Saturday, November 30, 2013

Jewelry for Christmas

Looking for a beautiful piece of handcrafted jewelry for a Christmas gift for you or for someone else? Let a Self Representing Artisan Jewelry Designer help you out.

What's SRAJD you ask? From the website:
  • An SRAJD member sells the jewelry that they designed and created. When you purchase from an SRAJD member, you are buying directly from and supporting the artist.
  • Aside from raising customer awareness, we also work as a community to help, nurture, instruct, and encourage one another.
I've been a member for a long time - pretty much since this group started. I'm Artist number 37. Yup. Double Digits. One of the first 50 members. I haven't always participated fully but I'm definitely more active now.

Artists in this group range in skill and ability - from beginner to professional. But we all have in common a love of creating and a desire to educate others about handmade.

To support a self representing artist this year, go to Etsy and search for SRAJD and you will find over 9,000 pieces of jewelry to choose from. All handmade.

I even made a treasury with some of the beautiful pieces in shades of silver and blue made by SRAJD members. And one with Red, White, and Black items. But there really are all kinds of lovely items to find among these artists.

Egyptian Lotus Wire Wrapped Pendant Necklace by SRAJD Member Bracken Designs

 Steampunk Owl Earrings
Steampunk Owl Earrings by SRAJD Member The Creative Block - Also an Olympia Etsy Team Member.

Men's Black Lampwork Glass and Greek Leather Necklace by SRAJD Member Jewellry by Clare 
Lampwork Glass Hoop Earrings by SRAJD Member Brooklyn Bead Goddess
There are all kinds of price points and styles for every taste available by these dedicated jewelry artisans. Consider supporting handmade this year!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sending A Newsletter

Nearly two years ago I sent a newsletter. Yup. Almost two years ago.

And today I sent another one. Phew. I've gotta catch my breath here. Hope I'm not bothering people.

I have a hard time sending newsletters. What do I say? Or in this case write. Am I boring people? Will they unsubscribe?

It's nerve wracking.

But I've never completely given up my newsletter. I did, however, forget my log in entirely and had to have the staff at Mail Chimp help me recover my account, and all the credits I have saved up. They were fabulous, although their verification process was akin to a very personal doctor's appointment. But at least they're thorough.

Mail Chimp is easy to use and yet has enough bells and whistles that it can easily be overwhelming for a novice like me. I try to keep it simple. They help by walking you through each step to create an effective "campaign" (as they call it) and making sure you're not screwing up or being too spammy.

My goal is to have two separate newsletter lists - one for people interested in my jewelry creations and the other for those who want updates on my supply shop. That way I can target my emails easily without having to bug everyone at the same time.

I'm all about not bugging people...most of the time.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I Can Relate - Photographing Infants

While holding Dillon in one arm, and the mouse in the other, I came upon another wonderful Matt Walsh blog post...he's a fantastic writer. Sometimes I read the comments, sometimes I don't. Today I did and I'm so glad. I found a stay at home mommy with a PhD...which I realize shouldn't surprise me at ALL but for some reason made me feel a little better about being home now with the boys.

Mommy Life After PhD looks pretty new but I love her already. Her latest blog post about photographing her new born had me laughing out loud (really...LOL). Because we had a similar experience and I can totally relate.
Attempting to keep baby from crying - pulling out the paci a second before snapping a photo. :) This was a practice shot.

My wonderful friend Rayna is a wonderful photographer. It's not her profession (she's an even more wonderful educator) but she's got mad skillz. Yup...skillz. Her subjects weren't real cooperative though.

Scheduling an infant is like herding cats...or some other similar phrase. Babies are supposed to be sleeping and peaceful and ... pliable...movable...pose-able. Or something.

Yeah...not so much.

She got some amazing shots, all things considered. We were in our front entry way in about 4 feet of space because the sky light provided the best lighting. Baby wasn't cooperating and brother just wanted to "help" a lot. She got great photos of our wonderful boys (and us) in about 45 minutes, which I think is a record.

I can't wait until next weekend when we do Christmas pictures.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Typing With Baby

With a baby, typing becomes a challenge. I'm a great typer...yes I just made that word up. I've been able to type over 75 wpm since high school and I've broken 100+ several times. But of course that is using TWO hands!

As Dillon gets a little older (he's five months already!!!) he's demanding to be held more. And yes, I give in most of the time. He's cute. It's hard to say no.

So now I get to type with one hand. I've blocked most of my "bad" memories of Marshal as a baby so I don't recall how active I was online and needing to type one handed. But I'm needing to answer Etsy conversations from my Etsy Supply Shop, responding to client emails for Aflac, and a whole host of other typing requirements.

I think I'm getting faster ... though my error rate is definitely higher with one hand than with two. And I'll never break the 20 wpm rate with one hand. But I'm practicing a lot!