Friday, February 13, 2015

Way too long between postings!

I cannot believe that two weeks have passed and I have not blogged!  I meant to.... well, you know how it goes.  Life gets in the way.

I have been creating, though.  I updated my Etsy shop with a bunch of spinner/worry rings.

And I finally took the plunge and made a couple of rings with a copper base and sterling silver satellite ring.  The reason I waited SO LONG to use copper as the base for the ring is that when I first started to use solder, I used WAY.TOO.MUCH.  The problem with that is the overflow of silver solder onto the copper.  I do use copper solder, but it still flows silver.  Now that I have gotten used to this process, I have economized on my solder usage!  And, most of the overflow (when this happens)  is quickly "erased" with the Flex Shaft (still in love with this tool)!!

I also FINALLY bit the bullet and I started a website on Indiemade. (There is a link to my new shop in the top right corner of my blog, or you can click here to view).   It took me a full two weeks (few hours here, few hours there) to set it up.  The first week was - pardon my language - pure hell as I am so slow on this technology!  However, I now have to admit, after I look back on those two weeks, it really was not that difficult and is quite user-friendly.  In my world, the glass is always bone-dry - I must work on my pessimism!

I have several reasons for putting myself through this self-imposed technology-hell. 

  • As I am sure most of you are aware, Etsy has changed and is now chock full of mass produced, not-even-close-to-being-handmade items.  I am but a teeny weeny speck of an entrepreneur in this sea of mass production.  Indiemade seems to be dedicated to artisans - not mass production.  But, I am not getting rid of my Etsy shop  - I just want to test the waters "on my own", if you will.  I included a link to my Etsy shop on the Indiemade site.

  • I am toying with the idea of selling components, at least as time permits.  Like these toggle clasps, pictured below.  I have actually been asked by a few people, via Facebook, to create and sell components - I even complied and sold a few. On Etsy, the fees really add up in selling lower priced items such as these, so an Indiemade website seemed like a good fit. We'll see... 

  • I was also approached by the owner of Miracle Horse Rescue to consider creating some jewelry with the initial MHR.   I already donate the proceeds from my "regular" jewelry sales to the rescue, but this is more personal.  Not sure if there will be a market for this, but I made a few items and loaded these into my new shop.

On a business note, Facebook has imposed massive restrictions on users who are trying to sell their wares via a link to their shops.  I started a business page late last year.  But, unless one pays for specific ads to be shown in feeds, not many users even see what is posted.  I don't blame Facebook - after all - they, too, are a business.  However, it is getting harder and harder for small business - especially artisans - to get the word out.  

I even recently upgraded my phone to an I-Phone 6 Plus (OMG - I love it!)  I actually reactivated my Instagram account.   As soon as I figure out the best way to tag things on Instagram (translation:  how do I do this????), I may actually start using it!

Making handmade is one thing.  The commitment involved to marketing and selling is another, and it is sometimes overwhelming.  So, I will continue to just keep trudging along, list more items on the new website, and attempt to break into "The Market".

On a personal note, my mother and I both contracted the nasty flu on Christmas - she was 2 days behind me...I knew she should NOT have brought me that cup of tea!  Anyway, I am 100% back to normal, but it has taken its toll on her.  Three trips to the doctor - last Friday's may have done the trick, as he prescribed a different antibiotic.  Her cough is almost gone, snifflies are almost gone, too.  But, her stamina and energy level is taking a looooong time to return.  The doctor said it could be another full month before she returns to "pre-flu normal".  Today was the first day in weeks that she wanted to go anywhere, so a quick shopping trip it was!  I hope no one else comes down with this nasty, nasty bug!

I always seem to end my blog posts with a weather why change now?  MAN, it is cold out there!!!  

I would appreciate any constructive criticism on my new site, if you are so inclined!  I need all the help I can get! 

Thanks for stopping by today - have a wonderful weekend!!



  1. Patti - I love the new site - I think you have done a fantastic job. I have seriously thought about doing the same thing because we are lost in the mass production of Etsy - but I have not taken the plunge yet.
    I seriously love your spinner rings - do you happen to make larger sizes? I saw a size 8.5 - but I have big farmers hands (as mom calls them :) ).
    Your stuff is just gorgeous and I would love to spend a week with you in the studio creating!!!

  2. I love the new website! When I clicked over there all these big, beautiful photos popped up. It's extremely easy to navigate with sections and social media links all right there on the side. I even did a couple searches and those were easy as well. Beautiful and easy to get around - the perfect combination.

