Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #33: Cee Lo & E-Sales Circulars

I'm pretty sure most of you are not from New Jersey, but today's Newark Sunday Star-Ledger ran an article in the entertainment section about a song that is a mega-hit on YouTube, but can't be aired on radio or music video stations. The name of the song can't be written in print publications either. If you're familiar with Cee Lo or the song, then you know to which one I'm referring. Apparently, everybody who is anybody knows this tune...and I'd never heard of it (not exactly surprising). :o Well, I checked out YouTube today after reading the article, and I have had the song playing on an endless loop for most of the day while working! LOL Aside from it having a good dance-in-your-seat beat -- the article likened it to the style of Smokey Robinson, although Smokey would never use foul language -- whenever the words penetrate my brain, they in turn make me laugh out loud, chuckle, and genuinely smile. I am not easily offended, so the language doesn't bother me. The concept in the song is something anyone can relate to...and I just find the delivery completely amusing! :D Maybe part of the reason I like it so much is because the song reminds me of someone I used to know who liked to talk dirty. We lost touch a while ago, and this song makes me feel like he's not so far away. I hope we meet up again someday. ;)

ANYWAY, before I forget again this week, the new Focal Piece of the Month went up last week. I know a few people saw it, so thanks for remembering to look for it! :)

I have a decision to make regarding the Virtual Mall (VM). I receive emails semi-regularly from vendors about special sales and promotions they are running. We can only update the website once a month right now, and the Virtual Mall is something that is beyond my capability to handle updating myself. So, I was thinking about sending out a separate message to those interested in keeping up to date with the various opportunities presented by the VM vendors. A weekly Virtual Mall Deals & Discounts message could be sent on Wednesday or Thursday, and it would be clearly marked to differentiate it from the Sunday (and occasionally Monday) Tangible Tidbits newsletter/messages. I would start out by sending it to the existing newsletter list, and then anyone wishing to be unsubscribed from that mailing can opt-out by sending a response email with "Remove" in the subject line. If someone decides that she wants to be removed from all correspondence, then she can respond with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line, and I will remove that name from both lists. My concern is that this second weekly message will be viewed as spam. My goal is obviously not to annoy anyone, but to offer information about special sales and promotions that they may be interested in checking out at the Virtual Mall. What I have been doing up until now is just "filing away" the messages if the time frame doesn't fit with our updating schedule, but I realize that is doing my audience a disservice. On the other hand, I don't want to take valuable time away from other necessary tasks to draft and send out these messages if people aren't interested.

Any feedback on this issue would be greatly appreciated. I do have a few messages held aside for Back To School and Halloween sales (ALREADY??), so if there IS interest in receiving this kind of "e-sales circular," please let me know. Next week, I'll report my findings and if it's a go, the first Virtual Mall Deals & Discounts issue will go out September 8 or 9. Naturally, if anyone just can't wait to find out about the discounts being offered, feel free to contact me directly and I can give you the scoop. ;)

Something Tangible had a number of sales and custom inquiries this week, so I'm happy about that. I'm not quite on track to make my sales goal for the quarter (50% more than last quarter), but we still have a month to go. We are past the half-way mark to making at least as much as last quarter, so surpassing that figure would still demonstrate steady growth. Can't ask for much more than that in this economy, right? :D

I hope people in the NY Metro area enjoyed the break in the summer heat we had this past week. Looks like we're expecting another scorcher this coming week! :p

Take care and catch you during the three-day Labor Day Weekend next time! :)
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #32: Rain, Rain & More Rain!

I don't know about you...but when it is dark, rainy, and gloomy outside, I have virtually NO energy. I just want to hibernate and stay in bed all day, which I did for much of today! Unfortunately, we're not supposed to see much sunshine before Thursday. I have hopefully gotten out of my "hibernation mode" -- thankfully, today is Sunday and I could get away with it! -- since I have stuff to do during the week. ;)

I played around a bit this week and came up with some new pairs of earrings, a key chain, a crystal puffed heart pendant -- a lovely person from the Bead Society of NJ graciously sent me the instructions -- and a nickel & Chinese Turquoise ring. The ring was a complete experiment, but I think it turned out rather well. I'll post pics later on tonight. :)

