Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Have Been Published!


I am so excited. My Spirals Anklet Pattern has been published in Step by Step Beads magazine (Jul/Aug 2008 issue). I received my copies in today's mail.

Of course, the first thing I did was show my hubby and then called my mother. Sorry, Mom, you were second only because you were not here.

Then, I called several friends.

I have never been published before and I really want to milk this one!


So, for any of you who would like to try your hand at "Spirals Anklet" - you should soon be able to pick up a copy of Step By Step Beads Magazine (Jul/Aug issue) at your local news stand. They have some other interesting projects as well...

Friday, May 23, 2008

I am Standardizing my Kits

(KIT - Fans Bracelet - Purple)

With 8 patterns (so far), I am finding it time consuming to keep kits in my shop. Up until now, I have put kits together based on what I had on hand at the time. It takes time to decide what beads and cords to use and it takes time to photograph them...

I have decided to standardize my kits. I am working towards having a standard set of about 10 kits per pattern. I will save time on photography as each kit will only need to be photographed once. As a kit sells, I can just refill it with the same colors of beads and cord. I will save time on listing. As a kit sells, I can just relist it.

This system will eliminate some of the creative color combinations, but the efficiency of it will help keep costs down. I figure that once someone decides they like a particular pattern, they can experiment with color combinations to their heart's content.

I have started with Fans Bracelet and Fans Earrings Kits:

(KIT - Fans Earrings - Purple)

(KIT - Fans Bracelet - Amber)

(KIT - Fans Earrings - Amber)

Find all Fans kits (both bracelet and earrings) here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Button Drawer


When I lived in Austin, I got my buttons at Hancock Fabrics. The had such a great selection.

Alas, I now live 50 miles away and it is not so convenient to go there for buttons. So, the past few years, I have been getting most of my buttons at Walmart. Walmart has been cutting back on their sewing department and their selection of buttons is sadly lacking.

So. I went surfing for an online source. I chose to try The Button Drawer and have just received my first order from them. They have a wonderful selection. I bought a sampling of various buttons so I could get an idea of their quality. I am happy with their quality and I am very happy with their fast delivery. Their prices are reasonable and I will probably order from them again. The only drawback to their site is that the photos of their black buttons are not very clear. But, I do know the difficulty of photographing black items! - So, I will not hold it against them.

Now, I need to get some kits put together...bye for now.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Full Circle


I have come full circle. Since I began my online jewelry adventure, I have tried several website variations, only to return to Blogger. I am happy to be back. I realize I may sound a bit "eccentric", shall we say; but I feel as if I have come home.

Blogger is very easy to maintain and that is a big plus. Now, that I have the frustration of getting my domain name to point to this blog all behind me, all is well.

Actually, Blogger has not that often been difficult for me. When I bought the domain name for KnotGypsy's Kitchen Chronicles, I bought it through Google and I had no headaches at all. Google has everything automated through GoDaddy (where the domain is registered).

I ran into problems with this blog because I had my domain registered at Bravenet and had to handle the configuration myself. I had additional problems because I had used the domain name with another website and the configuration retained some of those settings. I am not much of a techie, so I did not realize I needed to get rid of those settings. I did not even know what they were for!

Live and Learn. Sometimes we jump over the fence because the grass looks greener only to find that, actually, we had just left the greener grass! So, we try to return.

A few years ago, I sent some jewelry to a friend to put in her seamstress shop. Her business has grown and she no longer has room to keep my jewelry on consignment. She has returned it to me along with several pieces of display equipment! What a friend!

So, for another return to a beginning, I decided to post photos of some of these older pieces (including the photo above). These bracelets and matching earrings were the results of my experiments with my "Lattice" series. I will be listing them at my Etsy Shop (at a discount) over the next several days. So, keep checking.




Monday, May 12, 2008

HooRay! I figured it out!

After much reading, I figured out that I needed to delete my "A" records...and wait awhile. My domain name www.knotgypsydesigns.com is now functional on this blog!

Now, I get to go change a few notices...

And, when I get some time, I will post my findings on that Google Help Group forum...perhaps save someone else the frustration.

Nothing is Ever Easy!

The Blogger Help instructions, "How do I use a custom domain name on my blog?", for publishing to a custom domain name seemed so simple...

However, I cannot seem to get it to work. I followed the instructions "How do I create a CNAME record for my custom domain" and created the CNAME record 2 days ago. Then, whenever I change my Blogger publishing settings to reflect the custom domain name and try to access my blog, I get "DNS not configured - no match was found".

Some of you who tried to view my blog over the past 24 hours probably got the same error message....sorry. I left those settings in hopes that as time passed, the DNS servers would update and reflect these changes. I have decided to switch the Blogger settings back to the "blogspot" url for now. At least the blog can now be accessed.

I have been searching the "help" forums both on Google and Bravenet (where I have my domain name registered), to no avail. I cannot seem to figure out what the problem is.

I have a support ticket in (to Bravenet), but the replies I am getting are not helping...

First, they ask me about nameservers, but the Blogger Help instructions do not mention anything other than CNAME's. So, I replied to the support tech with a link to those instructions. Next, I get them telling me to create the CNAME as per the Blogger Help instructions. I replied that I had already done that (as I had mentioned when I first submitted the support ticket!). And I only get one reply from them per day it seems.