  3. Gods, woman, but your work is GORGEOUS! It's so unique! *sigh*. I stopped wearing jewellery years ago because I kept losing or breaking things but your designs do make me miss the feeling of wearing something so lovely. Your new site is pretty darned awesome. Your eye for exceptional design even works on techy computer stuff! Impressed! Clear, easy to navigate, eye-catching...and it does the job in leading the visitor to your other sites and pages. Hopefully that will translate directly to sales. Speaking of...I think it's well worth you selling findings, clasps and the like - I can't imagine that they'll stay listed and idle for long...they'll be snapped up in no time! Stay well - hope your mum feels better soon - big hugs from Shroo:)xxx

  4. Hi Patti,

    It looks like we are on the same page about a few things. Congratulations on a web-site! I've had mine for a few years and it 'was' awful! I never seemed to have the time to redesign it. Actually, I just didn't want to! Yuckie techie stuff. Well, about 6 weeks ago my web-site was given a facelift. There is still much to do. My gallery needs to change and the pictures are mostly wrong. My goal is to have it ready for it's big announcement in the next week. In the meantime you are the first to know that it is live at

    I agree about Etsy, but change is constant and even good, most of the time. There is some bad press coming from others, but I haven't experienced any evidence. But, who knows? Only time will tell.

    I too, am thinking of selling components. There are a few components that people want, but don't want to make. So why not? I know the cost/expense of selling some things just aren't profitable, but maybe they will act like 'lost leaders' and draw traffic that will look and buy other things. Good luck to you with this part of your business.

    Instagram is easier than I thought. Take a picture on your phone and once in Instagram, choose the picture you want to post, add a caption and then at the bottom of the page choose/click Facebook. WAM! Your picture and caption post in 2 places at once.

    I hope that both you and your mother are feeling better.

    Now, I'm going to go take a peek at your web-site. Congratulations!

  5. I will check out your new site right now! I also have kept my Etsy site but haven't posted anything new on it in a very long time. I have my own website (which was a lot of money, and I just don't have the time right now to commit to it as I should...:( )
    But I am going to check out Indiemade too. Thanks so much.
    I hope your mom feels better soon!
    Happy Valentine's Day,

  6. Love those copper spinner rings, especially the one with the skinny silver spinner! And the copper bracelet with those blue beads ....

    As for the crucial business matters you brought up, I have some really mixed feelings. I hardly approve of all Etsy does, but the exodus from the site lately has disappointed me because I--and I'm sure others--am still willing to hunt down "the good stuff" and "reward" those truly innovative sellers on that venue. But with so many individuals going off to start biz pages on FB or Indiemade or what-have-you, it gets harder and harder to keep track and find where sellers have splintered off. Eventually, this may have a negative effect on all involved, even though I know many in the jewelry-making community are able (and apparently willing) to keep tabs on each other through chat rooms and such. I have to say frankly, though-- that's a big time-suck, and I’m getting less and less willing to keep up with where everybody’s going! PLUS, I begin to wonder if only other jewelry-makers are looking at designs off-Etsy. As nice as selling to other jewelry-makers can be, I think it’s counter-productive to limit ourselves to just that market, and a real benefit of a site like Etsy is that there is a variety of buyers. I'd really like to hear some honest assessment from sellers who have moved to their own sites: Is it actually working? I suspect that sort of private info isn’t floating around in chat rooms, however!

    In your case, I see no harm in “parking” your items in both places. Let’s face it, Etsy brings in traffic at least. And there is a definite advantage to knowing where I can find a gathering of jewelry-makers (not to mention all kinds of makers).

    I, personally, have been very reluctant to use FB as a venue for selling, for any number of reasons (many of them having to do with my “day” job and privacy issues), and I knew selling there was never going to remain a free-for-all anyway. Clearly that’s worked for a lot of sellers, and as on any venue, if someone has managed to build up some momentum, it can continue to work, even with the recent changes.

    In any of these venues, it seems it all comes down to old-fashioned advertising, and we’re all going to have to keep figuring out how to manage as newfangled apps and hang-outs proliferate on the internet.

    Just writing about the prospect is making me want to head out to my garden and forget about it (but unfortunately, it’s still winter), and I shouldn’t quit there without at least commenting on your new site…. Hooray that you’ve figured out the initial techie stuff! However, I would recommend making your shop name more prominent. Of course, the items will speak for themselves once you add more, including additional categories… unless you’re planning to keep that site mainly for your MHR items???? That sure is a wonderful way for you to branch out in your promotion of that cause, but as a buyer, I can say I’d like to see more of the other kinds of items I know you make, too. (I notice you started out with some silver, which may attract more viewers, as much as I prefer copper.) Finally, is there some way for you to keep some spacing between your pics? If so, I think each item will look more distinctive. Good luck with that venture, in any case!

    Sorry for such a long comment. That’s what you get for packing so much into your posting. ;)

  7. oh how I love your spinner rings! I hear you on Etsy, FB and Indiemade. it is just so hard to justify all the fees, especially since I have no time to self promote. And no one 'discovers' you on Etsy .... it is merely an easy transaction place to send people Really sad that Etsy has come to that. So glad to hear your mom is getting better - what a nasty flu that was!

  8. Hi Patti,
    Congratulations on the new web page it looks great. I want to open an on line store since I have been making stone cabs I would like to sell some of them. I think I will check into the Indiemade site. Love your rings and all the pieces you make.