26 Feb

So, I am loving WordPress – so many things to play with, however, STILL my googleanalytics doesn’t work, I have done everything I can think of, but still that blasted yellow triangle is there – and now my arm is going dead and I have a horrid feeling I have given myself RSI!  Great – should’ve gone out and enjoyed the gorgeous day that was apparently there!


Blogger or WordPress

26 Feb

It’s very amusing, the difference between pc users and mac users. Pc users are like non church going Christians or lapsed whatevers, ask them what they believe and they’ll say ‘yeah – this is cool, you can get a good bargain at this store, whereas mac users are like followers who have the truth! They know they know what is best, what the answer is and they will share it with you if you ask, (and sometimes when you don’t) whereas PC users have never even asked themselves the question, they just use what they do and accept it as it is. So when it comes to which is better and you ask the question ‘which is better’ there is a resounding thud of silence from the PC users because they don’t (in general) know any better, where the Mac followers will quickly pull out their tracts and explain patiently all the benefits of their chosen medium. The same seems to be true of blogspot and wordpress (as far as I can see). Again I asked the question, and really got little info or opinion from bloggers but the wordies came out in force.

It appears that blogger is for pc users and wordpress is more for mac users.
So, here are my thoughts (and I have both at the moment!)

Blogger at first sight is user friendly and quite intuitive. I was able to find my way round it very eaisly when I first started using it (about three years ago), having never written a blog before at the time. The themes are extensive and from what I found were very easy to personalise. You can change the layout, column widths etc, the texts and the colours. Fonts and font size, in fact you can change just about anything.

WordPress for me at first sight is not quite so easy (but I am new). That said though, that could be because I was looking for blogger things in a different place. I’ve got there but it’s a lot more complicated and there is a lot more to get your head round. Themes? that is where I have to say blogger wins. WordPress gives you a selection but they are quite rigid, there isn’t so much you can personalise. Of course you can ‘upgrade’ for $30 and change your font if you like but even then there isn’t that much you can change. So on the personalisation front for me blogger wins.

Now, I have an ipad and I wanted to be able to blog from there (or here ;-). (Also in case it has any bearing – I am a newly converted mac user!!;-)
Each has an app. Blogpress is ok, very basic but will do a simple blog and upload it for you, however wordpress’s little app is fantastic, with so many little functions and very easy to use that it has so far drawn me over. On a concrete level when I look at them I can;t see what one has that the other doesn’t, it just feels more complete. Everything is where you expect it to be, links, photos etc plus draft or publish and it’s easy to go back and change easily.

So I have to say the jury is still out at the moment. I have both, and will see how they both pan out, I have a feeling it’s going to be wordpress for me purely from the app side of it.

Too old for Facebook?

25 Feb

So.. timeline came in for me on the 16th February, I have kinda tried to get used to it, but everyday something is really getting on my bloody nerves.  First it starting putting so much random junk on there, but I have slowly controlled that.  Next, on my feed I am seeing messages from one person to another person – it feels like I’m eavesdropping – I mean what is that all about?  Then, when I was trying to remove some photos I noticed this:

Can you see that?  the photo is ‘sponsored’ – I mean seriously what is that all about?  I in fact pay for Facebook advertising, and it’s reasonably effective, but does that mean I am ‘sponsoring’ people to look at their own photos? Am I paying to get on other people’s tits the way this is getting on mine?

And the really sad thing is, that over the last week, at least 4 people have said to me, in not so many words, ‘maybe I am just too old now for Facebook’.

Is that what the organisers of Facebook are trying to do? get rid of anyone over 35? Really? Or am I just a really grumpy cow today?

Landmark – hit 300 on etsy

23 Feb

You know when you wait for the kettle to boil and it just doesn’t… I’m on 299 sales on easy and, whereas there were 4 sales yesterday, just one today and that next one just hasn’t come through!! My bet is on that it’ll be a pea pod charm.

Update: It wasn’t a charm after all but these earrings! Yay – hit 300!!!

Interested in Pinterest?

