Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How to get your own grab button

I am new (VERY new) at blogging about my jewelry and craft interests, but I've quickly picked up a lot of great tips for HTML code via the wonderful peeps out there in Bloggerland. 

Grab buttons are splashed all over blogs, as a means to direct your readers to other great sites, or to your Etsy shop, or to return a favor for those that support you....in other words, it's advertising.

"Grab a Button!" is often pictured like this (hint!!)

It's pretty easy to customize this for your blog, took me minutes following these steps.

1. You'll need to create your image for the button, making it around 150x150 pixels so it will fit well in sidebars and won't stand out too much (unless of course that's your goal!)  I used Paint.net -- FREE graphic editing software found on the web and very easy to use for beginners like myself.  Pick an image that's easily identifiable to your site and text that's legible at such a small size.  Keep it simple.  Save the image file as .gif

2. Upload your snazzy button image to an image hosting site - I use Photobucket.

3. In another tab, log into your Blogger account and go to the Page Elements page. Click on "Add a Gadget" and select HTML/JavaScript.

4. Copy and paste the following code in the text area:

5. In Photobucket (or wherever you chose to store your button), copy the URL or direct link and paste it in both places where the code says YOUR BUTTON LOCATION.

6. Replace the words YOUR BLOG ADDRESS with the address for your blog.

7. I recommend grabbing your own button and adding it back to your site to test it out, but remember to remove it so readers won't think you're COMPLETELY obsessed with your blog.  :-)

6 Things: April, dazzling & blue

1) Blue Skies and a Flower Necklace from SweetMaggieJane, $26
2) Rainy Days Plate from aspeerstudio, $35
3) April Showers Melting Tarts from countryhomescent, $1.95
4) Repurposed Silk Earrings from kangas, $18
5) Luxe Solitaire Necklace from briguysgirls, $32
6) April Showers Necklace from jewellrybyvanya, $19

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pick of the Week: Octaviabloom

I am in love with Jenny's "Olivene's Lady Cap Charm" necklace at octaviabloom.  I stare at the photos of her work and think "how hard could that be?" but I've tried the wrapping, and let me tell you, this gal's got talent!  Her picks for color and technique are truly eye-catching and fabulous.  Octaviabloom pieces are often featured on my favorites list on Etsy.  She definitely deserves my Pick of the Week (aka Purchase of the Week!)  :-)

6 Things: Easter Lovelies

1. The Down Necklace from PoleStar Jewelry, $50
2. Bunny Softie Stuffed Animal from MadeOnFifthStreet, $15
3. Leaping Rabbit Necklace from FolkArtTreeFandangle, $33
4. Lavender Wreath from StylishStems, $60
5. Easter Egg Cookies from AndreasGoodies, $5
6. Ceramic Bird Necklace from SparklePeach, $24

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Re-org: A need for my own space

When we bought this house we didn't think we'd be here long or have 3 kids!  It was a mansion for the 2 of us, now we're buried in toys and baby gear, with no place to go for quiet creative time.  Little 2yo's "tiny things" curiosity has caused some major bead catastrophes in the deep carpet as you might imagine!  I've been creating on our dining room table, having to re-pack my supplies every few days for play dates and company mealtimes.  ANNOYING.  So I'm searching for a better option, at this point I might carve out a table area in our basement with no HVAC (sigh). I aim to get hubby to build a wall shelf with slots for tools and larger supplies, and am in search for a HUGE stacked drawer system for the beads and findings.   Having this new space away from little fingers is the most important thing, but of course I want it to be comfy, smart and a place I want to be in, not cursing at!

Here's my "space" and storage right now, crazy amounts of supplies crammed into the bottom box, tools in the Stride Rite box, chain and wire in the velvet roll.  Having to pack it up is insane.   I long for drawers, a rockin' lamp, rubber work mat, etc.

I'm up for any suggestions, i.e. better bead and wire storage, picks are welcome.  What are the favorite features of your creative space?  What do you not like?  More importantly what gets your creative juices flowing while you're there?

Friday, March 26, 2010

My most wanted supplies

I thought I'd share some of my favorite supply items that are on Etsy right now, images only as I'm sure they'll be gone tomorrow.  Beautiful stones and handmade findings, mouthwatering!

So you wanna be a metalsmith...

For years I've wanted to take metalsmithing classes, but I don't know anything about the craft, only that I just want to mold and shape silver and gold around stones and into my own unique designs...after all, wire wrapping can only accomplish so much.  It'll be interesting to follow this metalsmith label on my blog to see what transpires!  Stay tuned...

Examples of what I'd love to learn, from some of my favorite Etsy sellers:


Latest Necklaces

I had some down time the other night and came up with these.  I 'm experimenting with my camera more, trying to get the right amount of light, hard to do when juggling the kids - seems they're always awake when I want to photograph.  New lens is amazing though!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rings (sorry Alli, they're all adjustable!)

I love a big ring with a pop of color for SPRING! These ranged from very easy to completely driving me NUTS to make. The gold filled wire wrapped rings are crazy. You are dealing with expensive wire and you only have one chance to make it right! I've messed up a few times, making an intended size 6 ring into a 4, etc. I'd much rather just E6000 a bunch of brass pieces together any day, but the wrapped rings really are beautiful. Each one is unique and full of character.

Free gift wrap with every purchase!

What a genius idea, don't you think?

So I went crazy the other night

...crazy with the lucite that arrived from Beads4all...LOVE them. She included a free gift with my order and I just couldn't stop pairing various textures and colors together. I think in the end I produced a pretty good lot of earrings, and next up: necklaces. The photos of them turned out nicely; getting used to my Nikon D40 and jewelry close-ups.