Twitter Update

Blogged under Social Networking by Tammy on Thursday 17 April 2008 at 6:26 pm

Okay, I have to say, so far, I’m totally addicted to Twitter. I thought it would burn off after a few days, but I find myself at work (where I have not signed in…yet) thinking, “Hey, I should Twitter that!” Also, as a pro-crafty-blogger, I have found it to be a super easy way to add more in-bound links. I admit that I sort of borrowed this idea from other blogger buds of mine over there. After I post a blog entry…like this one…either right away or a little later, I zip over to Twitter, type in a few witty or not so witty words, add my link, and I’m outa there. Could it be any easier?

Plus, I do read what is going on with the folks I’m following as well, and since everyone just types brief posts, it just takes a few minutes.

If you’ve wanted to try out social networking, this is a good place to start. Or, if you don’t link certain social networks because they are just overkill with the graphics and wacky people, then this may be a good fit too. I will say that I was followed by some icky singles twit, but then I just blocked it and they were gone.

Get Crafty Challenged

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Thursday 17 April 2008 at 6:36 am

One way to break into the publishing side of crafts is to enter some of the challenges put out by craft magazines. Somerset, which puts out magazine like Art Doll, Somerset Memories, Belle Armoire (just to name a few), has a web page where it publishes a list of up-coming craft challenges.

The first thing to check when you start reading the guidelines is the due date on some of these things. I have noticed sometimes that publishers in general will post call for entries (CFE) and leave them up even after the date comes and goes. So, before you get all excited about a particular CFE, check the data ASAP.

Also, be aware that while you aren’t always signing over the rights to your design, more than likely you are signing over the rights to the image of your work, and if you write any text to go with it, that as well. So, that means the publisher can use it over again (and again) without any kind of compensation to you other than (hopefully) a by-line.

Why even consider something like this if you aren’t getting paid? Well, think of it as sort of a student internship. You learn the ropes a little and have something to add to your resume. Normally, these sorts of things require a certain procedure to follow, and just learning how to read through these and follow them is something that can come in handy at a later date when you decide to try to get paid for your work. Then, you will have credits to add to your artist bio when you send in your query as well.

Little Jewelry Bloggers & Big Business

Blogged under Around the Web,Crafty Biz by Tammy on Tuesday 15 April 2008 at 6:39 pm

I got an email today from MySolitaire.com about a unique contest they are having for jewelry bloggers. I don’t plan to participate as it’s not “my thing,” and I have my “own thing” or two going on right now, but I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the concept:

This Mother’s Day MySolitaire is organizing a Post to Win – Blogger’s Contest. We want to celebrate the creative art of blog writing that has become an integral part of E-Retail. We invite you to participate in this interesting contest and win exclusive precious jewelry prizes. Our prize bounty includes not one but four individual prizes. Our winner categories include:

Grand Winner – One overall Winner will be selected by the sponsor based on overall graphics, overall SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and overall sales/traffic to WIN this scintillating 1.00 Carat Black Diamond Ring in 14K Yellow Gold, worth $926.44

Best SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – One Blogger, who makes the best use of the Search Engines, will be selected by the sponsor. The Prize is these exuberant 7mm Princess Cut Swiss Blue Topaz Stud Earrings in 14K White Gold, worth $320.89.

Best Sales or Traffic – One Blogger, who gets us the maximum traffic or sales can take home these magnificent 6 mm Cushion Checkered Aquamarine Stud Earrings in 14K White Gold, worth $457.00.

Best Graphics/Design – One Blogger who uses graphics in the most creative & awe-inspiring manner can be a proud winner of this beautiful 0.37 Ct Pink Tourmaline Solitaire Pendant in 14K White Gold, worth $418.66.

What you need to do to enter?
What you are best at – write and post blogs at your site about MySolitaire Mother’s Day Special offers, give jewelry gift ideas from MySolitaire, or tell our story.