I spent a lot of time this week working on a personal project, so I don't have a lot of business news to report today. :\ I decided last weekend to hold a Virtual Garage Sale of my television memorabilia from five years in the "La Femme Nikita" (LFN)(USA Network 1997-2001) and a year or so in the "Moonlight" (ML)(CBS 2007-2008) fandoms. I still have to go through my ML stuff, but I have acquired a massive amount of LFN stuff over the years, so I tackled that one first. Everything from wardrobe pieces to scripts to charity event photos to fan art. I even have a director's cut and other footage from a number of episodes on VHS and DVD. Cataloging everything and then typing up the 11-page list took up a ridiculous amount of time, but it will be time well spent if I make money from effort. I posted my announcement on Facebook, and received quite a positive response almost immediately, so I'm hopeful this will be a good experience. I forgot to mention that half of the funds received will go to charity: the ML proceeds will go to Donate Life America, as Alex O'Loughlin is an ambassador for this organization, and the LFN stuff will go to Fondation MIRA in memory of a good friend and the former fan liaison between the fandom and MIRA. :)

I did post a "shameless plug" thread in the auction forum on Five Light Years Farther (5LYF) -- I am an administrator of this former LFN board -- for Something Tangible. I don't spend much time there anymore, so I figured I'd let the folks know what I've been doing lately. ;)

Anyway, I will go through the ML stuff in the next week or so, since I have to start taking pictures of everything and creating descriptions before the first auction starts on Tuesday, September 14. I've decided to have multiple auctions of maybe 10 items/packages lasting three days each (I think a full week is too long on eBay, as people tend to forget things over a longer period of time), one a week until everything is gone. Wish me luck! :)

Keep dry and sane over the next few days. And if you happen to be somewhere bright and sunny, I'm jealous! LOL :)
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #31: Where Do I Start?

Hola, everyone! I've got so much to tell you this week, I don't know where to begin! ;)

First, Something Tangible LLC now has its own YouTube channel called Some Tangible Things. It seems that rapid video blogging is the way of the future. I don't have much in the way of appropriate technology to make my own videos yet, so I posted my steampunk PowerPoint presentation there to get started. :)

I also posted a new Factoidz article, since I noticed I slipped to the #2 expert slot in jewelry-making. It worked, as I am back to #1 again! LOL Here's the new story, if you haven't seen it yet:

Methods for Cutting Metal in Jewelry-making & Sculpture

In addition, I created a Testimonials form after completing one for Bead Manager Pro. The landing page when I finished asked me if I wanted to create my own...well, why not? ;) Anyone interested in leaving a testimonial for the website -- and I know a few of you have already expressed interest in it -- please fill in the form below. Thanks! :)

Testimonials form

As if all of the above were not enough to increase my exposure this week, I also started posting product reviews -- complete with my completed project photos -- on You never know who looks at the reviews...someone might get intrigued and take a peek here, right? ;)

I've also posted "shameless self-promotion" entries on four blogs that specifically ask for such content! They are hosted by people who stimulate social media networking as part of their coaching practices. Still, it's free exposure to a different audience than I usually reach! :D

One last item on the "shop talk" portion of this message...I just finished reading Finish What You Start by Craig S. Copeland. I received a copy of the book for free if I agreed to review it on What did I have to lose? I have to say, it helped pull a lot of different things together for me. The subtitle of the book is Unlocking the Success Secrets of the Top 1%, and I believe there's really something to that. He outlines Five Power Principles, many of which I happen to do already naturally. However, it never occurred to me to combine these efforts to maximize impact. It makes a lot of sense, and the book is written in such a way that anyone can digest it pretty easily. If you're looking to complete projects that have been stalled indefinitely, I highly recommend this book! :)

On the personal side, I've had some major bad luck with transportation this week! I went into the garage to find a flat tire AND a dead battery on my car AT THE SAME TIME! Called AAA, who filled the tire enough to get me to the mechanic and tire place, and then checked my battery. It checked out okay, but the alternator was dead. NOT a cheap fix! The mechanic told me from his experience the battery wouldn't last much longer, even though it was in the "good" range. I asked the guy at the tire shop about replacing the battery, and he told me to hold off and see if it held the charge. The next morning, naturally, it was dead again! Jump started it with Mom's car -- she was nervous, but I was pretty confident I knew what I was doing -- and then went to the tire shop again for a replacement battery. In the midst of all this, I borrowed Mom's car to get to a social engagement I had on Wednesday night. Don't you know...I noticed the low fuel light was on when I got on the Parkway? :o Luckily, I had enough gas to get to the correct exit and hit the first gas station I saw. AND I was only about three minutes late! I guess I'm a lucky person after all? LOL

