Archive | March, 2012

Jewellery is a solitaire (y) Business.

25 Mar

There are many advantages to having your own business, particularly one where you are your own boss.   Jewellery is one of them. You design, you source, you sell, all on your own merits.  And that’s just great, however, sometimes you just feel a bit lonely.  What should you charge? is this any good? where can I find blastically pelmuts? And this is where the internet is just the most wonderful thing.  You can find your sources, you can get ideas but best of all you can find yourself some cyber friends.

If you belong to Etsy, then do go have a look for a team, they ‘can’ be amazing.  For example the lovely team I belong to (in fact I belong to many but to be honest only really keep up with this one) ‘metalclayheads’, is just a joy to belong to. Over the time I have belonged, tips have been shared from kiln firing times, making rings, how to use different types of clay, how to set stones etc.  The best suppliers for the different elements needed have been shared – imagine how much time that saves.  When something really interesting happens in the clay area, someone there is on it and posting the link.  For example when silver prices sky rocketed last year, it was from the team that most of the information came.  They share stories, and advice, what you need, how to go about doing a show, or doing a jewellery party at home.

There are charity events, at the moment everyone is on the case of making a charm for a charm bracelet to be auctioned in aid of amnesty international.  Imagine – people from all over the world, all with different skills levels and different backgrounds and interests, all sending an item of value to one person who will sort the whole thing out. They have a blog, and many of the members have taken roles and write articles for specific areas – imagine the advantages of that?  You have your own blog and some followers, great, but you belong to a large blog and then you have a much larger audience, the possible knock on effect is brilliant, and all it takes is a little time out of your working week.

I live in the UK, we are way behind on many of the techniques / supplies that emerge in the clay world.  Something has just been discovered to be a really useful thing to use, but we can’t get it over here, so what happens? a whole pile of the lovely team members offer to send some over to the UK.

So, as you can see, although it can seem very lonely, you can find people to connect with, it is maybe not likely you have people in the same road as you, and often not even in the same town, but get on the internet and hey presto you can find many who will fit the profile you are looking for at your fingertips.  The amazing thing about the internet is that they could well be thousands and thousands of miles away but they will be with you in your living room whenever you choose to invite them in, you just have to connect. If you are on etsy, it is easy enough to find a ‘team’. Personally I don’t bother with juried teams, I find them a little bit… well let’s just say I don’t bother with them.  But just do a search for whatever it is you make in the teams section.  If you aren’t on etsy I have found loads of forums that seem very active and everyone seems to know each other.  So the next time you are sitting at your computer wondering why you bother and wishing you had someone who understood to talk to, do take the plunge if you haven’t already, I really don’t know what I would have done without the lovely ladies (and Lego) who belong to the team I am proud to belong to.

Rant!

14 Mar

I am getting so ranty.  I accept technology moves on, in fact I love technology  – but – why is everything starting to get so interlinked, so interwoven that what ever you do on one site automatically updates on another site.

When I first joined X, I joined X.  I read X’s T’s & C’s and agreed to them and that was it.  I checked it all out, changed the settings to what I liked and was good to go.  Then Y gets into bed with X and now they decide that anyone who knows X must automatically like and want to be friends and go to the same parties as Y.  That just isn’t true.

It’s all done under the cover of being easier, that you just use one sign in for everything, but that isn’t the story really is it.  But what I don’t get, except for the wider audience to advertise to, is what advantage is it to Google, Youtube, Pintinterest, Etsy, Facebook, Twitter to all be interlinked?  And how, when you haven’t signed in with a different sites sign in, does the first even know.