Make sure you participate. The Contest begins on 12th April 2008 at 12.00 a.m. EST and closes on 20th May 2008 at 11.59 a.m. EST

To know more about the Contest visit
http://www.mysolitaire.com/newsletter/blogging_contest/index.html

So, yes, some jewelry is in the mix here, but that’s not what I find so interesting about this contest. Instead, what stands out to me is that a company like this is coming to little ol’ bloggers like moi to get the word out about its jewelry products. That shows you the power of blogging, folks. We have the POWER….AHHHA…

But, seriously, I’ve been teaching some local blogging classes for a while now, and one of the points I try to make is that this medium is very powerful and offers many possibilities. For educators, it’s a tool for learning, a way to teach writing skills and computer skills at the same time. For business people, like the jewelry company I speak of, it’s a way to get the word out about who you are and what you offer. In this example, this company is even going further and trying to bring the jewelry blogosphere on board to help them. Even if this contest isn’t your thing either, you have to admit, the idea is inspired to a certain extent.

The Ah Factor of Jewelry Designing

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Monday 14 April 2008 at 6:55 pm

flower earringsI think one of the reasons I like designing jewelry, and really, doing just about any kind of craft is what I call the “ah factor.” There is just something about crafting that relaxes me, and it helps me focus on other areas of my life. Granted, I often am overloaded with teaching and writing work that I don’t get to make jewelry just for fun that much, but just having access to a creative outlet that is “mine” somehow is enough sometimes.

I have been thinking of this these past few days as I trudged through grading research papers for some of my literature classes. It amazed me how the grades in one class could range anywhere from an F to an A. I mean – heck – these students are all in the same class. How can one “get it” and another not? After awhile, I couldn’t help but wonder now and then, “What am I doing wrong with some of these students? How did I fail them?” A fellow teacher joked with me that I was grading myself just as much as I was grading them, and this is true.

But, as I graded the last paper and headed home, I realized, “ah,” I can now go write about jewelry and check out some bead blogs and at least see some pretty sparkles strewn all over my writing desk, even if I don’t have time or energy to create something with them. They are there for me, winking at me, making me feel a little better. Ah…..

I’m All a Twitter

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 13 April 2008 at 10:30 am

My latest social networking venture is Twitter. This is a little weird to understand at first, but once you do, it’s kind of addicting. And, it is a pretty simple concept, so I’m all about simple when it comes to social networking. Some, like myspace, I’m still trying wrap this simple brain around.

Twitter is sort of an instant messaging type of SN where your message goes out to the Twitter world. The messages are super short – thus the idea of IM – and the concept is simple: What are you doing? So, members type in their brief post (I think a min. of 140 characters) that answers this question. You can “follow” other Twitter members, and they can follow you.

I wasn’t totally convinced that the idea of following had much merit, other than I am nosey about what people are doing, but then yesterday, I saw that my web bud, Jennifer Perkins, had posted on Twitter about her funky watches being featured on Boing Boing, which if you know anything about the blogosphere you know how popular Boing Boing is, so be impressed! In fact, I just went over there now to pull up the link to add to this post, and I think the comments are pretty funny. Some people just have no sense of fun at all.

Those new to social networks may want to check into this Twitter thing. It’s easy, and it’s a fun way to see what your web buds are up to.

Sketching Your Jewelry

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Saturday 12 April 2008 at 9:57 am

I was reading one of the latest posts at Beading Daily, and editor Michelle March asked if anyone sketched their jewelry designs first? She even showed a sample of a sketch she did and then the finished product, so I thought since she showed everyone hers I’d do the same here. Pictured to the left is a scan from a very messy sketch of some designs I made for one of my latest books, Jewelry & Beading Designs For Dummies.

I actually made sketches directly on the book outline, which is something I do often to help me keep focused. I find this helpful because I normally have at least a few projects (books, articles, etc) going on at the same time, so the doodles sort of refresh my memory when I pick a project back up after having not looked at it for a little while.