I think that's enough for this week. :p Have a great one! :D
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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #30: A Major Addition

Hey, all! As promised last week, the Something Tangible Virtual Mall is finally operational, although there are a few tweaks we still have to make here and there. :) We've got approximately 200 vendor sites in 12 categories set up, plus a special page for Unique Gifts Under $25. The latter is a collection of Something Tangible's handcrafted items that cost $10 or less, $15 or less, and $25 or less. The links for the new pages are:

Virtual Mall

Unique Gifts

I'm hopeful that people will find this site convenient for many of their online and shopping needs. Vendors include Waterford Crystal, Vera Bradley, Hanes,, Auto Parts Warehouse,, the Microsoft Store,, Nick Jr. Boost, F.Y.E.,, Flight Network, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, SkyMall, The Sharper Image, Save the Children,, Metro PCS,, Vision Direct, and, among many others. From Fine Fashions & Furnishings to Great Gear for Guys, from Trip & Travel Transactions to Vitamins & Vision Venues...we've got you covered! ;)

As for offline activities, I attended a five-hour Wire Jewelry Summer Camp yesterday hosted by Suzanne Banfield, the teacher from one of my classes last fall at The Adult School of Chatham, Madison, & Florham Park. The theme of the day was texturing and oxidizing, so we worked mainly on projects incorporating those techniques. I've added four new items to the Kits by sb designs section of the store, including a bracelet made from copper tubing, earrings made from pure copper washers, and a sterling silver twisted bangle bracelet. I'm really happy with how everything turned out, and I now have added a bunch more tools and products to my ongoing shopping list. Luckily for me, we have some auto supply sites in the Virtual Mall...I guess I'll have to see about getting a plumbing supply store in there, too! LOL

I did finish the embroidered rivoli necklace from my class a few weeks ago, and posted it earlier in the week. I'm almost done with the embroidered Amethyst pin I mentioned in my last post; it should be completed in the next few days. My friend loved the Granite key chain...she said I "make ordinary things look extraordinary." What a boost to my confidence! ;)

As we draw another week of summer 2010 to a close, I hope everyone is keeping well, safe, and happy. :)
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #29: Welcome to August!

Here we are in a brand new month! Sorry I missed you all yesterday, but I had a really bad headache off-and-on all afternoon and evening, so I took a much-needed break and watched "The Bounty Hunter" with Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston On Demand last night. Cute movie! :)

So, I forgot to mention last week that I picked up my printed brochures! They look very nice, although I would have preferred cream glossy paper if the printer had it. Instead, we went with the matte finish because I didn't want it printed on white. The photos look a little flat on the matte finish, but the overall brochure is very good. Many thanks to LightWork Designs in Arizona and Signal Graphics in South Orange, NJ for pulling these together for me! ;) I should really ask the designer for a PDF of the final version, in case I want to email it to anyone. I tend to do a lot of business with people who do not live locally, so I have an email version of my invoice that I can send without having to scan letterhead. :)

I had a very productive week, completing three necklaces, two bookmarks, and a key chain...not to mention putting in a few large chunks of time on updating my database! That project is naturally ongoing, but I feel that I'm accomplishing more on it when I devote a number of hours at a time to it rather than just one a day. It probably averages out to the same amount of time, but it still makes me feel like I've gotten more done this way. :\

My mother changed my mind about the pink braid on the embroidered rivoli from my class a couple of weeks ago. She said it was distracting attention away from the pendant, so I'm waiting on an order of some satin silk string, satin, cotton yarn with matching Swarovski(R) Crystals, polyester chain, and hand-dyed silk, all in dark green, to see how they will look with it. I just received notification that my order was shipped today, so I will hopefully get that completed and posted this week. However, I did finish an embroidered key chain with a Granite stone for a friend in Canada, so you can see that in the Design Samples Gallery on the website or on the Facebook Fan Page if you're curious. ;)

Unfortunately, we had a technological snafu with the Virtual Mall...the file got corrupted somehow over the weekend. We are working on getting it completed sometime this week. Keep your fingers crossed for us! ;)

That's about it for this Monday morning. Hope everyone has a good week! :D
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