In Search of Embellishments?

embellishments on Crafty TipsBefore you take a run to your local craft store and purchase some mass-produced embellishments or make do with a limited selection, you might want to check out the folks who have shared their websites and businesses with Crafty Tips.

This week, I have added a clever button maker. In addition to two artists making buttons from polymer clay and ceramics, today’s new addition is ZzzonkOwl, a newly opened Etsy shop.

zzzonkowlDorothy makes lovely fabric-covered buttons. You can purchase the buttons from her Etsy shop. She also takes her bright and colorful buttons and turns them into necklace pendants, like the collection shown here – act fast and they might be yours – Vintage black and white fabric button necklace. Her future plans include turning her buttons into earrings, pins, shoe clips, hairpins, thumbtacks and a variety of other doodads.

Don’t forget to check out the other great folks offering embellishments for your craft and sewing projects. You’ll find sources for flat-back crystals, rhinestones, trims, tassels and beads too.

News from Crafty Tips

Site Issues

craftytips2013-200Whether something went wrong with my webhost, the software which runs Crafty Tips or one of those gremlins who wreak havoc but never seem to have a name was to blame; Crafty Tips was down for a few days last month. And, somewhere along the line, the primary way for folks to submit their sites and crafting tips simply stopped working. Ahh, the joys of site ownership.

Both issues are thankfully fixed and (knock on wood) everything is working the way it should be.

The Good & The Bad of Site Audits

Once again in adding new sites to Crafty Tips, I had to say goodbye to a number of old friends. Their sites or shops are no longer online. Hopefully, they are on to bigger and better things and won’t be giving up their artistic endeavors completely. And, once again, the total site count sinks a bit, despite several new additions. Hopefully before the day is out, that too will be fixed.

One of the fun things about running a site like Crafty Tips is getting to see all of the wonderful things everyone is creating. What can be really fun is visiting with an artist who has significantly changed what they are making and are now creating something I think is really exciting.

The Best Part of Site Audits – Exciting New Discoveries

Alexandra originally submitted her Etsy shop to Crafty Tips around 14 months ago. She, like so very many Etsians, was making beaded jewelry. Nothing wrong with beaded jewelry and her’s was lovely. But, she has apparently taken what she learned and is now making truly unique pieces. She is combining macrame techniques, the use of soutach and beads and is taking friendship bracelets to a whole new level.

Her pieces break with the tradition of a friendship bracelet being something that is worn until it literally falls apart. The pieces Alexandra is offering on Calypso Charms are those I think any among us would treasure and treat as the true artisan pieces they are.

Here’s some of my favorites (if you like them, act fast as it looks like each of her pieces are truly one of a kind)….


Turtle Friendship Bracelet

Using small pieces of friendship bracelets as beads or cabochons. Gotta say I’ve not seen that before and it certainly creates a dramatic piece. Look closely and you might realize that each knotted section depicts a turtle. How cool is that?


Friendship Bracelet Cuff

This bracelet by Calypso Dreams is so bright and wonderful. Alexandra takes soutache cord and creates a beautiful braided trim which she used to edge a complex friendship bracelet. Then, she added beads, rhinestones and crystals to the piece. Didn’t I tell you that she’s taking friendship bracelets to a whole new level?


Braided Soutache Bracelet

I have worked, a little, with soutache type cording in an embroidery, but I have to admit that I don’t have the foggiest idea how Alexandra constructed this beautiful piece. I think that when a piece defies the viewer’s ability to deconstruct it, that piece is truly extraordinary. This piece is bold and dramatic and quite frankly I doubt it will remain for very long in her shop.

Another Fun Day in Paradise

brokenFor the most part, I really enjoy what I do. I get to play with my computer all day, work with great vintage images, look at all kinds of great arts and crafts and help other small business owners build their sites. But, then, there’s days like today. sigh.

The day started out like any other day. But, then I logged into my Adsense account… Crafty Tips wasn’t anywhere on today or yesterday’s reports. Crap, that generally means only one thing…it’s down…hard. Sure enough it was toast.

Digging a little deeper, at least the database – that wonderful thing that stores everything that makes up the site looked OK. Got on the live chat with my webhost. Didn’t take long to determine, Oh gee, lookey there maintenance was done on the server and the site went down at the same time. Gosh, what a coinkydink. sigh.

Two chat sessions later and several emails proving I have the authority to approve a restoration from the backup files and….I’m still down. Apparently in the process of proving I have the authority, my ticket dropped out of or to the bottom of the queue.

Hate the idea of looking for a new host but it is getting more than a little tedious that every time they do maintenance one or more of my sites goes down. Apologies and getting it running again are all well and good but meanwhile they cost me money and a lot of time.

Had a few other things to do on my own sites and after lunch planned on working on a bit of writing for a client. She had sent me a very specific request for a blog entry and I needed to check my email for the names of the products.

Oh goody. gmail is down…again.

Maybe I just should have stayed in bed today.

Oh, and my wonderful embroidery for Mom is in a holding pattern. A part of what I’m working on is darkish threads over the edge of a darkish fabric. Even with a fairly decent light, I can’t be sure all of the fabric edge is covered. I’ve been waiting for 4 days, yes, that’s 4 days, for enough sunshine to see what I’ve done and what needs doing.

In the grand scheme of things, today’s frustrations are small. It is the second time I’ve had to delay work getting to this client because of a gmail outtage but other than that it’s pretty much another day in the paradise called the Internet.

5 Minutes Later…Guess I can add another thing to my list for the day…WordPress permalinks that seem to break and leave you wondering for exactly how long has my site been messed up.

2 hours later…permalinks fixed and still trying to get webhost to fix what they broke. Oh how I cringe at the idea of needing to find a new host.