Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Productive Week

I am feeling so good about everything I've gotten done on my shops this week!

As of my typing, I've gotten nine new listings up at my main site, and five up at Zibbet store. Five of the listings on my main site were figuring out how to take 20+ individual listings and condense them by using drop-down options, and I'm pleased to report that the listing condensation went swimmingly. I even made Pinterest-friendly collage photos (watermarked, to boot) as the first photo for those listings. :D

Like this!
As a result of all the store activity on my end, my views are up a lot in both shops. They may just be search engine bots, but I'm happy about it. As I'm listing, I'm also promoting the new listings on Pinterest, Facebook, Zibbet, and Google+, so I'm sure at least some of the views are from people. ;)

I've also been going through my Zibbet listings and removing some of the copy-paste, in-every-listing text (like the prompt for shoppers to visit my Facebook page). If I'm trying to make a sale on Zibbet, why would I send people to Facebook? Or so my thinking goes. I can always send them to my Facebook and Google+ pages (and here) in my thank-you-for-buying note.

Hopefully, the decrease in duplicate text will help with my SEO and Google ranking, too; that's another reason why I condensed the 20+ earring listings into five - I'd rather rewrite a listing, trying to not repeat myself, five times instead of over twenty. I considered removing those earrings from Zibbet entirely, but the white and blue pair (pictured above) is one of the biggest draws to my shop, according to my shop stats.

Anyway, there's still a LOT of work to be done. Aside from adding new listings in perpetuity (Google loves activity!), I want to watermark all of my photos as I have above. They just look nice like that. I still need to customize the colors on my site to fit my "pretty but not obnoxious" pink scheme that I have here and on Zibbet. (Side note: would you believe that pink is one of my least favorite colors? I just remember that every time I think about my branding, and I have to chuckle. I picked it originally as part of a pink-brown-green nature theme, but somehow the pink and brown have taken over.) Zibbet's allegedly going to roll out its site rebuild pretty soon, and I'm sure there'll be a learning/adjustment period associated with that. I also want to increase my mailing list from 0 to >0 subscribers. Plus there are still Zibbet listings to edit (removing the duplicate text, like I said).

I also plan to join a local show this winter, and while I have a lot of stock, I need to create more to really feel prepared. There's also the issue of displays - I have exactly two nice necklace displays, and my one earring display is kind of...well, the charitable way to describe it is that when I made it, it only needed to look nice from a couple of angles, for photos. I'm also not sure exactly how one is supposed to display chokers. I'm considering keeping a Quaker Oats canister, wrapping it in some nice paper or fabric, and using that. I have so many macrame chokers, it's not even funny, and none of them are listed in my online stores because I have little to no idea how to display them. Oh, and I need to get new business cards printed and shipped to me - I only have a few business cards on me, and they all say Etsy. There are a bunch of cord necklaces with unfinished ends that I need to tie up, too.

It's a lot of work, this little hobby of mine, but it gives me something productive to do, instead of playing video games in my off-time. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against video games, but at least this hobby pays for itself. ;)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"I'm Getting Tired of Looking at These Necklaces" Sale!

Howdy, folks! I've had these necklaces made for a while, though they've only been listed online for a couple years, and some of them have been just sitting around for almost ten years - oh my goodness, has it really been that long?

As the blog post title says, I'm getting tired of looking at them. Everything in the Clearance section of my Zibbet store, including the necklaces pictured above, is on sale, 20% off, from now until June 15. No coupon code is needed, though I do have a standing coupon for free shipping on orders over $25 (coupon code SHIPFREE). At the risk of sounding cliché, check out the savings! :P

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Latest Pieces

The upside to having a broken toe is that I've gotten lots of jewelry done! My photography skills are a little rusty, but check it out:

Updated, 5/23/14: When I posted this, I had forgotten about a bracelet and hair accessory! They're the first two photos below: 

Red and silver bracelet by BokBok Jewelry.
Acrylic beads, silver-tone findings.
The beads look magenta on my screen, but in real life,
they're this really deep, rich red.

Red and silver hair accessory by BokBok Jewelry
Acrylic, glass, and silver beads, plus craft feathers.
As the bracelet above, the red's not showing up right on the beads.
This piece is fairly lightweight and should stay in place with a good-quality bobby pin.

Green and white ombre set by BokBok Jewelry.
Stone chips with steel chain.

Pink and silver set by BokBok Jewelry.
Plastic and silver beads with steel chain.