Arrrgggghhh!!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Now For the Domain Name

I have finally finished moving my content back over here to Blogger! Now, I am working on getting the domain name (www.knotgypsydesigns.com) to point to this blog...

So far, I have canceled my other webhost account and created a new CName.

But, when I change the Blogger settings and test it, I still get sent to the previous website. I think I may need to wait a day to let the old website disappear. I will try again tomorrow.

Wish me luck in getting this ironed out.

Purefire Waxworks


A few weeks ago, I was bitten by our first mosquito of the season. Yes, we are already warming up down here in south central Texas...So, I was reminded of one of my favorite Etsy Sellers...

...The woman who owns and operates Purefire Waxworks - Gently Hand Crafted Candles & Incense. She specializes in using natural ingredients in her incense and candles.

I originally ordered some citronella incense from her last year. It really does keep the mosquitoes at bay - even Texas ones! So, I have become a regular customer. Anything that chases mosquitoes and smells so very nice while doing so is a wonderful thing in my book.

I have gone on to try some of her other incense and some candles - all very nice. And, she provides excellent customer service.

So, if you like candles and incense and want some that is hand made and of natural ingredients, I don't think you will find a better place to go. She should have some of that citronella incense out soon, or you can contact her and ask her about it. (I would not mind if you mention my name...smile)

Arrow - A new Variation of Diamonds


I was playing with my new beads (again, still) and I really wanted to use the new bugle beads. The problem was that I only have a couple of designs that utilize bugle beads...so...I came up with a new variation on the basic "Diamonds" pattern.

This orange and red one was the first I tried (after making a sampler). I used a button closure because I wanted to see how it would work for this design. I like it alright, but it is a little bulky. So, I get to keep this one!

Then, I wanted to use colors of storm and water...and I varied the "diamond" segment by omitting the 6mm round focal and making it a "double diamond lattice work" segment. I also extended it with a 3rd motif set to make a large bracelet. The harmony of colors gives the "double diamond" a textured look. I did rather like this one...

Next, I wanted to play with contrast in colors. I also experimented with leaving off part of the beginning/ending segments to make a medium sized bracelet. I am not sure I like where I put the "pearly" seed beads...a little too busy? Ah, well, I have learned that sometimes when I think something did not work, someone disagrees with me - turns out, that is the piece they like best!

Lastly, but certainly not least, I wanted to use those cream and brown marbled focal beads...they look like chocolate, cream, and caramel...mmmmm...yum. Here I used the "pearly cream" seed beads in a more focused way and I do like the results...I want to keep this one even more than I want to keep the orange one. I love fire and I love chocolate! Can't I keep both???

See What I Did With Those New Beads...

More results with my new beads, using those beads and my pattern "Lacy Ripples Bracelet" and "Victorian Lace Earrings"




Want to learn how to make these yourself? Check out my patterns and kits for sale at My Etsy Shop.

Beads! Beads! Beads!


New Beads! I love getting a new set of beads...so many colors. (drool, errrr, excuse me).

The last time I tried Czechoslavakian seed beads, their holes seemed a bit small. But oh the colors...so I bravely tried again (and how!). Since that time, I have discovered that C-lon cord can occasionally be flattened out in places. This makes the tip too wide to easily fit through those tiny holes. But, if I trim off the flattened part (and re-treat with fingernail polish of course), the resultant rounder tip will more easily fit. So, I ordered some Czech size 11 seed beads in all kinds of colors...They worked great! The hole sizes were just fine.

Find Seed and Bugle Beads here at Fire Mountain Gems.


Then, I was craving some new focals. Yes, I still love those faceted Czech fire-polished beads (they sparkle so nicely and their holes are reliably the right size), but I like to experiment. I really like the round Druk beads. They have a lot of finishes to choose from...but, again, hole size is a problem. Some of my micro macrame designs require 4 strands of cord to pass through the bead hole. I have found that the holes in the 6mm and 8mm sizes, the holes will only allow 2 strands of cord. Only the 10mm will allow 4 strands. So....I went ahead and bought a bunch. I will use the 10mm's in "Spirals" anklets (which require 4 strands to pass through the bead holes) without a lot of problems. And, most of my other designs require only 1-2 strands to pass through bead holes....As you can see in photo below of "Lacy Ripples Bracelet in Lustrous Blue" that the Druk beads worked fine.

Find Czech Glass Beads (both fire-polished, druk, and much more) at Fire Mountain Gems.

"Lacy Ripples Bracelet in Lustrous Blue"
Beaded with Druk blue lustre beads (6mm, 8mm, 10mm) and subtly highlighted with size 11 Czech seed beads in iridescent blueish gray along the edges.

Some of the Most Beautiful Micro Macrame Work I have ever seen

"I was a nomad for many years, and supported myself by making this knotted jewelry (macrame), incorporating nylon colored threads, beads, and semi-precious stones. Thus the name nomadic knotwork..."

-Quote and photo are from artist's website Nomadic KnotWork

Some time back, one of my readers sent me the link to this artists website. I wanted to share it with you as I think this work is impressive. I am in awe.

Victorian Lace Necklace and Earrings - Earth Goddess


I loved the colors of the first bracelet with matching earrings in previous post "Beading Fever", I had to try them in this "Victorian Lace" design. I am very happy with the results. The colors remind me of "the fires of earth"...

I used a variety of glass and fire-polished crystal beads in this micro macrame set. And, yes, I have listed it at my Etsy Shop.
Copyright 2007 Donna Littlewood