I have finished making some asthetic changes to the website, and people seem to agree it is better! :) Besides the color change to 'alice blue' which required me to hard code the changes in to the template, I fixed some redundancy issues in the menus! I will continue tweaking little things as necessary to ensure a seamless, enjoyable experience.
In other news, the last week for the Downtown Arlington Farmers Market is here :( I do not have any information at this time concerning a new location; I have heard that the council member for that district is supposed to show up on Sat. I have put out feelers to a few places in terms of the possibility of being a vendor or a presence, but nothing settled as of yet.....which is why this site's performance is so vital right now. Please keep in mind this is my living, my only real income other than a monthly stipend from the government, which does not even cover all the bills. I run this business myself with no help other than some advice from friends.....it is a legal sole proprietorship with licensing and all......I just need orders! This software cost me $6,000 for the license in 2011, and I am doing everything I can think of to make it generate some income for me. Yes, I am aware of the design flaws and such, but as I am not about to just chunk what I spent out as a bad investment, this is what I have to work with.....I am doing my best to make it 'pretty' :)
So I found out that people think that my site isn't trustworthy and nobody would spend money on it!!!!! It is cluttered, old, too colorful......
I had decided to have a pink background for Valentines Day - guess it was a mistake.......
I am a real person who makes real jewelry and really will ship it !!!!!!! My site is a StoresOnline template that I paid $6,000 for! The site is totally SECURE - payments are processed through PAYPAL.
I have been working at this since 2009 BY MYSELF, since I do not have money to hire people.
Please spread the word - this is a LEGIT. BUSINESS!!!!!!
I am currently working on a YouTube channel for Amy's Handmade Gifts! It will be a series of (hopefully) daily short messages by me (and special appearances by my kitties Lilly and Faith) about new projects I am working on, life in general, and the occasional Christian inspirational blurb. Be on the lookout for them!
BLACK FRIDAY 11/28 Almost everything 50% off at physical location ONLY!!! 215 E. Front St Arlington TX 9am- 3pm Downtown Arlington Farmers Market
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY 11/29 At Farmers Market ONLY - special 'pick your discount' event - every paying customer gets to draw from a bowl for a 10-50% off discount plus a free gift! (while supplies last) 215 E Front St Arlington TX 8am-2pm
CYBER MONDAY 12/1 - ONLINE ONLY www.amyshandmadejewelry.com EVERY ITEM ON SALE!!!! (times TBD)
The technical snafu with my email has been fixed on the site.....my amyshandmadejewelry inbox is temporarily full, so I have re-routed everything to firstname.lastname@example.org - please make note of the change. I apologize for any inconvenience.
I am looking for suggestions to help my site improve, so if you are reading this, can you please take a moment to go through the site and tell me HONESTLY -
What could I be doing better?
What is not on the site that you would like to see/be interested in buying?
This is much needed and appreciated! Since I am only at a physical location 2 days out of the week, I REALLY need this website to work for me! Please send me an email and let me know so this can move forward! THANKS!
As an experiment I am offering 4 NEW greeting cards on this site! They feature fancy folded medallions which were made using a technique called tea bag folding. If these sell, I will be adding more from my other site!!
This weekend at the Downtown Arlington Farmers Market there will be grass-fed beef hotdogs, scavenger hunt, possibly beer......come on out! I'm sure I will have some - if not all - things on sale.....!!!
DAFM 215 E Front Street Arlington TX 8am - 2PM (possibly later)
Exciting news! I have reserved space at the Downtown Arlington Farmers Market! Look for Amy's Handmade Gifts in the corner every Friday and Saturday from 8am-2pm! This market is not just veggies; in addition to organic produce there is bakery, jewelry, cross-stitch, candles, plants........with fun activities scheduled for the summer there's something for everyone!
In addition to all of my artisanal jewelry, I now offer products on Kitsy Lane. These are NOT made by me; I get a small commission from each sale. SO in case you can't find a style that you like on my site, feel free to peruse Boutique DeBertheletville! http://amyberthelet.kitsylane.com
This is a site I discovered where they will send you a box of high-end beauty/grooming samples every month; there is one for women and one for men. You can personalize your preferences as to what you want, your skin type, etc., and you can also order full sizes of whatever you like!
The brand-new designer pieces are being added to The Lillystone collection page right now! These have been meticulously designed and constructed by Amy Berthelet for the New York Institute of Arts & Design's Beading and Wire Working Course. They feature hand selected glass and Czech crystal beads in brown and gold tones, as well as hand-forged elegant clasps. These pieces are perfect for a night out at a fancy restaurant or the opera.
The first reveal is the Classic Brown and Gold Beaded Necklace.....
The next beaded tapestry that will be offered on my site is coming along great! I really love making these! From now on I will use only genuine Miyuki Delica seed beads and Fireline thread for the highest quality.
