Friday, September 28, 2007

Knot! News - Weekly Update

Another week already?

This past week I have been working on getting ready for the upcoming show. You know, getting my display equipment together, figuring out what all I need, etc. Today I must go into San Antonio to get my tax permit and then to a meeting for the show. I'll be dropping off business cards for the goody bags (for the first 75 people to come in the door) and picking up flyers. The show will be on Oct 20, which will be coming up soon. If you are in the San Antonio area, I hope you will stop by and see what we artisans have to offer. Go to DIY Factory for more info.

I have also been beading. Some for the show and perhaps some for my Etsy shop. I have not yet decided what I will leave in my Etsy shop and what I will be taking to the show. Another of those things I need to get done. Here are some of my new pieces. Remember to click images for larger view.
Nouveau Earrings with Gemstone Chips (Sorry, I don't know what kind of stone).
And matching bracelet
And in green with malachite chips and size 11 seed beads with a blue undertone
Of course a matching bracelet.
I also did a set in blue and am working on a set in red.

I did work some on the "Lacy Ripples Bracelet Pattern", but am not yet finished. I do tend to bite off more than I can chew. I am working on this.

And, wellllll, I goofed off some this week, too. I got caught up in a book I was reading and could not put it down. Has this ever happened to you?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Knot! News - Weekly Update

Here it is, Friday again! I've had another interesting week. Puts me in mind of that old Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times". In spite of a migraine, and continuing to care for Bella, I have gotten a few things done. So, here is what I have been up to since last Friday morning:

Friday evening: I did some work on my website (KnotGypsyDesigns.com). I decided to integrate my forum into the website. Since WordPress is a blogging platform, we can post comments on any post. So, for example, you have a question or a comment about "Spirals Anklet Pattern". You can go to that entry on my website and post and/or read comments about it. Friday night, I posted most of the relevant topics from the old forum on the website - photos of customer's work (using my patterns) and a quick survey. I also posted "how-to" instructions for "Slip Knot" and will be posting each of the "Basic Knots" as well. I hope to make KnotGypsyDesigns.com an informative site in addition to showcasing my jewelry.

Saturday: Day off! Saturday night was "Girls' Movie Night". Occasionally, I get together with a friend of mine and her daughter to eat and watch movies. This time we ate Chinese take-out and watched "E.T. The Extraterrestrial". My friend's daughter had never seen it and we all needed a fairy tale to lighten us up. (It has been stressful for all of us lately.)

Sunday: My friend's daughter had told me about an art site "DeviantArt.com", so I checked it out. Seems like a lot of fun and you can create a gallery of your work. They have various arts represented from graphic arts to jewelry, etc. So I signed up. It's free.

I also worked on another slave bracelet. It was lovely, but I messed it up. I reversed the wrist band part and it just doesn't work as I think it should. So back to the macrame board...

Monday: I had a migraine, rendering me good for nothing else. I survived. I get migraines just often enough to be grateful not to get any more!

Tuesday: I began work on my next pattern "Lacy Ripples Bracelet". I was still feeling a little disoriented from the migraine, so I did not get a lot done. I also had to take Bella back to the vet for a recheck visit.

Wednesday: I have reorganized how I am producing my patterns. Instead of inserting the relevant knots used into each pattern, I have now created a separate pdf file of "Basic Knots". I also created a pdf file of "Helpful Hints and Resources" where I put information that is the same for all the patterns. Each pattern will now contain "Materials", "Notes" (relevant to that pattern), and "Steps". When you order a pattern, I will send the pattern and the two other pdf files as well. This will save me time in creating patterns. It will also save you printing time and costs; especially if you purchase more than one pattern. Why didn't I think of this before?

I also spent some time making up kits to list on KnotGyspyDesigns.com and some for my upcoming show.

Thursday: I streamlined my kits for "Spirals Key Chain Pattern". I am sorry, but I just don't have time or space to devote to offering custom kits. I had been reading in an Etsy forum thread on shipping costs. It seems that many would prefer to pay more on an item and less on shipping. I have previously calculated my shipping costs based on cost of shipping, the envelope, and just a little for my time packaging and dropping off the item to be shipped. For small items, it usually costs $1.76 in postage (within the U.S.) and up to $.50 (depending on my finding a bargain) for the envelope (total $2.26). When I charge $3.00 for shipping charges, that leaves me $.74 for handling charges. Is this too much??? Anyway, since I streamlined the kits (saving time from putting together custom kits) I reduced the price of these kits from $2.00 for the kit and $3.00 S/H to $3.50 total. Here is an example of the new kits. Really, these kits are more of a convenience for those who just want to try one out before going out and buying all the materials in quantity.

