Monday, July 30, 2007

"Fans" Bracelet Pattern is Finished


I just finished the pattern "Fans Bracelet" and listed it at My Etsy Shop. I will be working on the pattern for matching earrings very soon. I decided to separate them as the earrings require a slightly different technique.

This striking micro macrame design is simple in conception, but needs a bit of practice to master. Recommended for beginners with some knotting and beading experience. This design primarily uses Double Half-Hitch knots with Lark's Head knots at the beginning and ending. The trickiest parts are beginning, ending, and determining how many seed beads to use per strand. It is all covered in the instructions with plenty of photos.

As with all my basic designs, there is lots of room for creativity. I provide tips on some variations, including how to expand it into a choker.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Yin Yang

There is a little bit of light in darkness, and a little bit of darkness in the light. That is what this simple little design of alternating segments reminds me of.

Not so much in this first one, but in the following pieces it becomes more clear. Remember, you can click on images for larger view.

I hope to begin listing these pieces in My Etsy Shop today.

How about a necklace to match?
Yin Yang Bracelet in Pink and Green
UPDATE: I have begun writing the text for the "Fans" pattern. Sorry, I have not gotten further along. This week, we have had a lot of thunderstorms. Even with surge protection, I do not trust my computer to a Texas thunderstorm! Especially in an old house with a tin roof. So I have had to unplug several times this week. If the weather holds, I should be able to finish up early next week.

Same goes for progress on the new website.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fans on the Way

I have begun work on the pattern for "Fans". It is looking like "Ripple" is a contender for being next after I finish "Fans". Thanks to all who have voted and helped me decide.

I have not gotten much done on the website this week. Due to circumstances at my sweetie's job, he is now on day shift. We have both had to rework our schedules, and it seems to take a little longer to adjust than it used to when we were younger.

I do have some new bracelets made - a new slimmer variation of "Nouveau". I plan on getting them photographed, listed, and posted here in the next couple of days.

And I do need to get caught up on housework now and then, you know.

So, in spite of feeling a little like I am drifting with no anchor, I am getting some of my tasks done. I am sure that I will be back up to snuff once I adjust to this new schedule and re-anchor myself to a new routine....

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Poll

I am gearing up to work on my next pattern. So, if you want to help me decide which pattern to make next, check out the candidates below and then in the sidebar (left) find the "Which Pattern Do You Want Me to Make Next?" voting block and cast your vote.

Voting will continue for 6 days. As soon as I get some results, I will begin work on the most popular design. Keep voting, it will help me decide which one to do 2nd, etc. If this works out, I may use this poll idea again.

Candidates are as follows (remember you can click on image for larger view):

Criss Cross

Fans

Nouveau

Lattice

Ripple

All of the candidates (except for Ripple) will also include instructions for matching earrings and all of them including Ripple can be expanded to make a choker.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Ripple - A New Design Series is Born

My latest experimentation in beaded micro macrame has resulted in a new series - "Ripple".

At right is the prototype, and I am keeping it for my personal collection.

The first one has a few design flaws which I corrected in this next one, "Ripple Bracelet in Green and Black" . (Click on link to find it listed at my Etsy Shop).


Then I experimented some more with this next one in brown, bronze and green. I am still working out some of the finer points and I misjudged how long to cut the cords. I will need to redo it and hope to have a completed version in a few weeks. I have to let a design "rest" sometimes before I am ready to go back to it. This is one of those times because I must start over. (I hate starting over!)


UPDATE ON NEW SITE: Not a lot more accomplished this week due to a personal crisis in our lives. The crisis is now resolved and hopefully I will return to the challenge of building my new website next Monday...Until then, Happy Weekend and Happy Friday the 13th!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

First Day With Drupal...

...And already, I got myself in a pickle.

