The internet is a wonderful place for those that embrace change.  I embrace change so well I’m afraid I squeeze it a bit too tight.  I’m  never happy to sit still with one sales venue.  I explore and keep looking for the next great thing.   I have stumbled on a new one that just might be it. 

Artfire is a site similar to Etsy.  They have a front page showcase of products that is constantly updated as new items are listed.  Sellers have studios where all their products are listed in categories.   Listing is a one page deal and much easier to use than many sites I have encountered.  Probably the single most important item for me is the seller statistics.  I love being able to track views and where they came from. 

Being brand new, Artfire still has plenty of bugs to work out.  The search continues to improve daily and you can express your ideas and concerns on their forum.  Part of me is rather excited to be watching the site develop and grow.  The neat thing is you can sign up now wrenches and all, for a flat rate of $7 a month for the life of the site.  I spend that just listing on Etsy in a week.  I’m willing to take a chance signing up early will pay off.  After the first 5,000 sellers sign up the deal goes away.

Now Etsy has been very good to me and I won’t be leaving anytime soon.  But I’m a firm believer in keeping all my options open and exploring new things.  Interested?  You can sign up here.

Marcy Lamberson has it.  Her beads are cute.  I mean that in the nicest way.  They really are cute.  Flying pink pigs, happy babies and litte peas; they all make me go aawwww. 

She is clever too.  I love bonehead.  Her beads make me smile and browse in awe.  The ones I keep returning to are the puppies.  They tug at my heart every time.  Only this time, I bought one.

I’m feeling rather proud of myself this morning.  I’ve been quoted and blogged!

I belong to a group of Etsy sellers called Etsy Glass Artists.  I recently challenged members to improve their product shots right along with me.  Many were doing a fantastic job, and some found they were no longer happy with what they had been doing.  Once we got the discussion rollling, we found great ideas jumped out at us.

One of my best idea bouncing buddies  Leah Pelligrini blogged about her journey.  Click on ME to read my quote worthy advice.

I have a love hate relationship with my bead pictures.  On the one hand, I feel a sense of pride when I look at a beautiful representation of my work.  On the other, pure angst when I can’t get them right.

There are many factors to getting a good bead picture.  Over the past 4 years I have come to learn the best lighting and set up.  I use white matt board, white foam core “walls” for bounce to fill in my shadows and natural outdoor light.  I know I have to take at least 3 shots of each bead pose.  My usual session is about 200 pictures.

Unfortunately, outdoors in New Hampshire means cold temperatures for a good part of the year.  Imagine me taking 15 or so shots of each bead strand with my bare hands, wind whipping my set up and the cold creeping up my body, because I’m on my hands and knees. Yah, I’m not having fun.

Often I get inside, download the pictures and find one or two that require a retake.  On a bad day, they are all bad and I want to pull my hair out trying to make things right with photoshop.  There is a lot of truth in the saying, “Photoshop can’t fix a bad picture, but it can make a good one great.” 

Ah, but then there are the good days.  The light is just right.  Not too much sun, not too dark, no bugs landing on the background, no dust coming from thin air; these are the days I just know I don’t need three shots of each pose.  Oh, I still take them.  But editing will be a snap.  As each bead talks to me from in front of the lense I can feel it.

Does my customer even notice?  Heck if I know.  It is my not so silent struggle to listen to the beads and let them talk to you. When they do, I’m having a great day.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just stand in the tube of light and have your name transported all over the internet?  Unfortunately promotion still falls in the hard work category.  In my ongoing search for ways to get my name out there I have never actually compiled a list of where I am.  As you look at my list perhaps an idea or two will help get you more widely know.  And hey, I’ll welcome any links you think I could use.  Here we go:

My Site

Justbeads

Etsy

Etsy Glass Artists

Collective Creatives

Flaming Hot

Bonded By Fire

Modern Savages

Today on Flaming Hot I asked members to talk about the little things in their glass world.  The topic came to me when I was digging for candy in a box of packing peanuts.  One of my favorite glass suppliers, Frantz Art Glass throws a handful of candy in the box of glass rods.  I hate to admit it, but I look forward to the candy and have no problem digging for every single piece.

It takes just a few moments to make many customers happy.  Something as simple as a few pieces of candy can give them a warm fuzzy memory associated with you.  Oh sure, some people don’t care.  And of course you do run the risk of annoying someone.  But for the most part, a nice gesture shows the customer they are appreciated.

I remember when I first started selling my beads I had fond memorys of buying beads from particular artists.  One sent me a pen with her business name.  I still have it!  And I think of her each time I refind it.  Another sent me a bonus bead or two. 

I decided to adopt the bonus bead policy.  In the beginning, I had many beads that didn’t quite make the first quality cut but were still usable. I was a bit random with my bonus beads at first.  But the thank yous made me realize people loved them too.  While my seconds are not so common these days, I almost always have a test bead or extra spacers.  I put one or two in each package going out the door. 

So many little things in life give me joy.  A smile, a door held open or a piece of candy puts a bounce in my step.  Today, I am going to concentrate on what little things I can do for someone else. 

set of florals!  It’s true; more often than not I sit down at the torch and make a set of florals.  I really love the peaceful feeling I get when I make florals.  It is the same feeling I get walking around my gardens. In response to Flaming Hot’s Blog It; But why do I make florals? 

Maybe it is the dot  placement.  It does have to be consistant and I find the repetitive motion hypnotic.  It lets my mind wander and think deep thoughts, or trivial ones.  It lets me explore new ideas and think about what I will create next.  It helps me get into a groove and ready to try more difficult techniques.

Once, florals were what I strived to master.  Now, they are what I do to warm up. Whatever the reason, I still look at my florals with satisfaction.  I feel as if I have made something pretty and am still proud to show them off.