Monday, April 30, 2012

Email Address Theft Warning

I do not want to be the bearer of any negative information, however, I feel that I am obligated by my commitment to handmade artisans everywhere to share this information. I would not want there to be unintended negativity to or from our consumers.



I was notified today of an order from my studio on Artfire. Within just a short time I was notified by PayPal that payment had been received. I really thought it was odd that the email was my email address, however, PayPal email salutation was "hello Cynthia Taylor". So I went to my paypal account to check for payment. There was none. I called PayPal and they verified that someone else had my email address attached to their established paypal account and that person had received the payment meant for my account. Paypal did not offer to help in anyway than to suggest that the buyer file a dispute to get their money refunded to them and then to reorder. This was not satisfactory to me so I went a bit higher and was told that the other persons account had been established in 2006 many years before I set up my email address just recently after moving to a new location. They suggested that perhaps this account holder simply had made a type. Now, really, a person named Cynthia Taylor had set up and email account with MY NAME. I find that really difficult to believe. Please be careful with your paypal account. What has actually happened is that a person or persons have an established paypal account that they use on a regular basis, however, they regularly change the email address attached to this account based on the information they are able to retrieve from people like you and I from their Artfire, Etsy, blogger, forum accounts. Most of the forums and guilds require email address as the login user ID. So a good computer hacker can get that information easily. This person was not interested in intercepting my emails or even in sending out emails in my name, but in having funds redirected from my paypal account to hers without anyone being the wiser. So she is a few dollars richer and I had the unpleasant task tonight of trying to explain the unexplainable to my buyer as well as change the email address and passwords on hundreds of accounts that I use on a daily basis. I truly hope that does not happen or has not happened to anyone else who produces handmade jewelry or any other venue for that matter.



Just a kind warning so this does not happen to you.

Getting Out There

Getting out there.  Yeah, it is a bit scary to put forth your creations and wait for others to pass judgment.  Let's face it, we spend hours upon hours coming up with designs, checking out tutorials, learning new techniques and then we put our products on display for others to enjoy and hmmmm, nothing happens.  Well that is what I have been seeing for the last couple of years.  I have a shop on Artfire, not any results there.  My daughter had a shop on Etsy, nothing there either, but in all fairness to Etsy, she did not leave her shop up for very long.

Well the one thing I have learned is that PATIENCE is a REQUIREMENT.  If you don't have patience to search and wait and search and wait and search and wait, then you probably won't get noticed.  Let's face it, there are thousands upon thousands of places to check out on the web and for some of us, and trust me I am the first in this line, it is simply not affordable to pay to get your products noticed.  So many of us, myself included are looking for ways to get it done for as little money as possible.

Well the one place I have found that really helps is LinkedIn.  I have joined several groups there and it has proven to be quite a resource.  Many other artisans are also on the site and you can join in the discussions, have the newest discussions emailed directly to you so that you are always on top of the newest ideas and resources.  I have found through this community a coupe of really great places online to publish my jewelry.  Time will tell if it is worthwhile, but the one thing that I like is that many are free to list and you only pay if you sell an item. 

One such site in particular is Craftshowcase.   They are genuinely interested in helping you get your work out and noticed.  They only charge a percentage at the back end (when orders are made) and they handle everything else.  I would recommend that you give it some thought prior to listing so that you have all the different charges included in your price.  Just make note in your description at some point that all tax, shipping and handling are included, this way the customer knows there are no hidden charges and they know that at checkout they won't see additional charges.

So take a look at LinkedIn and join in the groups and you will gain exposure through others who are looking to share their products and information with many others just like you.  I highly recommend it, you won't regret being a part of this community.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

Other ways to get out there are to become part of Google +, it is a social network much like Facebook and you can create circles of friends who do similar work as you.  Or you can do like I do and find others who do totally different work that you like, such as scrap booking, or crochet or knitting, paper crafts etc and invite them to your circles, follow them and invite them to follow you, that way you increase the exposure to your product to people who may never see it otherwise.

As always, do your homework and make sure that you trust the sites and the people that you deal with.  It is hard to do and there are chances that we all have to take but you need to also protect yourself and your product.

Good luck and let me know if you find other sites and tips for exposure and let's GET OUT THERE and be seen.

Have a blessed day!!!!

Pam


Monday, April 2, 2012

Keep Practicing

I think that is the one tip that I could give over and over and over.  Keep Practicing.  When there is something that you love to do and you are one of the millions of people who teach themselves to do all that we do, that is the key, Keep Practicing.  I have done just that again.  The latest practice is here.
I love this ring.  I did not use Swarovski crystal pearls, I used the 4mm glass pearls that were in my stash but the effect is the same.  This is such a simple ring to do and I have even decided to make a bracelet using the same technique.  I also did one in Montana Blue Swarovski crystals, not sure I like it as well but it was worth a shot, right.  Let me know which you like best. I apologize for the quality of the photo, it was done very quickly over the top of the computer using my smartphone.

 Be sure to stay tuned for the artisan of the week coming soon.  I have not had one for several weeks and my apologies for that but I will be getting back to that because I feel like other artisans deserve to be noticed by us all.

As always I would like to give credit to those from who I learn the different things that I do.  The wavy pearl and Montana wave rings are a design by Eri Attebery from Jewelry Professor.  She is absolutely awe inspiring.  I can only hope that once I have taught myself all her designs that I will be able to create just one of my own designs that come out as great as hers do.

Have a great week everyone and may God bless you and your families as we work our way through each and every day.

Pam

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bead Weaving

I have just finished another attempt at bead weaving.  I feel like I am getting better at this.  I have done several things using one thread and two needles and I like that method, but I have also been working at using one thread/one needle and learning to weave through the beads to create the same look as with two needles and perhaps passing through only one bead to create - say a right angle stitch.  I have also been practicing the flat even count peyote stitch as well as a first attempt at practicing the odd count peyote stitch.

I did make one attempt at creating a bezel for a cabochon.  Unfortunately for me, it was late and my lighting was not good enough for me to be able to use the size 11 and size 15 seed beads that I needed with the particular bead that I was using, so I took it apart and will make another attempt in a day or so.

I did a beautiful ring today using the tutorial from Eri Attebery from Jewelry Professor online.  This is a wonderful site and it is well worth the money I paid to be a member of this site.  I encourage everyone to take a look at it and then join, you won't be sorry, especially if you are a beginner in the bead weaving arena.

Here are some photos of the latest pieces that I have been working on.







I hope you enjoy these pieces and if you do please let us know.  If you see something you like please visit us at www.abeadthing.com.

We always welcome feedback so feel free to speak your mind.

Love and blessings to all.