I have been slowly recovering from a nasty attack of the norovirus stomach bug since Saturday after getting back from a road trip to IL, so it may take me a bit to clear my email and such - thank you for your patience and understanding.
Shout-out to Jason and Karyl MacGregor of Canvas Vandal for their recent contribution to Amy's Handmade Gifts! I will now be able to appear in at least 3 local craft fairs! Here is their link - if you are in the DFW Metroplex you def. want to check them out! www.CanvasVandal.com
And a huge thanks for the gorgeous sign and banner Jason made for me!!!!
I finally finished it!!!! It did not turn out as well as I had hoped; the beads were unevenly sized and the background is too dark while the lettering turned out too light. Also, when I put it on my little sweetie, she tries to eat it! NOT GOOD for an article made of GLASS BEADS - soooo she has to wait to grow out of this biting phase before she can have her new collar.
It has been a rough day for me.....started out finding water leaking from my sink drain all over the numerous bottles of cleaners etc. underneath, and THEN I had a usability test to participate in in Las Colinas! In between these events I made a decision to simplify and de-stress. Running this business has become somewhat of a hassle, owing to the fact that instead of having people simply visit the site to purchase jewelry, every known SEO marketer and also many unsavory black-hat method lovers and outright scammers and CROOKS are hunting me down! This was meant to be a simple enterprise initially : people come and look and and (hopefully) purchase items, which I then send to them. That is what an e-commerce site is SUPPOSED to be right????? I do not need SEO services, I am not looking to purchase either supplies or finished product from overseas, I am not a showroom, and I do not deliver or mass produce cheap 'bling'.....I make quality jewelry pieces myself, put them on this site, and people buy them - period. From this point forward, any link exchanges that are not directly related to another jewelry (or high fashion) site will be IGNORED......offers to 'improve' my site for a free will be IGNORED, as will any other communication other than LEGITIMATE CUSTOMER REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION. This is an ONLINE store; anything relating to that is fine.
Here is how far I've gotten on my 1st seed bead tapestry - I will be taking orders for customers designs! Haven't yet determined pricing though.....need something other than an hourly rate for these!!!!
This is something that The Lord showed to me as far as the direction I should take and types of items I should make.....it's a bold move, and not one I could ever do without His help! I am working on.....
seed bead tapestries!
Here's the start of my 1st one, it will feature a Holy Spirit theme :
Well, a couple days ago I bent wrong or something and wrenched the muscles in my lower back. Ouch. So since I had a doc appointment already scheduled for yesterday, I told her about it, and she gave me a prescription for a muscle relaxer and said I needed to rest in bed for 3 days!!!! :/ So here I am in bed with my darling volunteer nurse kitten asleep at my feet. I can hear my husband doing the sinkful of dishes in the kitchen BY HAND - the dishwasher broke a few days ago :( So I am getting caught up on my Sheffield School studies and my Bible Institute studies too. I will also work on that huge project the Lord dropped into my spirit. I also may need to accompany my husband tomorrow to get me added onto his plan at the county hospital - something I have been putting off, but with this back pain I have to just do it......On another front, I have submitted my registration for the Fall ArtsGoggle in Fort Worth, but I have not heard back about my placement yet. I am asking to be either in front of or actually inside of Zio Carlo Brewpub on Magnolia - we shall see.....
I will be in Frankfurt Germany with my husband on a mission trip from Aug. 4-11. Any orders placed during that time will be fulfilled as soon as I get back. Thank you for your understanding and your prayers :)
My other gifts site AmysNotions.com is temporarily down due to having to restructure. The site itself is now at www.notions.yolasite.com and the online store has been disabled. If you wish to purchase greeting cards, coasters etc. please email me at email@example.com or call 817-393-5007. I apologize for any inconvenience, but it was necessary to cut costs. I will post updates as things change. - Amy S. Berthelet, Owner
As of July 11, this site will not longer be utilizing ProPay to process credit card payments. When I signed up with the company, I was not aware that I would be held responsible in the case of fraud against me. With no orders, I simply cannot afford to have people stealing from me and have to pay it out of my own pocket. I have been told that I should be glad I got the merchandise back......it doesn't do me any good if nobody buys it!
I will continue to offer PayPal as a payment option for my customers; it is not necessary to have a PayPal account as there is an option to just enter your card details. If someone has a PayPal account they may also pay by e-check or PayPal funds. The customer needs to return to my site after the payment transaction is finished in order for it to register properly.
When funds allow, I will implement PayPal's merchant account for credit card payments - it is $360 a year.
Please note that paying through PayPal does NOT mean that the merchandise is 2nd rate or a ripoff......I still make EVERY PIECE myself here in my home office, and the lowest quality material I use is glass, NEVER PLASTIC (jewelry). Again, when I begin actually making a profit with my sites I will begin using higher-quality materials such as real silver and Swarovski crystal (I already use these in custom-ordered pieces).