15 Feb

So, Pinterest!! If you don’t know it, it’s fab. I stayed away for a long time, thought ‘oh no’ not another thing to have to keep logging into and then get shown everyone else’s etsy new listing. I have to say I have now unfollowed so many people on twitter because of that very thing. (Does that make me a bad person?) (;-)

So .. Pinterest;
if you don’t know, effectively you are given an online pin board, and then where ever you go online, whatever you see online (mostly images), you pin that to your board(s). It will put the url as well. So for example, if you were trying to decide where to go on holiday, you could either search online or search the pinterest board search (which is hugely effective and extensive) and then just pin those images up. As other people see them, they can repin them. So what you end up having is lots of very very beautiful and very interesting boards of images, in all different types of subjects and interests.
You aren’t supposed to use it for purely self promotion, more as an appreciation thing, however most people have one board which reflects who they are. The lovely thing is you can do a board of all the people who do work that you admire – and what a lovely way to show them that you admire them! And you can just keep adding and adding. I keep seeing the most inspiringly beautiful things.
Right gotta go, things to pin and see.
If it interests you, do go and have a look, come and join me!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

QR Code

9 Feb

Ok, so this is my QR code!! If you don’t know, it’s a bar code effectively, a bar code that takes you to a web link. You scan it with an app on your phone and once it has focussed and processed – it will click and then give you the url and take you to the page. So if you scan this funny image above with your phone, (if you have the app) you will be taken to my website! Cool eh! Obviously not an awful lot of use for websites, as if you are on the web you’d really just type the url in, however in magazines, business cards, on invoices etc etc it seems like a really great idea.
If you want the app just go to your app market and look for bar code scanner – they are usually free.
I tried using one on my phone early last year and gave up, it just didn’t seem to work, but things move fast, and now these are appearing all over the place.
Thought you might find this interesting, I just quite like the design.

That moon tonight……

7 Feb

It’s a really crisp chilly night, I was walking round to the corner shop and a scruffy young lad (maybe a little worse for wear) crossed the street looked up and said to his girlfriend (I presume – also slightly worse for wear – or maybe just pig gin frozen stiff) “oi – cum ‘ere – look – the moon tonight – it’s really fucking beautiful”

I did smile – it was really lovely and he was right it’s bloody gorgeous tonight, a huge close, clear moon. And I was transported back a gadzillion years, to being on Java, I was being a given a ‘rickshaw’ ride by a young local lad, who said something lovely.
him ‘where you from’
me “Paris, I live in Paris’ (cos I did at the time)
him ‘ Oh… Paris. Look, look at the moon’
me ‘Yes very beautiful!’
him ‘ Yes Java has very beautiful moon…. do you have a moon in Paris?’

and you know.. at that moment I was just filled with gratitude for everything I had been given by being lucky enough to be born into the society I had been born into, where basic education was just taken totally for granted. We have a lot missing in society nowadays but I just can’t imagine any one in this society asking that question. But I still feel a really warm feeling when I think of that night and his pure innocence.

I was also reminded (coming from a Naval family) that tonight – absolutely everyone around the world, wherever they are, is going to be looking at the same moon, so if you are looking at it at the same time as me, we can be on different sides of the world (night cover permitting) and looking at the same thing – a connection!
So.. do you have a moon in your country? 😉

Nik nak iPadi Mac

5 Feb

So, last week my computer died. No problem I have a laptop! er – I had a laptop. Turned it on and it had died too.

Over Christmas my lovely man had gotten himself an iPad, and I have to say I so totally
fell in love with it I just had to get one too. I had a little netbook which was fab, but this beauty did everything plus plus plus.
I’ve had it 3 or 4 weeks now and couldn’t love it more.
So, when the big beast and the smaller beastie took their last breaths and died, I asked someone I know if they could fix it. Apparently it was very old (7 years – 7 years is old??) and so in the end it just came down to it needed replacing.
Went to the computer shop and looked and looked. The Mac called me over and seduced me so fully and complete I couldn’t resist and walked out the shop with a shiny brand spanking new beautiful object. At the moment we are still getting to know each other. I had been in a very long relationship before with big beast and had gotten used to my ex’s special ways, and am having to slowly get used to Macs new ways. They are different but so interesting. So far I am besotted. That ridiculous photo above is just me playing around on here, but it just has the coolest little features. (My room looks very grown up doesn’t it – not how I think it looks at all!)

Sometimes a hug is worth a fortune!

29 Jan

I have a cyber friend who has spent her life being bullied by an inner demon, and finally she has found a way of evicting that demon and appreciating that she is an amazing and gifted artist, but it needed kind words from others for her to realise this. (I won’t say her name but many who read this will know who I mean).