After the installation of Drupal at my new webhost (OpenSourceHost.com), I received an email telling me the installation was complete and all I had to do was create a new account, and I would be set to start work on my new site. All I could see was my cPanel. This panel has things like databases, email account set ups, etc, but no Drupal. I even sent in a support ticket. Those poor support staff guys! They were very patient with me, and I appreciate it a great deal. Finally, it was determined my problem was that I was looking for Drupal in my webhost account, when I should be looking for it at my KnotGypsyDesigns.com address. Viola! Then, I saw another email in my inbox with a link to go to my Drupal site! Okay. I know I'm not really stupid, but I certainly felt stupid!

So, I got the new account created, and explored some, read up in Drupal.org's handbooks, tweaked the colors, and set the site configuration to work offline. I thought setting this configuration would be a good idea as it will show a screen to the world that the site is under construction, and I could direct people here to this blog for more information and updates on progress. It was a good idea. Want to see it? Go to KnotGypsyDesigns.com.

Then I logged out. Oops. Now, I could not log back in. I just got the screen telling everyone that the site was under construction...

I went to Drupal.org and searched the forums. I found a thread that had been posted last year, but with the same problem. I tried the suggestion (to go to www.example.com/?q=user), to no avail. I posted, asking for help. Today, I received an answer. It was the same suggestion that had previously been given. I normally use FireFox browser, so I swallowed my indignation and used Internet Explorer as it has no cookies for my site. I even cleared its cache. No go. Finally, after a few more posts, someone suggested I type my domain name instead of "example.com". Duh. In my defense, the instructions did not say whether to substitute my domain for "example.com" or not, but it did say to type "user" as is (not to substitute username). So, my untechnical mind just assumed to type it all as is.

I have learned something! I am off to a stumbling start, but I am off...

Monday, July 9, 2007

Progress on New KnotGypsy Designs.com Site

Yes, it is official. I have decided to leave this blog right here on Blogger.

As I have told you, I am moving KnotGypsy Designs.com to a new host. (OpenSourceHost.com) My domain has propogated there, and I have had them install Drupal .

I have begun to study how to use Drupal to build my new site. And, I have played around in it a little this evening. Because it is so flexible, and comprehensive; there is quite a bit to learn. I have already had to use a support ticket to figure something out. The support staff at OpenSourceHose were quick to respond, and very patient with me.

I don't know how long it will take me to get a basic site up. I don't even know how to guess at this point. I will keep you updated.

Now, I need to give my brain a rest...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Beading With Netflix

In my first Squidoo lens, "Original Designs in Hand Crafted Beaded Micro Macrame and Beaded Crochet Jewelry" I included a Netflix module where I said:
I love Netflix! I have been a subscriber for over a year now, They ship fast, and have very good customer service.

My beading area is in the TV Room, so I have everything I need right to hand. I like to get a cup of coffee, or glass of iced tea, pop in a movie...and I can bead all day!"
Now, I have created a 2nd lens "Beading With Netflix", where I will tell you what I think of all those movies and TV series I am watching while I bead. I'll even throw in some beading project ideas so perhaps you, too, will discover the joys of "Beading With Netflix". (Not all of those ideas will be my patterns, I promise).

I really love Squidoo. Google loves it, and it is one of my best referring sites. I love the community there, and yes, I love making lenses. I am sure I will make more in the future.

KnotGypsy Designs Links

Well, I signed up for hosting at OpenSourceHost. I have deleted the old website. I have changed the nameserver of my domain. Now I wait for my new webhost account to be activated. They tell me it will take 24-48 hours.

I just realized, duh, that I can link my guestbook, FAQ, and Workshop forum to this blog. So that is what I have done. I put them in the link list "KnotGypsy Designs Links on my sidebar. Once I get the new site up and running, I will create new ones (without the ads) and transfer all the posts and other info from the current ones to the new ones.

Hey, this might even be fun! I need to believe this...

Feedback from Customers

For a quick look at what my customers have to say so far...

I am very pleased that people find my tutorials (or patterns if you will) to be clear and easy to follow. Although I encourage people to contact me with any questions or difficulties, so far, there have been none.

Recently, one of those customers asked me where she could find the C-lon nylon beading cord in 10 - 15 yard segments instead of the 86 yard spools offered at Jewels in Fiber. She said she wanted several colors, but was not ready to buy complete spools in all those colors.