I apologize for the change, but it is necessary to allow me to keep this website running. vThank you for understanding.
Starting today, when an order is received online I will be running the customer-provided address through an address verification system. If the given address for shipping is not valid, I will contact the customer and the order will not be shipped until a verifiable address is provided. I apologize for the inconvenience, however, due to fraud this has become necessary.
I feel the need to explain something that ought to be obvious - and please forgive me if I come across as sounding harsh or mean......
Amy's Handmade Gifts is a BUSINESS, a company that requires money in order to operate. It is not a hobby, a fun idea, or a charity. I have been basically operating at a loss since 2009, and am facing losing my Internet connection today unless I can come up with $130 by 5pm.
Since I created this website in 2011 I have only had THREE online orders. Each day I get a total of MAYBE 10 visitors. This is a StoresOnline E-Commerce website, which costs $355 each month to keep online ($290 for the software license, and $65 for hosting and email/VOIP). I need to pay $62 every month to the Internet /Cable company.
Without giving a pathetic song-and-dance break out the tiny violins and serve cheese and whine......I am on a fixed monthly income (Disability due to an anxiety disorder). My husband is not employed and right now is going through a health crisis - I won't burden you with all the details now, but the medical bills are mounting). I assure you this is NOT A SCAM SITE! It is an actual, legal COMPANY that is registered with the city, county and state; I pay taxes on it and everything!
Unless money comes in via SALES or donations, I am not able to keep this site or its sister site Amy's Notions running. This is meant to be an income generating business for my family. I work hard at making each and every item you see on both sites myself here in my workroom/home office. I do not import and drop ship cheap knockoffs from overseas.
As stated earlier, if I do not come up with $130 by 5pm tonight, I will lose my Internet. PLEASE take a look carefully through my items and see if there isn't something you'd want, either for yourself or to give to someone else.....
If you do not want to buy anything but don't want to see me close my virtual doors, I can accept donations - of ANY size - in my PayPal account at firstname.lastname@example.org
I apologize for having to go on like this, but I am up against a wall and don't know what else to do, except pray for a miracle.
I wanted to show everyone just where Amy's Handmade Gifts is located and how/where the products are made.....
Amy's Handmade Gifts is a Sole Proprietorship owned and operated by just myself (Amy Berthelet). I do all the designing, assembling, and shipping from my home office in Texas. I also do all of the web design and promoting there. The Designs By Chris pieces are done in the same location (Chris is my husband). Here are the headquarters in Arlington, Texas - my office is the middle window. Also pictured below are shots of my workroom and the materials I use.....
I will be selling mainly my greeting cards/other gift items and SOME jewelry.....
Bits of Texas Craft Fair "Door prizes every hour, live bands, vendor give-aways, food/drink concessions, face painters, balloon artist, over 150 vendors to shop from!" June 15th, 2013 9:00AM - 6:00PM Norris Center Sundance Square 304 Houston Street Fort Worth, TX 76104 Admission Fee is $6.00 for 18 years and older.
Weather permitting.....I will be in the Zio Carlo Magnolia Brewpub lot today from noon-6pm. I will see if I can set up a table inside if a storm hits. My husband Chris (Designs by Chris) will also be there with his chainmaille!
First Saturday on Magnolia - vintage shopping and more
Zio Carlo Magnolia Brewpub
1001 W Magnolia in Fort Worth, TX
This guest blog comes from a lady named Karen Tillman (Kat) who loves making beaded jewelry (and other crafts too) as much as I do! Enjoy!
If you have your own jewelry business as I do or you love to make jewelry as a hobby, then you have THOSE leftover beads that you don't know what to do with. You know those beads; the six leftover from that bracelet or the three leftover from that necklace. THOSE beads!
Here is a solution that will use all those dreaded leftover beads. A memory wire wrap bracelet. It can be fun and even the kids can be involved. The first thing that needs to be done is to separate the beads, sizes 4-8 mm mostly and larger ones for that pop. Put all shades of red together, blue shades together, etc. This is a great job for those little fingers and the kids will learn too, colors and counting. It is a great rainy day project or girl scout project. It doesn't matter about the different sizes and shapes because that is what gives the bracelet character.
You will need about 100 beads to complete your bracelet. These bracelets are fun, colorful and easy on and off. They can be made with expensive beads or leftovers like our bracelet. If you already bead, then the only thing you need to purchase is the memory wire. There is enough wire in the package to make many bracelets.
Lay out your work items; wire cutters, pliers, memory wire, beads and a charm if you like. Cut off a length of memory wire that will encircle your wrist three times. Using your pliers, make a small loop at one end so the beads won't come off. Now for the fun part, the kids will love this. everyone can be an artist. You can add the beads using one color or two, in a pattern or mixed up. It requires patience.