I finished editing my patterns to reflect the reorganization, and I updated my Squidoo page.

I posted another "Helpful Hint" (stringing 4 strands of cord through a bead hole) and "Half Knots and Square Knots" on KnotGypsyDesigns.com. While doing this, I noticed a typo in "Waves Bracelet Pattern". I corrected my pdf document and the entry on stringing 4 strands of cord through a bead hole shows the correct version.

Well. That was my week. Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Knot! News - Weekly Update


What a week! I have spent much of my time caring for Bella and worrying about her. I also spent some time on the more mundane chores of life - like laundry.

Even so, I have finished the pattern for "Fans Earrings"! (Photo at right.) Find it for sale under the "Patterns" section of My Etsy Shop. I hope to get some kits put together this weekend.



I have been working on some slave bracelets and I believe I have a couple of basic designs worked out. What do you think?

(Remember to click image for larger view).


Announcements:

1. As I have been integrating my "WorkShop" into my main website, my forum will soon be deleted. The blogging format of WordPress allows comments on all posts (but not pages at this time). So, I am using it like a forum. I will also be posting some other "forum" type topics in the future.

To find or post questions and answers related to my patterns, go to KnotGypsyDesgins.com and look under "WorkShop" in the "Index" (in sidebar). Click on "Patterns and Kits" and scroll down to the applicable pattern. Questions and answers will be posted in the comments section. Feel free to post your own questions, answers, or comments there. In fact, please feel free to leave comments on any post that give you the opportunity. Or, if you wish to contact me, find the "Contact" page under "General Information" (in sidebar). I have edited my patterns to reflect this change.

2. I realized that some may wonder how to pin cords to their work surface...So, I have added "Slip Knot (for pinning cords to work surface)" to my "Basic Macrame Knots" collection. I have added it to all my patterns as well. I will be posting my basic knots instructions on my website sometime in the future as well.

Well, I have a lot more work to do, so "bye for now, and have a great weekend".

Friday, September 7, 2007

Knot! News - Weekly Update

Well. It seems that as soon as I set a goal and make a statement like "barring any unforeseen obstacles, I should be able to...", I get to find out just what "unforeseen obstacles" can be. Last week, I set the goal that I should be able to complete 3 patterns this week "barring any unforeseen obstacles". I have run into some of those unforeseen obstacles this week.

Here is a run down of my week:

Monday: Come on, it was a holiday. I beaded of course.

Tuesday: I posted the results of my weekend of beading here on this blog. Tuesday was also housecleaning and grocery shopping day.

Wednesday: I let myself get sidetracked and worked on my website KnotGypsyDesigns.com. I got the background color changed and rearranged some. Later in the day, I received two bad pieces of news. I felt stunned and was unable to finish any more work that day. I did spend some time processing the news, and working on my attitude - so not a total loss.

Thursday: I got most of the draft of "Fans Earrings Pattern" done. Yay! Some actual work done on a pattern! I also worked some more on the website.

Friday: Today, I am still on my first cup of coffee, getting ready to make that second cup. I have checked my emails, surfed a little, listed another pair of earrings at My Etsy Shop and finally, am writing this bloggerie. I have "The View" on in the background. I love Whoopi Goldberg and am quite happy that she is now on "The View".

So, what will I get done today? I better go now and get to work...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ripples and Lace

(Remember, you can click on images to get a larger view).


As I said in last week's "Knot! News", I have completed the photography for "Ripple Bracelet Pattern". I have now gotten the photography done for the matching earrings.

Then, of course, I had to play around with the design. I had so much fun with it, I am having trouble getting motivated to work on the text for the patterns! But, I will. I promise. Here are some of the results of my experimentation this weekend.

First, I played with color:

Then, I wondered what I could do with the overall shape. Using fewer focal beads and some with different shapes, here is what I did:
These next two pairs of earrings have already been listed at My Etsy Shop.
These earrings were easy and fun to make. Once getting the hang of the pattern, none took longer than about an hour to make. The final pattern will include instructions for these variations.


And of course, I wanted to play around with a variation of this design in a bracelet:
Given these variations having a variety of shapes, "Ripple" no longer seems a relevant name. They remind me more of lace, Victorian lace. So, I think I will name the bracelet at top "Rippled Lace" and for the others, "Victorian Lace". What do you think? If you can come up with a better name, please leave a comment as I am open to suggestions.

I have played around some more since taking these photos. I have made some more earrings, another bracelet and a necklace. I think I have a nice beginning for my Fall 2007 Collection. Of course, I will show you once I get the photos done. Working with this design has given me even more ideas...But, I need to write the text for the above patterns and get them listed so those of you who are interested can make some, too. Share the fun! Bye for now.
Copyright 2007 Donna Littlewood