Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year, New Start

After much deliberation, I have finally decided to move my (fairly) new Etsy Supply Shop over to Zibbet.

For all the bells, whistles, and traffic that Etsy has, I just can't get past a few issues, like the utter disregard for sellers' requests and needs, the lack of customer service (whether seller or buyer), the refusal to deal with obvious resellers, and the cavalier abandonment of the site's founding dedication to handmade. Don't be fooled by their "redefinition" of handmade; Etsy now allows manufactured goods under the guise of handmade.

Zibbet, on the other hand, listens to its sellers. Really! They are ALL about customer service, they swiftly boot resellers, and they remain steadfastly devoted to those whose work is truly handmade.
And as far as the bells and whistles available on Etsy? Well, Zibbet will be rolling out a total rebuild in 2014: New Year, New Start!

One small example of how they listen to sellers? They created a brand new category (handmade supplies) within 5 minutes of my mentioning, in an e-mail to one of the site's founders, that there was a need for such. 5 minutes!

So, with all the negatives on Etsy, plus the fact that views dropped drastically (for almost everyone) in September (don't even get me started on this - theories abound as to the reason, but Etsy is mum on the topic), I have set up my supply shop on Zibbet, under the name "Sweet Supplies" - to reflect it being a division of Sweet Freedom Designs. Starting last night, I began moving my existing listings over from Etsy. The migration process is a slow, tedious one; while Zibbet has a fantastic tool for automatically importing the listings, I have decided that this is a great opportunity to redo photos where needed, and just in general tweak each listing: New Year, New Start. So I'm keeping all the listings deactivated until every one of them is migrated, and then I'll have the grand opening, so to speak; I'm aiming for January 1.

And if I have time during this Holiday break from the bead shop, I'll also be migrating over the last 45 or so listings in my Etsy jewelry shop - my jewelry will all be available on Zibbet.

I brought home 3 separate beading projects that I really wanted to work on during this down time, but I realized yesterday, while working on a new bracelet, that there would never be a better concentrated stretch of time for all the drudgery involved in re-doing the photos and re-working all the listings. And once I return to the bead shop, I have a lot of enameled beads to make (and photograph, and list). It never ends, right?

I hope you have a Happy New Year! Do you have any changes planned?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Kumihimo Necklace with Picasso Finish Seed Beads

We recently received these new Miyuki Picasso finish seed beads at the shop, in 2 different sizes and colors. As soon as I saw them, I wanted to make something with them immediately!

Blue Picasso 11/0 seed beads from Miyuki

These are the blue ones; we also received a gorgeous greenish brown color. These are 8/0s, and they are stunning. But as pretty as these are, you should see how the colors show off in the 6/0s!

The blue ones were calling my name, so I walked around the store trying to decide what to make with them, but couldn't find anything. So I headed for my bead stash, and there was the perfect lampwork bead! Of course - I know which beads to hoard!

I didn't want to dilute the impact of the Picasso finish, so I decided to make a kumihimo rope with the seed beads. I used copper findings to finish the 2 pieces of braided rope, and here's the result:

And here's a detail shot of the beautiful lampwork bead (sorry for the reflections - glass is so hard to photograph!)

richly colored and detailed lampwork bead

So now I want to go order the Picasso seed beads in ALL the colors and ALL the sizes!

And on a completely unrelated note, 2 weeks ago I managed to contaminate my brand new, large capacity Lortone tumbler AND all 6 pounds of stainless steel shot. But I didn't know at the time it was contaminated, so I let it sit, with the contamination and shot inside, until yesterday, when I decided to tumble a few chainmaille pieces to shine them up for wearing. They came out absolutely black and sticky, which is making me cry. Just hoping that if I ever get the tumbler and shot clean, I can clean up the sterling chainmaille again. I cannot believe how black it is! But I dunked one of the bracelets in vinegar briefly yesterday, and the tiniest bit of black came off, so I'm hopeful I can fix all of these. But what a mess! I have been trying to clean it for a day and a half now, using either vinegar or pickle, and tumbling away in 30 to 40 minute cycles (or longer, when I get distracted), and every time, black water goes down the drain, and there's just no end in sight! The barrel comes clean after just 2 cycles, but then when I try to clean the shot, it seems like I make no progress at all. Argggghhhhhhhhhhhh!

So, in between tumbling cycles today, I'll be weighing out and tubing 15/0 seed beads for the shop - I ordered every single iris blend available in 15/0s after being frustrated when trying to find exactly the right shade of 15/0 for a project I was doing 2 weeks ago. 

Oh yeah, my new Picasso Lampwork Kumihimo Necklace is available in my Etsy shop!

Happy Holidays!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday Worktable

Yes, it's time for that old chestnut, Worktable Wednesday? Why? Well, why not? It's Wednesday, and I'm sitting at my bench, working on something! Several years ago, I made this chainmaille tennis bracelet for myself:

Chainmaille tennis bracelet

The picture doesn't do it justice; it's sterling silver with Jet AB2x Swarovski crystals, and it sparkles for days!

Now, I'm making another one for a friend, this time with Turquoise AB Swarovskis:

I'd forgotten how long it takes to weave the rings for this bracelet! I've got one half of the spine about 2/3 done so far!

I'll be back with pics of the completed tennis bracelet once it's finished!

Happy Wednesday, and Happy Holidays!