When you get to the end make sure the beads are snug and make another small loop and add the charm in the loop. Now you have a pretty wrap bracelet that you can keep or give as a gift. But it also clears up THOSE leftover beads!
My name is Kat and I have a small jewelry shop where I create beaded jewelry. I love to create because it is so satisfying.
Having missed last month - we were at Scarborough Faire - I WILL be at this one! June 1 at Zio Carlo Magnolia Brewpub - 1001 W Magnolia Ave Fort Worth TX from 12-6 pm! https://www.facebook.com/events/612951298733332/ (this is last month's event, but the other details are the same)
This will be the first of a new, and hopefully interesting to the readers, series of guest blogs I will feature on my site. They will be from various experts in the handmade jewelry/ornaments world and will explore various aspects of design, handcrafting, components and more.
The first article is from Xena Sadovsky of the Jewellery Maker website, and it is about an intriguing product called 'Copper Clay' - hope you enjoy it!
Introducing Copper Clay
Copper clay is an exciting wonderful way to style up beaded jewellery. Whether you are starting from scratch, a wonderful hanging lucky charm pendant design will improve any of your jewellery. Kick start your summer months with a new wire or chain beaded necklace! You can even uplift those homemade bead necklaces you were thinking of restyling. Bring in some copper clay modelling to design your own patent piece of jewellery that leaves your friends and family in amazement.
Jewellery Designer & Teacher Natalia Colman features on our Jewellery Maker TV show in the UK, and is a specialist in Silver clay & metal clays. She has some great tips for stylish pieces of art for that individual look that you are after.
“The copper clay is 100% metallic copper, just powdered down and mixed using a synthetic binder and water” says Natalia Colman on our Jewellery Maker show. “What’s wonderful about it is there is something in creating something from scratch, it is true artistry”, it is well worth doing and we can’t recommend it more highly.
Some tips for making your jewellery Basic handling rules
· Get clay out of packet, clay is very dry, hold in square piece of cling film as to protect the copper clay.
· Use liquid glycerine (from chemist, good on hands) and rub in to soften clay, not water; it ruins the clay.
· Once clay is open, it is only good for 24 hours before it dries, so keep cool and dry, and use within day of opening. Learn various techniques of rolling, texturing and shaping the clay
· Place clay on Teflon sheet. Rub glycerine balm to lubricate your sheet, and to keep the clay from sticking to surface.
· Roll out copper with rolling pin, ensuring a nice smooth surface without cracks.
· Create patterns in the clay, using a tool, to create a religious or tribal design for your charm, earring or pendant.
· You can use some cutters to get your piece out of the clay, like you would when baking.
· Add a tiny little hole around half a centimetre in, for your wire using a clay pick. You can widen when dry with a screwdriver once it is dry you wish this to be bigger to allow cord to string through instead.
· Dry clay ready for firing, on a radiator, using an airing cupboard or a baking tin on low heat top oven for 10 minuites.
· If you have any cracks in your clay one it is dry, mix a bit of clay with some water and paint it into the cracks like a ground and it finishes it beautifully, then repeat the drying steps to solidify copper clay before firing. Creating or uplifting your own bead necklaces
· Lucky charms bracelets requiring some bright beads and shiny precious metals.
· Celtic copper earrings with patterns created out of a ceramic mould and pressed into the clay, before firing.
· Religious necklaces, The Crucifix for a Christian’s necklace, you could also include some prayer beads.
· Dismantle an old custom necklace you want to freshen up and add your copper charms to the design.
· Make a summer necklace using yellow Spessartite Garnet Nuggets and your copper artistry pendant
3 methods for firing the copper at home
· Place artefact on a firing block, ensure you have your fire torch filled with gas, wearing goggles and hair tied back.
· Circulate flame, the clay will go a dark brown/charcoal colour for about 10 minutes, then place in water using metal tong.
· After cooling period, put into Picklean® (Safe Pickling Powder) to oxidise, rub with a stiff brush to bring out that salmon pink colour and shine. Then fire again to bring out brilliant oranges and pinks
If you wish to find out more about the clay making process from our jewellery and Gemstones Experts then here are a few tips.
Go straight to our Jewellery Maker website and look for Copper Clay in the search menu. You can find products associated with copper clay including kits, including firing torch and all other tools you will ever need. We also have scheduled lessons and classes with Natalia Colman our specialist that you can come over to participate in. If it is too far for you to travel to visit, we are also live on air on the 10th of every month. You can even watch us on DVD’s and free full episodes of the show on our Jewellery Maker Youtube Channel.
Gospel Bracelet - highlights the 6 points of the Gospel message
Black - Our sin separates us from God, leads to death and hell
Purple - God is a righteous judge and He must judge our sin
Red - God loves us and sent His Son to die and shed His blood so we could be made right with God
White - In order to receive this love and forgiveness we must repent and turn from our sins
Blue - We must put our faith, all our life's hope and trust, in God and in what Jesus did for us on the cross
Gold - No matter what prayer we pray or action we take, it is God who grants salvation and eternal life
This is the new design for the GO! bracelets, featuring the right-angle weave technique. This is an experiment in progress, since it requires an exact planning of each bead placement and several rows stitched together.
