Since I started this on a Friday, winners and the next DSC_4473ring will be announced just on Fridays. Oooh how’s this for a title – Freebie Fridays? Works for me lol.

Happy Guessing,

Bobbi

 

Happy Holidays and Guess My Size

Guess My Size #1

Good morning fellow jewelry junkies – are you having a good holidays? Mine have been okay, though I’ve been having to deal with some ugly personal issues, but that story is for another day, and not what I’m writing about today.

Some of you may have noticed the ring sale I have running in my Etsy Shop – now even though I’m saving for a good video camera to do video tutorials (Santa skipped my house), and taking advantage of my sale would be really cool, that’s not why I’m writing today either. 🙂

Aside from needing a video camera, I started the sale because I realized I’m buried in rings. You see when I make rings (and all jewelry in general) I don’t really make them with shop inventory in mind. To break it down, I’d say about 50% are made in developing new designs for tutorials; 20% I make for myself (though I really don’t need any more); and the other 30% I make just to see what I come up with.

While I was (am) photographing and listing pieces, I’ve run across quite a few, that for one reason or another I can’t “sell” them. To me they have some kind of  ‘flaw’, and I would hate for someone to buy them and notice the flaw, though I am my own worst critic (I’m told), and the buyer probably wouldn’t see a flaw.

In any case, I can’t just throw them away – they are all made with good crystals or gems and Sterling Silver and/or 14K Gold Filled wire. Soooo, the reason I’m writing this post (you knew I’d get around to it sooner or later) is to have some fun with them.

:)Simply put – You guess the ring’s size, and I’ll send it to you – for FREE. Yes, you read that right – for FREE, the first person to guess the size of the current ring offered gets that ring, no strings attached. I’m only going to post one ring at a time – when someone wins it, I’ll post another one (I have about a half dozen or so right now, and I’m sure I’ll add more). If you’d like a sneak peek at some of the rings that will end up in this game, I will post them on my Facebook Page in the photo folder “Guess My Size” – note: the order of the photos is not the order they will show up here, hee hee.

You’re welcome to comment on the photos, but guesses posted on rings other than the current ring won’t count and will be deleted. I guess that would be a rule  – there has to be rules right?   Rule #2 – You have to subscribe to my blog  – that’s to your benefit too, so you get notified the minute I post a new ring in the game 🙂 Rule #3 – You only get 2 guesses – one in a comment here, and one on the Facebook post – if you post more guesses in either place, I’ll just use your first ones. That’s enough rules right? Play nice so I don’t have to add anymore 🙂 For a third guess at the current ring offered, share this post on Facebook, and let me know in a comment here or on Facebook 🙂

Guess my size #1The first ring up is Sterling Silver and a Vintage Swarovski Crystal that WAS the color ‘Seal’. The ring was in the tumbler for only 5 stinkin’ minutes, and all the color’s gone? See the ‘flaw’? 🙂 As a rule, short spins in the tumbler have no affect on the crystals, but not for this one I guess. I suppose I should be grateful to find that out now, but I paid an awful lot for those crystals to have the color come right out :(. Other than that it’s a great ring – have fun, and Guess My Size 😀

See ya soon – good luck,

Bobbi

 

 

 

Cool Tools for Etsy Sellers

Let me start by saying I LOVE working for myself. Granted the hours are very long – on average 12 to 16 hours a day, every day; no paid sick days, no paid vacation days, and the constant feeling I’m sooooo far behind. You might think I’m whining, but I’m not – okay maybe just a teensy bit, but I’ll try to keep it at a minimum.

I would love to have an assistant, but it’s just not in my budget – I hear you snickering – yes I have a budget. O.o   So instead of an assistant, I’ve been on the hunt for some simple tools to help with the workload. I’ve found several that are so far really useful, and thought I’d share. 🙂 All of these are built on the Etsy API so they integrate with your Etsy flawlessly.

First up is Etsy Shoptimizer – It’s a free app that is a ‘report card’ of sorts to help you optimize your shop. It’s super simple to use and covers a ton of useful information and suggestions.

An oldy but a goody I use on a weekly basis is Craftoplolis also know as Etsy Shop Lovers. It can be a little slow to load if you have a ton of product in your shop, but it’s incredibly useful to see “hearts” , listing information, and batch edit your listings for everything but tags.