For me, I have no trouble thinking up jewelry ideas, but keeping them all straight can be a whole ‘nother story! So, do you also sketch or have you thought about it? I know some jewelry designers may think you have to have some kind of great drawing ability or CAD software, but honestly, if the sketch is just for you, I think that’s all overkill. So, grab a napkin, scrap piece of paper, or better yet, buy yourself one of those little art sketch pads from the craft store next time you visit, and let your pencil go wild with ideas.

Crafty Princess at Craftivity

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Friday 11 April 2008 at 6:34 am

Thanks to some blog buds of mine (thanks Margot & Jen), I learned about a social networking site for craft addicts like myself called mycraftivity.com.

I’m still setting up over there, so I have to add some pictures, blog posts, and other cool goodies, but if you are a crafty addict as well, I would definitely looking into this place. It still looks a little new. For example, when you set your page up, it has a link to pick your themes. But, when you go over there, I don’t see any themes to pick from. Hmmm…?

There are groups you can join for quilting, beading/jewelry, mixed media/collage, knitting/crochet, inspiration/creativity, cross stitch/needle art, painting/more, scrapbooking/papercrafts, and sewing/fashion. So, if you do any kind of crafting there’s got to be a fit for you there some place.

If you join up, let me know and I can put you on my friends list over there.

Bead Bloggers Get Some PR

Blogged under Around the Web,My Crafty News by Tammy on Thursday 10 April 2008 at 10:08 am

I’m part of a group of professional crafters who have a kind of on-going carnival of sorts. We’ve been doing this for awhile where we publish a post each week that links to one another. It’s actually an idea I “borrowed” after being part of a similar blog group, the Web Snobs, when I was blogging about jewelry fashions.

I guess word has gotten out about our small group of select bead and jewelry bloggers, and we’ve gotten a little publicity over at yet another cool craft blog called Craft Stylish. Thanks for the write up!

For anyone thinking of doing something similar, I have to say that this group has not only been a great way to promote ourselves, but it has also been a wonderful networking opportunity. Many of us have similar career goals that focus on writing about jewelry making and/or selling our jewelry artwork, so having a small group that is manageable but still able to share information with one another continues to be an on-going learning experience.

So, surf around. Find craft bloggers who seem to be on the same wave length as yourself, and consider starting your own group. It does take a little planning, but it is well-worth the effort.

Metal Clay on the Way

Blogged under Publications from Moi by Tammy on Monday 7 April 2008 at 4:46 pm

There’s no cover as yet and the description is wrong, wrong, wrong, but it is still nice to see that one of my new jewelry books, Picture Yourself Creating Metal Clay Jewelery, is already on Amazon for early ordering. Yippy!

I’ve asked the publisher to fix the description. It doesn’t include the correct number of projects (there are 14 plus variations in the book) and it doesn’t mention the DVD (which is 45 minutes long and has two bonus projects). My editor told me this is all done via databases or something like that, so even though they have the correct info now, they are dependant on Amazon to burp their servers in order to fix it on the Amazon site. Hopefully, by the time the cover is out, the description will be corret.

Still, I’m doing the happy dance.

Why the Crafty Princess?

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Sunday 6 April 2008 at 6:46 pm

Welcome to the Crafty Princess Diaries, my weblog and site where I get to blab about my passion for crafts, primarily jewelry making, and my crafting career. My name is Tammy Powley, and I decided to call my blog the Crafty Princess Diaries because of this very dorky picture I have of myself and because my husband often refers to me as “the princess and the pea,” which is just another way to say that I tend to particular sometimes.

Photobucket

In the real world, I work as an Assistant Professor of English. Mainly I teach writing and literature classes. However, for many years, I have also worked as a professional crafter. For about the first eight years, I sold my jewelry through art and craft show circuits in central and south Florida as well as small galleries and boutiques. Today, I sell my artwork primarily through special commissions and concentrate more on writing and consulting.

Along with this weblog, I write and maintain the About.com Jewelry Making site, and I have a number of jewelry making books published.

 

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