I am slowly turning my unofficial business official; I am now registered in the state of Texas and am required to charge sales tax. Any orders within TX will have an additional 8% added on from now on......I hate having to raise prices, BUT I have been basically not charging tax OR labor for 4 years. Next I will be registering with the city and filing my dba, but since those cost money I have to wait a bit.......and I also now have a business liabilty insurance policy!
Here are some pictures taken during the First Saturday on Magnolia show on the patio of Zio Carlos in Fort Worth...
I made a few sales - not bad for the first run of the event!
On the left is another lady's vintage display; mine is the table with the folding chair (I am not in the picture).
customer standing by my display
view of Lulu's Unique Shop, the featured vendor (the airstream trailer)
I am planning some good changes for this site in the coming months! I am currently in the process of updating some of the photos - making them much clearer and sharper and in a better setting. Hopefully this will give you a better 'feel' for the pieces.
I am also looking in to starting a section featuring pieces that were FULLY manufactured in the United States - meaning EVERY bead, wire, finding etc. as well as the assembling of the piece.
Also, I will be adding some new 'popular trends' jewelry featuring things like Hello Kitty, owls, bling etc.
I am hoping these changes will have a positive impact!
This is the first set where I am actually factoring in the value of my time making these pieces - hence the higher price. Up until now, I have only been asking for slightly more than the cost of materials. From now on, I will be offering full-priced jewelry AND clearance items, so there is something for everyone. I will NOT raise the price on previously discounted items- you will always be able to buy these at the original low prices.
Here is the first offering in my higher range.....This took quite a bit of time to do
There will be a benefit for the Art Department of the Fort Worth School District on Saturday, Feb. 16 and Sunday the 17th
Zio Carlo Magnolia Brew Pub
1001 W Magnolia Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76104
There will be an arts show on the 16th at 2pm, and I will be selling my jewelry (and maybe some of my other crafts as well). And my husband Chris will be there showcasing his chainmaille work.
I got my instructor evaluation back on my projects from the design school - turns out I have a lot of room for provement. My wire wrapping in particular needs work - and I HAVE to invest in a point-and-shoot digital camera. So my schooling may be on hold until I get more practice (and money)......
I will be out of town from Feb. 4-9 on a mission trip to Denver. This time I will be flying, so I will not be able to have my inventory with me (I'm not sure I can even manage to bring my laptop). If you place an order, it will be filled no later than Feb. 10. Thank you for your understanding, and God bless!
I am on Unit 2 of my Sheffield School Course! I just finished my 1st completed jewelry project, which is the Roses For Elizabeth bracelet! I will let you know what they think of it when it's graded.......
Today is the last day to enter the monthly drawing to win an item of your choice from this site - just submit an APPROPRIATE (NON-SPAM) comment or place an order and you will be entered! Name will be announced tomorrow.
I will be out of town visiting my in-laws for Christmas; I will be out of the office from Dec. 12-28. I will have my inventory with me so orders will NOT be delayed! I will also have access to my inbox and voicemail, and I will return calls/emails as necessary.
So I have not posted for quite some time......I had to drop my business in order to look for 'real' work due to financial setbacks. I am now performing online tasks for Clickworker and Leapforce, and hopefully the money will start coming in soon......today being Saturday I have decided not to do any of the regular work, but instead to spend some much-needed time giving my websites the attention they deserve! I also need to start adding some new pieces - one is currently in progress......
The annual crafts bazaar at the Arlington Plaza retirement home did not go so well this year; they put us towards the entrance in a corner out of sight, so many people didn't even know the bazaar was happening! Sadly not one of my things was sold......
Tomorrow at church the people in the School of Church Planting will be running the whole service! Our pastors are in Miami for the 1st ever DBC Pastors Conference. I will be part of the Prayer Team, and my husband will also be on the stage for prayer following the worship. It is going to be an exciting day!!!!
Last Wed. I went to the American Airlines Center in Dallas to see Rush; I passed out gospel tracts beforehand outside the venue. It was one of the most incredible light shows I have ever seen! Later I found out that one of the guys at our church was on the setup crew!
Well, that's the quick rundown for now - time to find something for lunch and pay more bills.....
It's Sunday, and that means no work for me! Yesterday my husband and I attended the School of Church Planting at our church - Deliverance Bible Church in Hurst, TX - and found out that all the future church planters will be RUNNING the church one Sunday in December while all our pastors are in Miami at a conference! This is a huge challenge for all of us, especially those who will be stepping up to preach and lead worship. My husband willl be praying after the praise and worship, and we will both be part of the prayer team which prays for the service before it starts.