It’s crap you know, to grow up and doubt yourself all your life, too many of us do it.
So, today I handed over a piece that was commissioned by a stranger. I tortured myself the entire time I was making it, it wasn’t my normal style and I just wasn’t sure. I met the lady, and she.. hugged me!! I welled up like a good ‘un!That hug meant so so much.

So, I was so delighted, I posted about it on facebook, and a lovely lady who sells some of my stuff in her shop posted the following back:

We had a gentleman raving about your work last week. He bought his wife some jewellery for Christmas and she really loved it, so he came in and got some more pieces for her birthday, I think she will have one of everything soon. We’ll have to expand our range!!”

So, today has been a lovely lovely day, and today I feel what I do is maybe good enough, unfortunately I know who I am and what I am like and that tomorrow it will have faded into the past, so I am really enjoying this feeling, like the lady at the top of the post. I am going to make a huge effort (more than I already do) to make sure that anyone I know who makes anything at all, knows that what they do is unique and extremely special – as are they!

To sell Whole or not to sell Whole – that is the question!

17 Jan

The issue of wholesale comes up quite often and it’s an issue that interests me very much. Generally when a supplier contacts someone for wholesale they are asking for 50% discount on things like jewellery and art.When this is a bricks and mortar shop I kind of understand the issue, they have a lot of overheads that need covering as well as making a profit.What I’m not sure is whether a lot of people who ask about wholesale actually understand how this affects the individual artist.If you look at the process, the following steps are all jolly time consuming, for example:You sit in a cafe and try and come up with some inspiration, or you stare at the TV and an idea comes into your head or maybe just as you are falling asleep a shape with a texture comes to mind, you then can’t sleep until you have made a note of it, just in case you forget in the morning. (Okay – was being a little silly there).You then need to work out what supplies you need.Lets take a simple disc pendant. You need to buy in the sheet silver, the rings, the chain. This is time consuming in itself, checking round all the different suppliers, trying to find the best price, the best quality you can afford and of course having to spend the time doing the searching and then paying the postage. You need to have a disc cutter or saw, a hammer, a drill, some kind of shaping tool. These tools aren’t cheap and don’t just jump into your workshop, again you have to look around, check prices, etc. If you are adding colour you’ll need the equipment for the that. Then comes the making. Marking it out, cutting / sawing or hammering the shape out. Shaping somehow. Cleaning it up, sanding, fine sanding. If it needs soldering you’ll need the soldering equipment. If you’ve soldered then you’ll have to pickle it. Then the polishing equipment and the time it takes to polish it.So now we have a piece ready for sale – maybe – it will have taken a lot longer than that – sure I’ll have forgotten a step or two.Now to sell it online needs a reasonable camera, take the photos, upload the photos, edit the photos, for me I always have to piddle around with the white balance, maybe there is a hair in the picture that you need to edit out, or maybe the light just wasn’t good enough anyway and you have to start all over again. (you would not believe how time consuming that can be.) Now you have to write a description for it, you need to calculate the price, with postage and packing (which needs to be calculated somewhere – it is costly adding up postage (I spent over £100 ($160) in a month on postage in November), buying boxes, tissue paper, jiffy bags, business cards – etc etc!So you calculate the price and this is where the wholesale conundrum gets messy.If say for example I cost something out at 7. Say I choose to sell at 20 to cover all those things above (an hourly wage? mmm). Now Mr X who comes along and says hey would you like to supply us at wholesale of 50%, you know what that means? that means that he pays 10 and makes 10, I pay 7 and make 3! So what do you do? cost it at 7 and sell at 40? 60? it gets rediculous, and you have to take the market into account, forget about trying to compete with the hobbyists who hardly (and often don’t) cover their costs.And that I have to say is where I am starting to completely lose interest in wholesale. Many people are very pleasant, however some are really quite snooty when you try and negotiate and say a lower price and they then tell you that it really just isn’t worth their while. I always want to ask what makes them think it could ever be worth my while. And I’d love to ask them what they have done towards creating the item. As I say, I kinda get it for solid on the high street shops, there are a lot of costs involved in running a shop, but the many website sellers who I have heard from, I am sure they feel that they are working very hard to run their website, – well actually so am I. So next time you ask for wholesale, maybe think that at the very least going halves on the profit with teh creator is fair without trying to push them into out pricing themselves in order to cover their costs and make a fair amount for actually doing all the hard work.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad