Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #4: We Were Experiencing Technical Difficulties...

My apologies to anyone who visited our store earlier this week and found it in disarray. As I mentioned in last week's message, we scheduled our monthly update for this week. As promised, the Focal Piece of the Month has been changed and we made some minor tweaks here and there. I've also moved all of the NOT FOR SALE photos from the active Store area to the GALLERY link in the menu on the left-hand side of that page to minimize confusion. Unfortunately, in doing so, I accidentally tripped over some code -- I'm not quite sure how -- and messed up the Store pages for the three active Inventory Items categories. We got things straightened out relatively quickly, but anyone who happened to peek into the Store during that period of time would have found a bit of a mess in there. :o

In any case, now it's all cleaned up and everything is as it should be. :) I've also added a few new items to the "Kits from sb designs" area and one to the Non-gemstone Items" section. With my MSU class heading into full swing and the Adult School class now finished, I won't be adding too many new items to the Inventory very frequently. I'll be working on items ordered by request in whatever free time I have, so I will keep posting items to the GALLERY as I am able, though. And there are a couple of things I want to do for the Valentine's Day Party meeting of BSNJ, so I'll post those as well. :) And we have four major projects for MSU this semester, so those will be very different than anything you've seen from me so far. ;)

Hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend. I can't believe it's already February...where did January go? LOL
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #3: Keeping Busy!

I apologize for the delay in sending out this week's message, but I've had my hands full with taking classes, keeping up with the website, taking and fulfilling orders, plus working an unrelated full-time job to help keep this all going! Who needs sleep, right?

I attended my first meeting of the Bead Society of New Jersey (BSNJ) this past Thursday. I found out about the group at the Innovative Bead Expo last October. They meet monthly about 40-45 minutes south of here, which isn't bad as long as the Parkway isn't backed up. This meeting featured a challenge to create a piece of jewelry in 45 minutes given some chain, connectors, a focal piece and large piece of filigree. I didn't finish mine in time to be judged, but the winners received free merchandise from Kabela Design, hosts of the challenge and the guest vendor for the evening. They specialize in vintage materials -- antiqued gold, copper, etc. I bought some really nice things from them! :D BSNJ has some pretty fun and interesting things planned for the next few meetings from what I can tell, so I think it will be a good activity/organization for me to become involved with, and I met some nice people there.

I've got my final class at the Adult School coming up this Tuesday...and I'm FINALLY going to learn how to make RINGS! I'm pretty excited about that! I've really gotten a lot out of these classes and met some great people. I'm already looking forward to the one-day summer camp hosted by one of the teachers in July or August.

I also attended my first MSU Metalwork & Jewelry class on Friday night. This class is no joke! We have to do an oral presentation for the mid-term critique and submit 10 drawings a week in our sketch books. Luckily, I got a head start on those after I attended one class last fall, so I have 17 already done! :D

I've uploaded all of the sample photos to the GALLERY section of the Store, so the NOT FOR SALE section will be taken down soon. I'll wait until we update the site in the next week or so -- keep an eye out for the new Focal Piece of the Month -- so the intro to the Store will reflect the change and not confuse people. :)

Take care and thanks for your continued interest!
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #2: Something Tangible Makes Its Mark on Facebook

During the week before we launched this website, I launched a Something Tangible Application and Something Tangible LLC Fan Page on Facebook. In the world of social media, that's where I have the largest presence. I have Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, but I actually participate regularly on Facebook and have 411 Friends on my personal page, gathered together and combined from the various phases of my life. Of course, that number also includes some strictly Facebook friends, made playing one Facebook application or another.

Since the week between Christmas and New Year's, the company Fan Page has garnered an impressive 880 fans as of this evening! I will gladly give a large amount of the credit for that to a Facebook sidebar ad I've been running since December 27, but the ad has a limit of something like 88-95 clicks a day. I'm actually paying per click up to a set dollar amount per day. In any case, just because people click on the ad and check out the page, that doesn't automatically mean they will be interested in our message or opt to "Become a Fan" of the company. So, while the ad is driving traffic to the page -- an ad I wrote the copy and selected the photo for, I may add -- it is still the company and its message that is getting their attention and keeping it there. I am very proud of that.