In the evening we attended a wedding shower for an engaged couple at our church; it was in a small community center of an apt. complex, and the kids were pretty energtic! They were jumping and dancing and keeping us all entertained! :)
Today is the usual schedule - service at 2, then we pop over to the Kyrie service in Fort Worth that Calvary Lutheran hosts in a bar - Zio Carlos on Magnolia Street - and THEN finally the Joyful Noise Worship Centre that for NOW is held on the patio of the Taco Cabana on Little Road in Arlington. I feel the Lord is calling me to look into a new location soon, most likely at a rehearsal place in Arlington.......
I have been neglecting blogging for the past week or so.....been super busy on Tophatter though, trying to get things sold! I have had minimal success, and am still experimenting with what people over there want and how much they are willing to pay. I have TONS of supplies now, everything from boxes to ring blanks! Here are a few pics of some cheaper things I am putting over there...
Posted by Amy Berthelet on October 8, 2012 at 11:22 AM under
Yesterday was filled as usual with church activities - 2pm service at Deliverance Bible Church, then over to Zio Carlo's Brew Pub at 5pm for Kyrie, where Joshua Irwin performed and there was also a double baptism! At 8 my husband and I headed to Taco Cabana for the weekly Joyful Noise Worship Centre which we host on the porch (with closed windows this time!) Even though nobody joined us this time, Holy Spirit still came while Misty Edwards' Relentless album was playing on my laptop.
Even though I am loving this cooler weather - Saturday's block party was enjoyed while sitting around a fire pit in the middle of the street, wrapped in coats and blankets - our house seems to want to stay at a constant chilly 66 degrees :( It may have something to do with the fact of the big gaping hole in the ceiling that my hubby has yet to patch up......
Today I will be picking out some items to place in our neighbors' boutique, and also designing a new piece to be put on Tophatter - this one is really sparkling!
Anyone posting SPAM comments to this blog be advised, it will not help you, as I go through them each day and delete spam......any real comments will be entered into a monthly drawing to win an item of your choice on this site.
As I have not gotten a response from last month's winner of the giveaway, the names from last month will be re-entered into the Oct. drawing. Again, please only comment if you really are interested in the post, and please check your spam filters and add email@example.com to your approved list, so winners can get their notices! Thanks!
Today is the block party where I will be setting up a table for my jewelry and perhaps my other crafts as well - anyone in the Arlington Texas area, it is from 2-10pm on Shady Hill Lane. There will be hotdogs and hamburgers, a bounce house and of course my jewelry :) I believe a Scentsy seller will also be displaying her items.
Congratulations to Paul Simong, the September drawing winner! He wins his choice of 1 item from this site!
The next drawing will begin tomorrow at 9am - same rules - leave a comment on the blog or be the winning bidder on Tophatter.com for one of my items on auction and you will be entered for the next giveaway on Oct 31.
Today is the last day to be included in the September drawing for a random item from this site! I will draw a name tonight around 10PM and announce the winner on here and in an email......just leave a comment on this blog and you're entered! The drawing for October will begin Monday morning at 9am.
In other news, fall is trying to arrive again here in TX - after ANOTHER heat wave of 90's, it is in the 70's and rainy! It feels so good to be able to wear something other than a tank top, shorts and sandals! But on the not-so-good side, our recently repaired roof sprung a leak, which I discovered yesterday after emerging from my office to finally eat......so it is a construction zone again. This time my husband has to wait until the rain ends so he can go out on the roof to find the leak.
Today is the usual Sunday routine - DBC (church) at 2pm, then grab a burger and head over to Kyrie at Zio Carlo's in Ft. Worth, then the Joyful Noise Worship Centre in Arlington around 8. Havin my coffee now - I found some coffee pods at Walmart for my Senseo machine!!!! :)
Right now I am making 2 GO! France bracelets for the Pastor of our church and his wife, for when they go to Paris next year and do missions as a family. For the first time I am engraving in cursive on the medallions, which looks a lot nicer!
While I was attempting to follow Tophatter auctions and cut beading wire, I snipped the end of my left middle finger with the scissors.....looked worse than it was.
And while RSVPing for the neighborhood block party on Oct. 6, the lady who runs it told me I am allowed to set up tables and sell my jewelry!!!! For anyone in the area of Arlington, TX it is on the block of 5700 Shady Hill Lane, from 2-10pm. I am so excited!!!!
Now to work a little more on the bracelets before leaving for Bible study......
This is something I came up with just for the crowd at Tophatter.com - a simple crystal and goldtone chain bracelet. I am also experimenting with my scanner and different backgrounds to make the pics more appealing. It seems that if I just lay a piece of light color cardstock over the jewelry instead of the flat top of the machine it looks slightly better......I am in the market for an affordable priced Canon Powershot.
