Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #11: Once A Good Girl, Always A Good Girl...

It seems my "good girl" status has remained intact, even after being out of school for nearly two decades (I got my master's degree in 1993)! I got an A- for my mid-term grade and a 13.5 out of 17 on the quiz in my class at MSU! :D Mom's response was that I "never liked those minuses." I told her anything with an "A" was fine by me. My father always said anything lower than a "B" may as well be a "Q." :p

We had our demo and studio time on cuttlebone casting this week. It took me two tries to get mine to turn out least I wasn't the only one. It will eventually be a sterling silver pendant, although right now it looks like, as the teacher said, "a sculpture...silver with rocks!" There are small stones in the bottom of the pan where we pour the molten metal into the cast, and the silver leaked through my cast into the stones. There was more than enough to make my piece, so the excess metal that leaked out the bottom kind of formed a base for the "sculpture" and also hardened on some of the stones. It actually looks pretty kewl, so I took a picture with my cell phone camera to preserve it before I cut the "base" off. It's now the wallpaper on my phone. ;)

On the techy side of things, I traded in the HP Deskjet I had here at home for a shiny, new HP Officejet 6500 all-in-one printer/copier/scanner/fax. I'm so excited! I got a $50 rebate for the trade-in, plus I had something like $78 in Staples Rewards dollars accrued from recycling used printer cartridges and previous purchases -- I got my business cards and letterhead there, plus other miscellaneous office supplies -- so the machine ended up costing me $108 WITH the 2-year warranty! :D PLUS, I returned four ink cartridges I had bought for the old printer and didn't use, for which I was refunded more than $140! So, in effect, the printer was FREE! LOL Only in America, folks! :p ;)

Been busy with requests for earrings lately. I still have a bunch of projects "in the wings" that haven't had time limits on them and/or are especially challenging for one reason or another. Don't worry (you know who you are if any of them belong to you), I haven't forgotten any of them! I have a notebook with everything written down -- one of my purchases at Staples ;) -- so nothing gets lost in the shuffle. :) There are also a number of jewelry-making contests coming up in the next couple of months that I want to enter, but I have to create items especially for them. Hopefully, I won't miss any opportunities due to time constraints. :\

Have a good week, one and all! :D
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #10: New Custom Order/Deposit Policy

Due to financial and time management concerns, I have decided to adopt a new policy that will appear on Something Tangible's website next month and in all of the company's written materials going forward. Any previously discussed projects will be "grandfathered in" and, therefore, not affected by the new policy. However, effective immediately, any new custom orders will be subject to the following requirements:

A deposit will be required for all custom orders, the amount to be determined based on the scope of the project. The purpose of this is two-fold. First, it will help defray the upfront cost of materials to be purchased for use in the piece(s). Second, it will enable me to maximize my time and energy in terms of determining which projects will generate income and which ones may not. Serious buyers will be more likely to put down a deposit than "window shoppers." As my schedule is busy and my time limited, I have to concentrate on allocating my resources to projects that will generate income for the company.

Naturally, once the project is completed to the client's satisfaction, the amount of the deposit will be deducted from the final cost of the item. If, however, the purchaser decides not to buy the item after it is completed for any reason -- change of mind, change of circumstance, etc. -- Something Tangible LLC will keep the deposit as partial compensation for materials purchased and time spent on the project.

In addition, merchandise will not, under any circumstances, change hands or be delivered until payment is made in full. There will be no exceptions.

I appreciate your cooperation in this matter. Thank you.
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #9: Frustrated with Facebook

Gotta vent today. For almost a week, I've had trouble accessing the Something Tangible application on Facebook. Not the Fan Page, but the game in which you send pieces of gemstone jewelry to your friends. Not a big deal, really, in the overall scheme of things. I know that. That's not the real problem...although it does obviously put a kink in my outreach/company name recognition efforts on Facebook, as the application provides a really good vehicle for doing that. I presume that since I'm getting an error message that says, "Errors while loading page from application The URL did not respond. Please try again later. We appreciate your patience as the developers of Something Tangible and Facebook resolve this issue. Thanks!" I am not the only one having problems gaining access to it. The problem is that message, in a nutshell. I AM the developer of that application. I used Gift Creator to generate it, so I contacted the developers of THAT application to see if they could help me. Twice. No response. I tried in vain today for a few HOURS to find a contact link for the Facebook developers to reach out for assistance, but all I could find were repeated notices that they are not responsible for problems with applications created by "outside developers." I FINALLY found a link to report bugs regarding gift-giving applications, so I tried that one. I explained that I contacted Gift Creator twice and that the problem is a page loading error. Somehow, I doubt that is something they can fix, either. I received an automatic email response stating -- you guessed it -- "Facebook is not responsible..." Blah...blah...blah. If the application is hosted in Facebook's network, how can they basically wash their hands of anything that they didn't create themselves? My application is just some pictures and words. No complicated graphics. No moving animation. Anything more complicated than my pictures and words is placed there by FACEBOOK, with their larger-than-life pop-up ads for the application-of-the-moment jumping in my face every time I open up the page. So, how can they refer players to the developer with problems and complaints, when we have NO CONTROL over web page loading issues on THEIR network? And how can they DARE to claim that "the developers and Facebook" are working to "resolve this issue?" At least I never claimed to be resolving it! I know my limitations and I KNOW I'm impotent in this situation! So, if I'M not resolving it...and Facebook is disavowing all liability for any applications created by "outside developers," where does that leave us? Perpetually disconnected?

Rant over. Have a good week! :)
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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #8: Email-hijacking Gremlins?

Just wanted to post/send a quick note (really quick this time, I promise! LOL) to let you know that the new Focal Piece of the Month is FINALLY up! Sorry it took so long to get it up this time around. I usually shoot for the updates around the 23rd-25th of the month, since the site first went up around Christmas, but due to personal issues on my end, AND the webmaster's end, AND some mysterious email-hijacking gremlins -- is Mercury in retrograde, by any chance? Just, it's not :o -- this project was just NOT destined to happen in a timely fashion! :p Therefore, this version of the Focal Piece of the Month will probably stay up through the middle of April, rather than change it again in a week or two.

Anyway, I've been super busy this weekend working on my PowerPoint presentation on Steampunk/steampunk jewelry for next Friday night's mid-term critique. Check THAT off the list of things to do! :D Cleaning up my class projects currently for the teacher to review. I felt pretty bleak after class on Friday night with everything I had to get done this week and I didn't feel my work was progressing as it should. Still have the readings to do for the quiz and my 10 weekly drawings. Everything will get done on time, as always. Hopefully, my grades and work will be to my father's standards...anything lower than a "B" may as well have been a "Q" as far as he was concerned. ;)

Back to work! Have a good week!
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