I don't know of any places to get just segments of this cord. So I offered to sell her some 15 yard segments from my stash. I wonder, does anyone else want a "sampler pack"? I am going to list one at My Etsy Shop to find out. If there seems to be a need, I would be happy to make up sampler packs of the cord.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Oops...

Didn't get any more posting done as it took me longer to get this banner done than I expected. I'm still not completely happy, but will need to go at it from a different angle. But not tonight, I am tired and it is nearly my bedtime.

Then I ran into a snag when deciding how I want to present my Picasa Albums. I'm still thinking on it.

So, I updated my Squidoo Lens and visited Bloggeries Blog forum for awhile. I surfed a little, too. Some for fun, and some for research (website building resources, and business card customization).

So, until tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Etsy Mini Gallery

Here is a Mini Gallery of items available at My Etsy Shop. Click on any image to be taken right to item description.

Monday, July 2, 2007

I Do Believe I Found the Solution!

After I published my previous post, I followed up on checking into Zen Cart. I clicked on some web hosts that feature Zen Cart.

I found OpenSourceHost . I checked them out and I really like what I saw. They support all kinds of open source applications like Zen Cart, WordPress, and Drupal . I also found Open Source CMS. where you can test drive demos of all these applications!

Drupal seems to offer everything I wanted in Zen Cart and WordPress put together and more. So, I don't see where I could go wrong with Drupal. It does seem to be a system that will grow with me. In fact, I am not sure I will ever grow into it.

OpenSourceHost is reasonably priced, and the reviews I found confirm that OpenSourceHost provides excellent support. Their site has plenty sources of help from video tutorials to FAQ and support tickets. They even install the applications of your choice for free! Too good to be true? I plan on finding out.

I do have a lot to learn, but with all the resources that I found there, I do believe I can do it.

First, I will be bringing some content over here from my current KnotGypsyDesigns.com site. Then I will dismantle it. I have already saved the comments, etc from my forum, and my guestbook. (Yes, Drupal has forum and guestbook modules - I can have everything!)

Then, I will begin the building process. I have collected some background textures and am working on finalizing my banner and logo. I hope to be able to customize my style sheets and really make a nice site.

Thanks everyone, for your patience during this process, I think we will all be happier when it is done.

Regrouping...Again...Still...Some More...

I have kind of locked up on the issue about what to do with my website ideas.

I do really like Blogger. I think I want to keep this blog here. It is comfortable, familiar, people know me...And I don't look forward to moving...

I like WordPress as a blogging/website building software. It does have possibilities...

Do I want a site to sell from? Would that be more professional? Maybe for my higher end pieces?

I like Etsy a lot. Besides the tangible benefits of the feedback system, easy interface, and the low cost; they have a rather nice and friendly community there. I also like that they are a socially and environmentally principled business.

I found an interesting free shopping cart - Zen Cart . I still need to check it out some more.

I want something professional looking, but I am not a "techie" type and on a tight budget for now.

What to do? What to do?

I know, I said I had made up my mind a while back to unify my blog and website with the WordPress software and paid hosting. But then I found Zen Cart...and I waffled. So, I decided to not make any changes until I was sure.

The time has come to decide. I have had time these past few months to learn some things, and try some things out, but I don't want to just keep moving around, and changing my sites. I want to stabilize with something that will grow with me. I am focusing on this issue this week. My goal is to make a decision this week.

In other news, I have been doing those hated administrative tasks. Reorganizing files, standardizing my listing system, reorganizing inventory and supplies, etc. - you know, all those things we hate to do, but the benefit of getting them done will streamline my process and save time in the long run. "Efficiency is important".

I have managed to get some beading done, as well. I got the clasp on the bracelet I showed you last week. Here it is in its completed state:
And I played with some more gemstone chips. I love the way these pieces feel, and I love the "ordered chaos" look of the chips.

These pieces will be available at My Etsy Shop by the weekend.


Wish me luck on deciding what to do.
Copyright 2007 Donna Littlewood