Starting today I will be sharing some personal stories, tidbits about my day and the 'inner workings' of my company. I spent most of today just trying to log into my AmysNotions site, which has not been cooperative lately! I also want to send my appreciation to Paul and Wanda for all their patience - I know I can be a pain to work with! ;) Happy birthday Wanda!!
Everything else is rather slow here.....I tried to auction off an ensemble this morning at Tophatter.com, but nobody placed a bid :( I did make a new gold and crystal bracelet, but I need to find a better camera other than my flatbed scanner - I guess it looks clear enough to me but it actually isn't to anyone else????
I will also let you in on the antics of my beloved cat Lilly - 1/2 of Lillystone (Stone passed away earlier this year), and share those pics too. She's probably curled up in a laundry basket somewhere.....she prefers boxes and baskets and paper bags to the store-bought pet beds!
I have an item in tomorrow's Jewelry Auction - it is on Standby, and will not be in the actual auction until someone bids the $5 minimum - it is the Shield of Style Ring! The auction starts at 11am tomorrow (Sept. 14) and here is a link to enter.... http://www.tophatter.com
I experimented today with placing an item on Tophatter.com for auction - it was the Abalone Watch. It sold for a total of $21 BUT the buyer had a $10 credit - plus PayPal and Tophatter fees. I am supposed to be getting the $10 back from Tophatter.....if I do I will consider placing items on auction from time to time.....I will announce it on my site beforehand - and every winner will also be placed in the monthly drawing!
I finished all the assignments and will mail them off tomorrow at the post office (no WAY am I trusting this to the local carrier)! Took the test, got an A-. Now I just have a few pages at the end of the Study Guide to go through, which pertain to photographing jewelry and jewelry supply resources. Unit 2 comes after my next 2 tuition payments, which would make it around Nov-Dec.....going to be hard waiting that long; we'll see how long I can hold out!
Well, I have finished the first 2 projects for Unit 1! Yesterday I assembled a collage made up of things that inspire me - mine is all Victiorian-style decor. Lots of ruffles, lace, pastel colors, and images that evoke a feeling of richness and luxury. Today for project 3 I have to take an old piece of jewelry and cut it apart and think about how I can use the components to create a new piece of jewelry. When my assignments come back from the school I may share them on here. I'm off to recycle some jewelry!
I received the first lesson shipment yesterday from the Sheffield School of Interior Design! I am going to be taking the Jewelry Design Course. Included were a textbook, 2 smaller study guide books, 2 CDs and a DVD - plus slipcases to hold them all in! I started immediately - there is a certain order you are supposed to do each lesson in, alternating between audio, video and text. Now I am beginning my 1st assignment! I have to find examples of jewelry I love and jewelry I don't care for, print the pictures and paste them on paper, and then answer some questions about each kind. There are a few more assignments for this Unit, including making a collage and taking some old jewelry apart and examining it and coming up with ideas on how to redesign it......and while I am doing all this I also will be paying bills, working on this website, and who knows what else? Oh yeah, church stuff! My life is packed full of blessings and I love it!
I recently enrolled in the Sheffield School of Design and am going to be working on a certificate in Jewelry Design: Beading and Wire Working! Today my materials for the first lessons came, and I am so excited! I will share what I am learning on this site and I expect the quality of my jewelry offerings to increase with my skill. Stay tuned for more as I embark on this new chapter of my life!
Starting at the end of September I will be giving away a random piece of beaded jewelry (ornaments in the winter months) to 1 winner every month - just enter your information on the form to be placed in the drawing. 1 entry per person per month. All information is completely confidential and will not be shared with anyone.
This is a Christian missions bracelet for the Democratic Republic of Congo....I ran out of my usual silver medallions and haven't gotten my new order in yet, so I substituted another style of bezel instead. This particualr bracelet is longer than normal......
For anyone having difficulties with placing an order online - simply go to whatever item you wish to purchase and click the Add To Cart button. You can look at the items in your cart by going to the Shopping Cart page on the left-hand menu. When you are ready to check out, go to the Order/Checkout page on the menu - otherwise click on the Continue Shopping option. You can pay using a credit/debit card online at the checkout page. If you wish to send a check or money order by mail, you can print out the order page, fill it in and mail it with your payment - the mailing address is on the contact page and also at the bottom of the site.
If you still have any questions PLEASE email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (817) 393-5007.
If anyone has tried to place an order recently and found that the shopping cart did not work, I am sooooo sorry - my account with ProPay had expired and I didn't catch it! :( It is now up and running again, so please feel free to shop to your hearts' content! And in the future, if something doesn't work on my site for any reason PLEASE email me at email@example.com - the same goes for my AmysNotions site - the email is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call me at (817) 393-5007 with regards to either site.
Some of the new happenings at Amy's Handmade Gifts : at AmysNotions.com, you are able to choose from 47 different USPS shipping methods, with the cost for shipping automatically calculated! In the future, I may add other methods like UPS or FedEx, if there is a demand.