I’m seeing all sort of worrying things.  Friends writing privately to my lovely man on Facebook – privately mind, and it being posted on my wall?  I go to youtube and upload something, and then find it has been posted to Facebook. A post from over a year ago with a link to my Facebook page (from her Facebook wall) on my Facebook page and absolutely impossible to remove it.  The fact that I didn’t want that information on my page is neither here nor there – well in fact it’s very much here and there and in the end I had to delete the contact as a friend as the only way to remove the post.  At a later date I will add them again, but I do not want that information on my page.  I didn’t write it, I didn’t post it so why the effing hell is it on there without the ability for me to remove it.  I was also on paypal the other day, and noticed at the bottom of the ‘secure sign in page’ that a mutual acquaintance ‘liked’ Paypal’ – Excuse me!!  And on it goes.

here endeth  midnight rant.

Label Printers – thank you Dymo!

12 Mar

I have an HP printer and it drives me nuts.
Until very recently I used Royal Mail Smart Stamp to do my postage, it was acceptable as a system, not fabulous, but saved me having to go to the post office daily. Then I had the revelation of using a mac and getting a mac! Life changed!
The biggest change is that Royal Mail – seriously – doesn’t support Macs! Can you believe it! So I was back to either going to the post office daily or faffing around with paypal and 4 labels to a sheet and an HP printer that constantly jammed up (probably from the unused labels).
So, reading on the etsy forums some seller extolling the virtues of their new Dymo label printer, I decided to check it out. Trust me, don’t try getting any official body to state that their product works with another product. I wrote to Dymo, I wrote to PayPal, I wrote to Brother, I wrote to Royal Mail, would any bugger give me a straight answer? No!
So, eventually I discovered that if you saved the postage label in paypal to a pdf, that would work to a certain extent. You could then select what you wanted and paste that to an A4 sheet and then attempt to print that out.
However! After two night running of not getting to bed till after 1pm because of printer jams, I decided to just go for it and get a Dymo printer and take the risk.
First night and once again I was tearing my hair out, they had sent me the wrong software – people don’t really look after Mac users so well. It’s like a secret society of people using a machine that is most definitely superior to its competition, but no one else will listen or give any help.
Anyway – the people who sold me the Dymo printer were very quick to send me the link of the updated software (would have been nice to have had it at the time, but better late than never.)
And I have spent a glorious day printing off labels like there is no tomorrow. It is amazingly fast, the print quality is second to none – I could not be more delighted and just wanted to say so!
So – I LOVE MY DYMO LABEL PRINTER!. If you were thinking of it – do it you won’t be sorry!

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QR codes revisited

5 Mar

https://somethingxtraspecial.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/qr-code/

I realise I didn’t put enough information in the previous blog related to QR codes, so I’m going to try and put that right!!
Generally QR codes are free to generate – however do check the small print as to whether or not they can be used for commercial purposes.

This one is one I first used and gives you free codes (but says not for commercial purposes)
http://qrcode.kaywa.com/
This one gives the first one free and says nothing, as far as I can see about not using it for commercial purposes
http://smartytags.com/

What can you include:
They can be made for anything, a website, a map, an information pack whatever you fancy, it just needs a related web page. I keep seeing them with special offers on them, so you scan the code and get taken to a page where there is some kind of special offer. (Locally the restaurants near me are using them on all their menu flyers).
Effectively think of them as a short cut to a web page from a phone.

So bearing that in mind, is there any point in putting them on a website?
I can’t really see any, rather defeats the points, your viewer/ target is already where they should be and just clicking a link will do the job.
Could you put them on Etsy as a picture with your item? I don’t think so really, you would effectively be going against the TOU’s by linking to an outside site (unless of course it was to inside etsy in which case again – what’s the point).

Something that is really cool is that they can be any colour you wish, so if wherever you are going to put them has a strong colour theme, you could match it.

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Where could you use them?

The obvious places would be business cards, invoices, in fact anything not online as the idea is a way of giving someone quick access without typing in the whole url. Apparently in Korea on the trains and buses they are plastered all along the top panel inside and everyone with smart phones just goes along scanning them. The whole point is that (in my opinion – awfully humble) they will be very common and very used in the future, this is like the very early days of twitter and facebook, so if you get in there quickly, you could be giving the impression that you are at the cutting edge of technology – can’t be bad eh!!

If I can think of anything else I’ll add it on here, or ask a question.