Saturday, October 30, 2010

Harvest day in the garden

This year I wasn't able to get outside and garden as much as I would have liked, in fact, the garden had to run on auto-pilot this year.  That, coupled with the dreaded Japanese beetle, resulted in a pretty small harvest from the garden.

But we did get some lovely grape tomatoes, which were kind enough to seed themselves around the compost pile.  The compost pile is always a source of surprise plants.  :)

Now that it's Fall and the beetles are gone, the roses are blooming again.  And there's always the hope of next year, and hopefully a glorious garden.  And now, the glorious colors of Autumn.

Thanks for dropping by, wishing you a blessed week!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Walk in the Woods in Autumn

Here's a couple pictures from a walk I went on Saturday.  The leaves were starting to turn on the trees, it was a perfect Fall day, sunny and crisp. 

Those red berries looked delicious, but I doubt they're edible.  At least, I didn't sample them to find out.

Hope you get a chance to take some walks in the forest this Autumn too, and enjoy the beauties of God's creation.  :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tropical Leaf sterling silver earrings

I'm really excited about my newest listing at Dalkullan Jewelry .  It's a pair of earrings, called Tropical Leaf sterling silver earrings.  I crafted them using a technique invented by Charles Lewton-Brain, a master gold and silver smith. 

I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Lewton-Brain at the 2010 Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee.  He's a very nice gentleman, and it was great to see him in person, and exchange a few pleasantries.  He's also one of the founders of a wonderful website for jewelry artisans, called Ganoksin , which means 'orchid'.  If you've never been to Ganoksin, it's definitely a website you'll want to visit.  There's tons of information on jewelry fabrication, including videos, and it's all free! 

Back to the Tropical Leaf earrings --- I started by cutting out the basic leaf shape from sterling sheet, then folded it in half after first annealing the metal.  Annealing means to heat with a torch, then quench, or cool, in water.  This makes the metal soft (for metal, that is) and bendable.  After folding it in half, I began repeated cycles of hammering along the non-fold edge, alternating with annealing the metal.

After a course of hammering, the metal becomes work hardened, and becomes stiff and brittle.  Annealing changes the molecular structure of the metal, making it maleable again.  When I'd completed this cycle 4 times, I carefully opened  each leaf, and it arced into a lovely leaf shape along the spine.  I used pliers to carefully manipulate the edges of the leaf, creating extra folds. 

The next step was melting the end of a 20 gauge sterling wire to form a little ball at the end, then soldering it on the front of the leaf, to create a stem, which is also the earwire.  Some more shaping, filing,  sanding, polishing, and patinating, and the earrings were complete.

If you're interested in learning more about fold forming, Mr. Lewton-Brain has written a wonderful book on the topic, called Foldforming it's available at Amazon, among other places.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Twitter Tips -- how to get people to follow you

So you've followed some people on Twitter, and now you're hoping they'll follow you back.  I've got some ideas that could help to make that happen.

1.)  Tweet about more than just your shop.  If all your tweets are buy buy buy, unless you're Jim Cramer, people are might get bored pretty quick. Interacting with people is enjoyable, there are a lot of wonderful Tweeples, give yourself the joy of meeting some of them. :)

2.) Retweet other people's tweets that you find interesting.  It shows that you're not just on Twitter for what you can get, but that you're also interesting in helping others.  Good in life, and also on Twitter. :)

3.) Thank people for RT's.  It only takes a minute, and it's polite and friendly.  If I RT somebody a couple times with no response, I learn my lesson, and stop RTing them.  RT's are helpful because they get sent to all your followers, and also the followers of the person who was kind enough to RT, potentially resulting in a lot of new people reading your tweet.
4.)I know there's a lot of opinions out there on this one, but I almost never DM, or direct message.  If I'm tweeting with someone and want to make it more private, I'll DM, that's about it.  I almost never read the DM's because they could be scams or what's worse, a virus.

And here's my Twitter pet peeve, people who put up quote after quote after quote, especially when the people they attribute the quote to aren't the ones who actually said it.    "Dance as if nobody who could commit you is watching ~ Mark Twain"   Funny, I agree, but not something Mr. Twain ever said.

Please leave a comment, and be sure to add your own tips, I'd love to hear from you!

Here's today's mystery photo.  I have no idea who the gentleman in the photo is, he just walked by as I was taking the shot.  The question is -- where was this photo taken?  Here's a hint, it wasn't anywhere in Europe.

Extra hint, it was taken in southern California. :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Some ways to find people on Twitter to follow

There are a lot of different ways to get more Twitter followers.  There are apps to do so, but I've never used any of them, so I can't comment on that.  I like the direct, hands on approach.  It takes longer, but in my estimation you end up with followers who are more interesting, and are real people, not bots.  What good is having 10,000 followers, if they're mostly bots?

Method 1.) Put up a thread in the Etsy forums, under Promotions, and ask for new followers, and offer to follow them back.  This results in followers who are already on Etsy, have an account set up, and know the mechanics of purchasing on Etsy.  All big pluses.

Method 1.a) Search the Etsy Forum for old threads asking for Twitter followers, go down the list, and follow them -- hopefully they'll return the favor.  This method involves less time on your part than the first Method, but the disadvantage is that you're not directly interacting with people on a thread.  Of course, add yourself to the end of the thread, which will put it temporarily at the top of the Promotions group, which could result in a lot more people following you.

Method 2.) Do a search for #FF on Twitter.  On your Twitter home page, about halfway down on the right hand column, there's a box with "search" in it.  Click on the box, and enter #FF, and it'll pull up all the latest Tweets with the hashtag #FF.  That stands for "Friday follows" and each Tweet will have a bunch of Tweeps listed.  Click on them to follow.  I like to actually go to their home page and make sure that I want to follow them.  Sometimes they tweets about things I don't want to read about, or they only tweet things for sale.

Method 2.a)  Like method 2.) but this time search for #etsy.  Or you could search for anything you think might be helpful, like #jewelry, #knitting, #vintage, etc.

Method 3.)  When you're on a blog or Facebook, look and see if they have a Twitter account, and if they do, follow away.

That's my ideas for finding new people to follow.  I'd love to hear your tips on finding new people to follow, just jot them down in the comments!  Next time, I'm going to blog about how to get people to follow you!

Here's the mystery photo of the day.  I'm looking for what city this picture was taken in, but if you're really feeling sassy, tell me the intersection and the name of the body of water shown.  Bonne chance, mes amis!