Teal and yellow set by BokBok Jewelry.
Painted glass pearls, silver beads, and steel chain.

Red and smoky purple set by BokBok Jewelry.
Painted glass pearls, lampwork glass beads, silver beads, and steel chain.

Silver and pink set by BokBok Jewelry.
Pink pearly beads, steel chain, and silver-colored everything else.

Three simple pendant necklaces by BokBok Jewelry.
Plastic beads, silver rings, and steel chain.

Steel chain loop earrings by BokBok Jewelry.
One pair is pink and yellow, and the other is blue and orange.
Plastic beads, steel chain, and silver findings.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

5 Things I Learned From Breaking My Toe

This is the first bone I've broken, and while I would rather have continued my no-breaks record instead of shattering it (along with my toe), I've learned some things along the way. Instead of breaking your own toe, please learn from my fail:

1. The initial pain, while the most intense, was not the worst. The worst is the recurring pain. I leave the foot down for too long - it hurts. I accidentally walk normally - it hurts. I do nothing and the nerve endings twitch - it hurts. The best part and the worst part of all this? It doesn't hurt all the time. That's the best part because, obviously, pain-free is the way to be; it's the worst part because if it hurt all the time, I'd be more inclined to take some ibuprofen. Since it doesn't hurt constantly, I've gotten myself convinced that I don't need the pain-killers...until the next time it hurts.

2. The itching! My god, the itching. I've read about broken bones before and know people who have broken something before, and so I knew on an intellectual level that the healing process itches, but I was not prepared for the very intense, prickly heat sensation. I can't even scratch it, because - you guessed it - that hurts. I just keep reminding myself that it's a sign of healing, and how it's really a good thing, and yadda-yadda-yadda I just want to scratch the bone it itches so much. The only experience I've had to compare this to is allergy-induced itchy eyes, where I just want to pop my own eyeballs out to get to the source of the itching. That is gross, now that I read it, but that's how I feel in the middle of allergy season, and it's how my foot feels now.

3. The whole "keeping it wrapped" thing. I've been "buddy-taping" the broken toe to a healthy neighboring toe, as one is supposed to do in this situation, and there is a very fine line between "wrapped loose enough to irritate the break", "wrapped just right", and "wrapped too tightly and now your pinky toe's turning purple".

4. Broken toes are apparently enthralling to kids and animals. My loving daughter and dog keep bumping it or trying to lay on it or poke/sniff at it. I know they're curious and/or concerned, but neither one of them understands the concept of "leave it alone, will ya?"

5. This one was the most mind-boggling for me: Contrary to what I believed prior to this experience, you do not need to kick something hard to break a toe. In my case, I kicked my other foot while taking a stumble first thing in the morning; it wasn't even a powerful kick, but I hit that toe just right (or just wrong), and bam! - broken. The toes on either side were fine, but the "little piggy who had none" was just unlucky, I guess. I've rebroken it twice since the original injury, and in both cases, they were regular toe-stubbings that just happened to hit the exact wrong toe. The last one was against a table leg, something I've done a million times, and oh man, it hurt so much, even worse than the initial injury.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Latest Project - Agate, Tigerseye, and Hematite Necklace

No better way to keep something a surprise than to put it on the internet, right?

Close-up of the agate focal.
I started work on this one today - don't tell my mom, but it's her gift for Mother's Day. ;) She helped me pick out most of these beads, years ago when I first started transitioning from macrame to stringing, and I think she'll really like it.

The focal is a disk of stone - agate, if I remember correctly - that has these really neat sunrise colors in it. It's partially see-through, so it shows up greenish on my blue beading board, but it's really yellow and reddish-orange. It's undrilled, so I picked out a goldish color of wire to wrap around it and make a bail. I strung it with tigerseye rounds and chips, hematite chips, antiqued brass beads shaped as hearts, gold-colored metal beads with a rose motif, and gold-colored glass beads. I originally didn't have the gold beads in there (they were more glass beads instead), but the necklace was just too dark and needed a little more shine, which is where the gold rose beads come in.

I don't normally put brown and black together, but the two colors were already there in the agate and the tigerseye, and I think the hematite is shiny enough to stand up to the other beads and not get lost. It's fun to push my own envelope sometimes. :)

The necklace is unfinished for now, because I want to get my mom over at the end of the week to measure it so it will hang where she wants it to. I plan to finish it with more of those glass beads - they'll leave a nice, smooth feel against the back of the neck, unlike the chips - and a brass toggle clasp.