Which brings me to one of the newer tools I’ve tried;  BETSI – Bulk/Batch Editing Tool. There are 2 versions; one at a $9.00 monthly subscription rate, and a free BETSI lite. I personally like the full version, and think the subscription rate is well worth it. BETSI Lite would work really well for newer shops with fewer listings, and little to no deactivated or expired listings. There are several other batch editing tools available; some I just didn’t care for and a couple I hated, but you can decide what works best for you.

The newest tool I found is something of a “Holy Grail” kind of app for any Etsy Seller with digital products. Instant Digital Download Delivery for your Etsy shop by CraftHub.me. It is built on the Etsy API but not yet on their apps list – it only just became live August 16th. It was super simple to set up, and you get 5 transactions for free to test drive it. “Transaction” is defined by total sale, not the number of files sold. 🙂 There are several payment plans to suit your needs, and you can upgrade as your sales grow. If you do a search on Etsy for instant downloads you’ll see a ton of listings, but if you read their descriptions you’ll see they’re confused on what instant is – “within 24 hours” is NOT instant. As far as I can tell there are currently only 4 shops that truly have Instant Download available – (one created her own coding) and the 3 shops using CraftHub – Me 😀, SwellandGrand printable invitations, and FancyDogStudio who is partnered with CraftHub. I’m sure this list will grow as word gets around.

There are tons of other tools for Etsy sellers and buyers available. If you haven’t ever clicked the little link in the lower left corner of Your Etsy Resources you really should. I’m sure there is an app for just about everyone!!!

You could find the perfect assistant you’ve been searching for. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by – comments and questions are always welcome!

wrap happy ~ Bobbi

 

 

 

 

So What have You Been Up To?

So what have you been up to? Me? I’ve been writing and creating like a crazy person. (Don’t say it – you know I can hear you snicker from here, right?) I just released my newest tutorial – Back to the Beginning – Beginner Bangle Bracelet.  I’ve spent a year writing this one, on and off – re-writing it – editing it….. It’s been a labor of love and a nightmare at the same time.

This tutorial was written for the absolute beginning wire worker. It’s a simplified version of my Swarovski Crystal Bracelet tutorial, but by no means a lesser pattern. This bracelet pattern has evolved over the course of many years teaching students how to wire wrap for the very first time, and has paved the way for my Crystal Hoop Earrings, the Marcella Ring, and many more designs. At the back of the tutorial is tons of information on tools (with photos), wire, suppliers, and all the basic information to get you started. Almost as good as having me right there with you!

In between writing, I have taken small breaks to answer ideas that pop into my head – The Fancy Swarovski Crystal Braceletthe Double Marcella Crystal Ring, and  the Clasp Ring for arthritis sufferers – and tons of Fanciful Flowers you haven’t seen yet….. tease 🙂

So I guess enough chattin’ up for one day, and time for me to get back to work – Next up in tutorials…… Fanciful Flowers Earrings and more 🙂

Thanks for stopping by – See you next time – Don’t forget to Wrap Happy,

Bobbi

 

 

Have You Tried Craftsy Yet?

NO???? Boy are you missing out!!! Craftsy is a wonderful online venue to learn, share and create, and not just for us jewelry junkies either.

Interested in knitting?, crocheting?, felting?, sewing?, jewelry?, quilting?, paper crafts?, embroidery? Craftsy has it all!!!
And if that’s not yummy enough, they recently added Patterns to their wonderful site. They already have thousands of patterns from Independent Designers, and more are added everyday. …….. Wait there’s more 😀 – all of the patterns offered for sale, are available for immediate/instant download – talk about instant gratification!! 😀 And if you’re one of the Designer’s with your patterns on Craftsy for sale, it gets even better, because Craftsy sells for you absolutely FREE!!! No more forking over, up to 50% of your hard work and income to someone else!!!

You gotta check it out – you’ll love it as much as I do!!! All of my work is there :)) check it out….. All of my upcoming tutorials will show up there first too! 😀

  BobbiWired

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

Just a Coupla Rings via Posterous

Okay – think I have the bugs worked out, so I don’t annoy every one :)) If you haven’t already you have to try Posterous!!! Simply awesome dude ;))

Never Enough Hours in the Day

There never seems to be enough hours in the day – have been super busy over the summer. I need to get back into a regular routine – blog posts included – so how about a “get to know me’ post to start things back up? 🙂

HandmadeArtistsShop recently featured me on their website – Artists are send a thorough questionnaire, and Kimberly did an awesome job sorting out my blabberings – check it out if you get a chance, and I’m always happy to hear what you think. Featured Artist BobbiWired  

Thanks for stopping by~
Bobbi
“The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” ~Chuck Palahniuk

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