Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ask the Artist

Me 1
I've been at a loss for blog topics for a while now. Everytime I come up with something it just doesn't seem like i have enough expertise, research, ideas, etc. on the topic. Clearly, I need help with this blogging thing. SO, to that end... I have decided that I need to do a series of segments called "Ask the Artist". Got a question you want to ask me about my jewelry designs or techniques I use? Ask me! Want more information about gemstones, bead supplies, metals or other bit and pieces used in jewelry making? Ask me! Want to learn more about my experiences with online selling, selling venues, jewelry parties and farmer's markets? Ask me!
I will gladly share my knowledge about each and everything I know with you. Ask me, anything.... go ahead.

Pretty please?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Collections on Artfire

There is this nifty feature on Artfire called Collections.  We are now allowed to add items we seeon Artfire to a "collection" to feature them in a sort of gallery.  It's a great way to promote both other artists as well as items you've made yourself.  Other people on Artfire can then leave comments, rate the collections and use the link to cross post and promote.  I love this tool.  I have made a few collections since it was installed but haven't had time to mention nor share any of those.  Here's a collection I made up today of some of my favorite items thus far.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Etsy vs. Artfire continued

There are a zillion threads on both the Etsy and Artfire forums about this topic.  I read them every so often and sort of see if there are any new ideas or arguments one way or another.  I know my opinion and how it applies to my shop and this is what I believe is the essential part of my decisions.  However, every once in a while there is a good argument or piece of wisdom picked up from reading the ranting and ravings of my fellow artisans.
Today, a newcomer to Artfire made some astute observations.  This person has only been there a short while... and their words really did kind of hit home with me.  This person isn't just ranting or raving but making rational observations.  I asked and they have granted me permission to repost portions of their post here.
"I joined Artfire about a week ago.(Around the time the new logo hit the front page)
I have a few observations about this place I thought might be interesting to some.
I first looked at this site about a week ago even though I had heard of it well before.
I didn`t come sooner because Artfire had a reputation of being invisible to buyers.
No traffic, no hits, no views, no sales.
I came here last week because the buzz about Artfire on the Etsy forums had grown to a fever pitch and I simply had to see what the hell everyone was going on about.
(Remember that, word of mouth is your best friend)
I signed up immediately for a free account and started testing the waters."

I want to stop here a moment to point out how this person discovered Artfire through Etsy.... exactly the opposite of what Etsy wants.  I find this painfully ironic.

"About a half hour after I signed up for the free account I signed up for a pro account because I was simply amazed at the selling tools I could get access to.
For selling abilities, sellers tools, and search function this place blows Etsy away.
I`ve never really put much effort into selling on Etsy simply because it looked like whatever effort I expended would be neutralized by Etsy admin.
I have since imported my entire Etsy inventory here and this place will be my focus.
I`m going to put everything in this basket.
The search sucked(I believe purposely).
Policy was made on a whim and changed just as soon as that whim changed.
Sellers needs were always ignored.
Admin statements were constantly contradicted by other admin statements.
I had no idea what I should do as a seller in some situations simply because admin had no idea what their policy was."

Another good stopping point.  I myself have learned through online selling sites that if your shop's policies are not crystal clear, you get more trouble than it's worth.  Policy is IMPORTANT in any business.  And after reading this comment on the forum today, I realized that all that time I had spent maintaining a shop on Etsy, I had never once looked for a site policy.  Perhaps I should have.  When I moved to Artfire, the policy was right up front and simple enough to follow easily.

"It slowly dawned on me that Etsy had no interest in my or any other sellers success."

What a horrible realization to come to.  And yet this was the bottom line that made me empty out my shops on Etsy as well.  I maintain an account over there only to shop with... and even that is sparse.  I shop on Artfire 9 times out of 10 and only go to Etsy as a last resort now.  Sad but true.
This person goes on to point out flaws in Etsy that most already have known, seen or heard about.  But this last part I'll share is what made me want to blog this information.

"Artfire, this place looks great, the tools rock, the community is golden,the fees are a fantasy come true. The problem with this place is the first thing I mentioned in this post.
It still has a reputation for low exposure."

This is where my fellow Artfire artisans and I need to focus our attention.  Artfire already gives me the best exposure on the web I've ever had.  The fact that we can be found by the google machine is awesome.... but we need to focus more on getting Artfire's name out there in the public.
So let's get to it!  This blog of mine is my first step in that direction.


One of my favorite things about handmade websites is trading.  The old system of bartering goods for goods is simply awesome.  I belong to the Trading Post Guild over on Artfire and we started out "Trade and Stay" event for September yesterday.

Now I know what some of you are thinking.... Don't I have to be a guild member to join the Trade and Stay event?  NO!  You just have to trade with someone on our list and you're in!  Come on over and trade with us.... it's great fun and a wonderful way to get yourself something nice or to jump start your holiday gift shopping.
Here are a few of the things I traded for yesterday....
Cobalt Blue Bottle Cheese Board - Eco-Friendly Slumped Bottle
10 medium blue Spectrolite small faceted teardrops 10mm x 6mm
Brass Bowl Stud Post Earrings Small
Chocolate Mounds  Fudge  1/2 pound Box
And LOTS more..... and hopefully.... LOTS more to come.
The event ends at midnight on Saturday Sept. 25th so get in on the trading fun NOW!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Now that I have your attention, Tracy Harmon of Harmony in Metal at Artfire is hosting a giveaway for me in her blog this week.  The fabulous prize?  A gorgeous handmade copper wire pendant with fresh water pearls made by yours truly!
We need to bump up the entries... so get over there and check it out!