Also, I am able to ship orders from home now through the ProPay merchant account, so if you pay by credit card the shipping can be expedited! More to come on this later as I do more research.
I am still receiving quite a few spammy emails from people in other countries trying to prey on my sympathies with their fake stories. These are going directly to the junk folder, so please just don't bother sending them.
Thank you for reading this; I hope to please many different tastes in the future with my new offerings of jewelry and other projects! - Amy B.
I have been noticing a LOT of comments that seem to be coming from forums that have absolutely nothing to do with this site - FYI every day I go through all new comments and DELETE the ones that are SPAM - I have no idea where these are coming from (some seeem to be legit. threads from other forums about various topics) - but they will not be showing up here. PLEASE make sure your comments are pertinent to the blog post! Thank you - Amy
As of today I am reviewing and deleting all SPAM comments - all guest posts have to be approved first before they appear on my blog, so PLEASE make sure they are valid and appropriate to my site before posting! Thanks!
I have been receiving numerous calls from companies promising they can improve my rankings - I am currently paying off a license at Stores Online, which means I will not have any disposable income until after 2013. And if I decide to go with a company for SEO help, it will be Stores Online. Until then, please do not contact me about optimizing my site - I have plenty of free tools currently at my disposal; I simply have not had time to work on it much lately, due to other pressing matters.
For webmasters - Please do not request 3-way exchanges or exchanges with non-relevant sites. I accept sites having to do with jewelry, fashion, directories, etc. Right now I have a large number of link partners, so I am mainly looking for one-way links.
If you are intending to commit fraud by 'ordering' from this site using a bad cc, trying to gain illegal access to my bank accounts etc., be aware - YOU WILL BE REPORTED TO THE FBI. I do not take this lightly.
I have just added a set of birdcage ornaments to the site which I think you will love!
For the next few days, I will be going through some training for call center work, so I probably will not be able to add more Christmas inventory until next week. Please be assured, I do check this site every day and orders will NOT be delayed!
Last night as I was about to put everything on sale, my little netbook froze up, and then Windows refused to load. I got an early Christmas present from my mother-in-law - a brand-new HP notebook!!! So please accept my sincere apologies about the sale not starting at midnight - I will now be extending it until Monday morning - thank you for your understanding - God bless!
The sale on spring and summer jewelry items will only continue through the October 31, so get your deals now!
Regarding the new GO! line, I expect to get some supplies for making engraved tags sometime next month, and I will begin making the bracelets - I think I will do Germany (Berlin and Munich) next, after completing South Africa (Cape Town and Johannesburg).
I am currently working on party favors and invitations at my other site, AmysNotions.com.
I am working on 2 brand-new concepts for jewelry lines...Lillystone will be higher-quality pieces with an intricate look, and GO! will be pieces featuring the flag colors of various nations! Stay tuned for further updates.....
I apologize for the glitch with the shopping cart - the processor that I am using had anerror that is now fixed since I brought it to their attention! This was only for ppl trying to use Discover card....should now function perfectly!
Check out the latest item available - "Copper Connections" in Jewelry Sets.
And in my other site Amy's Handmade Gifts (Amysnotions.com) I will soon be adding a brand-new project - handmade bath items! They will be rose-scented. I will announce it as soon as I am finished and have them listed.
My latest card collection "Polar Party" has been added to my other gift site, Amy's Handmade Gifts. Next on the list - crochet! This will be a major challenge since I haven't done this since I was a little girl, learning from my grandmother.
I may just be getting the hang of this now! My site is evolving day by day - now it is easier to view the products in a category, plus I am giving my home page some new looks as well.....the summer sale will run through Sunday, so take advantage!
As I daily work on getting customers to my site, I am finding I need some method of commmunication and feedback. There has to be some way of finding out why people are not purchasing - lack of funds, poor offerings, errors in my website? So I am implementing a few methods of collecting feedback to improve the business. If you are reading this and have decided to not make a purchase today, can you please spend a few minutes and leave a comment here as to the reasons? It will just take a minute of your time and I would REALLY appreciate it!
Sun. June 19, 2011
Finished 1 beaded bookmark (out of 4) - didn't turn out quite as I expected, but still looks good. Still deciding if I want to part with these or not.....
Tues. June 21, 2011
Working on bookmark #3...they are really turning our gorgeous! Still working on my links, hoping to get that elusive PR! A sale wouldn't hurt either....
Wed. June 22, 2011
Working on optimizing my site's pages and images so I can get PageRank - also now submitting for links. Hopefully later tonight there will be time for me to finish working on bookmark #3. The Summer Sale will continue for at least a couple more days.
Fri. June 24, 2011
The beaded bookmarks are finally finished and listed! I kept 1 out of the 4 for myself - it was just too pretty! :) Made some changes to my home page also.