As for the date, we have on record 59 "monthly active users," 28 of which are people on my Friends list. Facebook actually gives me that statistic as the developer of the app. We've also given 686 gifts so far -- again, since the week between Christmas and New Year's. The application only has four fans, including me and three friends, but that's okay. I don't think too many people think about becoming fans of applications or post much on their pages. The gift-giving is the more relevant statistic here. :) For anyone not familiar with Facebook applications, the idea is that users send friends something like "success," accompanied by a photo of one of my jewelry pieces that have gemstones in it with properties that address success. The photo is marked as "Success (Turquoise)." Other traits included so far are truth, sincerity, wisdom, prosperity, love, balance, among others. Basically, I just look up whatever is in a particular piece and select something from the list of properties I find on the internet. I thought it was pretty clever for a marketing scheme. :D

I started my Advanced Wire Jewelry class last night at the Adult School and had my Montclair State University Orientation this past Saturday. That class starts next Friday. I also have my first meeting with the Bead Society of New Jersey (BSNJ) next Thursday. That will be a beading challenge presented by Kabula Designs.

And I should mention that the gurus at LightWork Designs managed to sidestep GoDaddy's standard format and set up a photo gallery in the Store, so I'll be moving the NOT FOR SALE photos there when I get a chance. That will be less confusing. That was what we originally wanted, but GoDaddy's standard format wasn't cooperating. :\

Take care and, as always, feel free to contact me if you have questions regarding any products you see here or if you'd like to request variations on a particular product, either in stock or no longer in stock. I'll do my best to accommodate you.

Thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

An Oversight

I have an apology to make...and my only excuse is that when you're putting together a website, you're trying to remember 6,492 details and somehow #4,376 falls through the cracks.

I neglected to list the beaded fringe scarves (a black velvet one in the NOT FOR SALE section and a green shimmer one in the Non-Gemstone Items area) as being kits I obtained from Bead My Love at the Innovative Beads Expo last October. Also, the two pairs of earrings inspired by those scarves should have mentioned Bead My Love in their descriptions. That has been corrected. My sincerest apologies to Meg Fillmore and Moggie Moyer for the oversight. I don't know if Meg has had time to pop in here, but if she noticed, she's been too polite to mention it. :) In any case, I don't like to take credit for other people's work and I certainly wouldn't do it deliberately. Bead My Love was the first link I added to the website at the bottom of the page. However, even if you click on it, it wouldn't be obvious that I got the scarves from them. So, I wanted to set the record straight. Thank you, ladies! :D
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Monday, January 4, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #1: A Belated Happy New Year!

Well, we've finally got the website up and running, as you can see. The store was the last section to get squared away, and that seems to be functioning reasonably well. Please let me or the Webmaster know either here, through any of the links throughout the site or on the Contact Us page if you come across anything that doesn't seem quite right. We've been pretty thorough in checking everything out, but nobody's perfect.

I've gotten a lot of positive feedback on the site so far, so thank you to everyone who has contacted me about it. It's always good to have positive reinforcement. ;)

The next few weeks and months should be pretty exciting, so anyone who is impressed with what you've seen so far, hold on to your seat belts because we've only just started this ride! LOL Next week, I start a three-week course in Advanced Wire Jewelry at the Chatham, Madison & Florham Park Adult School, so expect the Kits from sb designs section of the store to expand quite a bit in the next month or so! Toward the end of the month, I start my Metalwork and Jewelry class at Montclair State University, which will include working with jewelry saws and, we're talking heavy duty stuff! That class will go until May, so I expect to have some pretty interesting projects to share and topics to discuss this spring as a result.

I'm also starting to do a bit more work "by special request," so you'll be seeing some unique items going straight into the NOT FOR SALE -- Photo Gallery of Samples for Design Purposes Only area. Feel free to contact me if you have a specific idea in mind and I'll let you know if I can make it work, given the limitations of my current abilities, your budget and the materials available. If I can't do exactly what you want, I'll try to propose something as close to it as I can possibly come within those pre-determined parameters. :)

I hope everyone had a safe and Happy New Year! May we all have a joyful, healthy, and prosperous 2010. :)
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