Here's the fabulous prize.... in case you were curious....

And the final winner is....

So, pink clouds and angels, please get me your contact and shipping information ASAP so I may pass it on to Jon.  Congrats to all the winners and thanks for playing!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Artfire Deal of the YEAR!

Artfire is offering a fantastic deal to all artisans who currently have or open up a studio with them.
They are offering up the rate of $5.95 a month for a PRO ACCOUNT.  Here's how it works.  The goal is to have 20,000 artisans opt in to get this fabulous rate.  Once that happens, those artisans are locked in as getting a PRO ACCOUNT on Artfire for $5.95 a month!  For more details and FAQ about this deal here's a link that will help.

To opt in and get signed up for this fantastic deal, go here.

This means that you will get ALL the benefits and tools that come with a Pro account for the bargain price of $5.95 a month.  This is a huge discount from the regular $15.95!  Take advantage!  The sooner we get to 20,000, the sooner the rate will drop for us all!

Third and final giveaway drawing....

If you haven't entered already, hurry and get entered.  Next Tuesday, September 21st I will do the final drawing for this lovely prize....
Number one Secretary Instructions on how to enter the giveaway are below.

Ways to enter

Leave a comment on this blog~ 1 entry
Follow this blog~ 1 entry
Follow Jon's blog~ 2 entries (
Become a follower of Jon's blog~ 2 entries
Become a fan on Jon's Facebook~ 1 entry (
Follow Jon on Twitter~ 1 entry (
Tweet about this giveaway~ 2 entries
Make a purchase from either of Jon's shops~ 5 entries
( ,

Please notify me either in your comments on this blog or by email ( proof that you have done one or more of these things for entries. Links to your tweets, purchases, comments etc. will be enough proof. ... is fast approaching! Get entered today if you have not entered already.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Week 2 winner....

Shake those names up.
Wait for it.....

Katie Jeans Jewelry!!!!

Congradulations to Katie Jeans Jewelry!  You are the winner of the giveaway this week.  Please email me shipping info ASAP to so I can forward it to Jon and he can ship your prize!
One more week left in this giveaway.... if you haven't entered yet.... get entered NOW!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Next giveaway drawing.....

This week's giveaway is this wonderful stork picture frame. Great for that baby shower you need a gift for!

Instructions on how to enter the giveaway are below.
Ways to enter

Leave a comment on this blog~ 1 entry

Follow this blog~ 1 entry

Follow Jon's blog~ 2 entries (

Become a follower of Jon's blog~ 2 entries

Become a fan on Jon's Facebook~ 1 entry (

Follow Jon on Twitter~ 1 entry (

Tweet about this giveaway~ 2 entries

Make a purchase from either of Jon's shops~ 5 entries

( ,

Please notify me either in your comments on this blog or by email ( proof that you have done one or more of these things for entries. Links to your tweets, purchases, comments etc. will be enough proof. ... is fast approaching!  Get entered today if you have not entered already. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And the winner this week is....

Mix those names up.
.... SWANK!  Here come the pictures.  I was on my own this evening.... bf had a doctor's appointment so.... forgive my horrible photography.

Swank, please email me at so that we can get your mailing information for your prize shipping!

All the names that were not pulled, which is everyone except Swank, shall go back into the hat for the next drawing.  Keep watching my blog for more details.  Tell your friends and family to get entered to win fabulous prizes!
Congrats again to SWANK!

And the winner is....

First giveaway drawing....

... will be tonight between 6 and 7pm Central standard time.  This is your last chance to get entered to win this lovely wine glass holder which fits over a bottle.
See blogs below for entry details! 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Sept. 3rd~ What's happening in my Studio

1.) I'm hosting a giveaway for another artist on Artfire.  Details about the giveaway, how to enter and pictures of the prize for this week are in the posts below!  Check it out and get entered to win fabulous prizes over the next three weeks.
2.)  I myself have begun working with flat wire in my studio.  I've thus far created a small but elegant pendant with a lovely Flourite stone at it's center.  Pictures to come this evening!
3.)  I will out at my local farmer's market tomorrow selling homemade jams, jellies and of course my jewelry offerings.  Here's to hoping Labor Day weekend brings excellent business to the market.
4.) In other news, I will begin working on some new Renaissance festival costumes for myself and my bf this weekend.  We are attending the MN Ren. fest in a few weeks and like to go to fest in "garb".  I've also opened up my other Artfire studio to take custom costume orders for the upcoming Halloween season.  If you need a child's costume (no stuffed costumes please) or something for yourself, get your order in SOON!  I tend to fill up quite quickly.

That's what's happening here at Fools and Jewels!  Keep watching here for more updates!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Adding a new way to enter the GIVEWAY!

I had a request from Jon this morning... he says he does a newsletter from his blog and would like me to offer..... wait for it..... 10 ENTRIES for every person who subscribes to his newletter.  What are you waiting for?  Get over to his blog and sign up for that newsletter!
This week's prize to be given away on September 7th!