Online Marketing - Free book  

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I've been researching for ways to enhance my blog and generally learn about websites and online marketing. These are useful tools to have, if one is to focus on e-commerce, by selling jewelry, for example, like I do. Just making that gorgeous piece of jewelry and hoping for it to sale on the net is not enough. I've realised that I have to educate myself, and boy I've got tons to learn. Also tons of resources, some free, many for a fee. Of course, no such thing as a free lunch now is there, - or there is?
Well, it is seems that there are some great free resources around if you're like me, and want to learn the ins and outs of e-commerce, online marketing and promoting your product.
One of those I came across just recently is a wonderful free ebook called The Ultimate Supertip on Online Marketing. It talks about stuff like:

- Getting traffic to your site
- Preselling with free ebooks
- Preselling with articles
- Autoresponders and follow up campaigns
- Ad tracking
- Affiliate marketing
- ClickBank
- Viral marketing
- PDF book creation
- Ebook rebranding
- Creating niche sites
- Resale rights
and some others.
I was really interested in Getting traffic to your site, PDF book creation and Creating niche sites, great info which I didn't know.
Btw, if you click on the link, don't be put off by the flashy 'I'm all here to sell' font type on his site. He has really lots of good info there, and well, it's free. I was particularly pleased by the fact that when I downloaded the book, I was not asked for my email address. Less chance for spamming, which is an additional plus in my books.

As I come across more goodies, and more freebies for us online sellers of our own products, I'll post a review here.

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Difference between learning jewelry making and perfume making  

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I've been wire wrapping for close to two years now, and although I still feel I'm a newbie, I think I've learned quite a lot during this time. I can tackle some of the more advanced tutorials out there, without always making a mess out of things.
Very recently I've stumbled upon what proves to be another new hobby of mine, making perfumes using natural, essential oils.
I've purchased several oils from the UK so far, and started combining them to make perfumes. Which doesn't seem to be so easy as I first thought. Most of the concoctions smell horrible, at best as a bad medicine.
I've searched a lot the internet for recipes on the subject, but it's hardly anything out there. There are a couple of real life workshops that one should attend, at over $1000 a piece, and very few books on the subject, mostly touching the history of perfumery and the ingredients, but less the actual blends, mixes. So I broke down and purchased from Mandy Aftel the Level 1 Workbook, at a price of $375 (yep, you've read it right!) and shipping to Europe $80 (right again!), as this seems pretty much the only feasible avenue for somebody to really learn perfumery without spending a large amount of essential oils on trial and error, by not knowing what is one really doing in the process.
As the shipping was so very expensive for this one book, I let it be sent to Mary, a dear friend of mine who always helps me out when I buy something with high shipping to Europe, and now I'm patiently waiting for the workbook to arrive.
And in the meantime I'm musing...
Most probably since the time I started with wire wrapping, I did spend about this amount or even more on books and tutorials, however the difference between this workbook and the tutorials for wire wrapping, is that I've bought MANY tutorials, on all aspects of wire wrapping and jewelry making. I've learned a lot of skills in the process. I have now a new level of appreciation for all the wire wrappers who so freely share their knowledge in allowing the rest of us to learn their secrets, and to make their jewelry pieces. Without all these tutorials, and book out there, it would have been much more challenging to learn wire wrapping, even to the level I am right now (which is not that far). It is a completely different world between the two. Perfumers guard their secrets as if with their lives, they won't share but the very basic of blends, which doesn't bring one very far, and wire wrappers, or jewelers in general are very generous, and share. Yes, for a price, but the prices are very reasonable, anything between $5 and $15 for learning how to make one pendant, a pair of earrings, a ring, any items from start up to completion. Plus there are also many free tutorials out there, which allow you to build on your existing knowledge and widen it too. Best example out there is Eni Oken, who has many tutorials for a veeeery reasonable price, but also many freebies to get you started.
I know I'll have a hard and bumping road ahead of me with perfumery with the lack of resources available, but I'll take the challenge anyway. Should be fun.

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Echt Kolnisch Wasser  

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I got today a second shipment of some essential oils I bought from the UK, and as I don't have yet Mandy Aftel's workbook which is perfect for learning natural perfumery, I googled for some perfume recipes. I found one for which I had pretty much all ingredients, mixed it up with vodka (no distilled water included, as the vodka is only 40%, so pretty weak for the purpose), shaked it well and smelled it. And it reminded me of a perfume I used while living years ago in Germany, 4711 Echt Kolnisch Wasser. I had a small set of several little bottles, and I loved the smell. While bookmarking the site from where I got the recipe, I've read further down the page. And whadya know, the (inexact) recipe WAS for this perfume. Of course, only the main ingredients were listed, as the actual recipe is safely guarded, however I was very pleased that my own little newbie concoction actually reminded me of that lovely perfume.

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Blogger banned in Turkey  

I'm really shocked! Blogger type blogs are banned as of very recently in Turkey. I've just been told by a dear friend of mine, Fabienne, from the jewelry community, who is living in Turkey, that she no longer has access to her blog. She was quite sad about it, as you can imagine.
It seems that Wordpress is already banned for a while now, along with Youtube, and Google Groups. And now Blogspot.
Turkey is trying very hard to get into European Union, but part of their 'entrance fee' is making sure that human rights are top priority, and that they give back the Northern part of Cyprus, which has been occupied by them back in 1974, and which they call The Northern Republic of Cyprus, illegitimately, of course, as there is only one Republic of Cyprus on the island, not two. Most of the countries governments don't recognise that 'republic' though as legit at all.
I'm very saddened to see that the human rights law are still non-existent in that country. I though so far only China has this problem of blocking ISPs and various online sites, but Turkey too?

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The Witcher - and Bewitched  

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One of my 'secret' hobbies is playing RPG (role playing) games. Ever since I got started playing Diablo years ago, I got hooked on this style of games. After Diablo came Diablo 2, then I played Neverwinter Nights, Guild Wars and a few others, however for the latest games, like Neverwinter Nights 2 and The Witcher, my computer was too old to be able to play them. So after having the same computer and upgrading it bit by bit for the last 5 years, I broke down and got myself a new pc. Which I went to pick up from the store last night. In the meantime, I also bought Neverwinter Nights 2 and The Witcher and these two games were taunting me for days ever since they arrived to my doorstep.
So last night after getting all my stuff from the old to the new pc, I went ahead and installed The Witcher, as curiosity was killing me! And then I played until almost 12 am.
The game is great, but it's a bit different from the other RPG style games I'm used to. Diablo was more like a hack & slash game, Neverwinter Nights had also a great storyline and was more modern than Diablo, but this one takes RPG to a new lever. The interaction is different, you need to decide between two courses of actions, and the game play will change accordingly.
One thing I got disappointed with at the beginning was that I could not create my own character. You play Geralt, the main character in the game, and that's it. But besides that, I'm still very early in the game and I'm already looking forward to the weekend to play a bit more.

While waiting for the computer to arrive, I also made a new pendant. Sort of looked at the Witcher box picture and well...this is the result. I called it Bewitched.
It has that gothic feeling, dark, mysterious but not too 'goth', which I quite like.

Created using Red Jasper briolette focal bead with carnelian and tiny garnets wrapped on a heavy gauge sterling silver frame. Pendant is 5 cm long including the bail, and it comes on a sterling silver chain.

If you want to own it, you can buy it here directly, or through my Dawanda shop.

28 Euros

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Green Quartz Dangly Silver Earrings  

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I went back to one of Eni Oken's older tutorials, and created this pair of earrings. Really like the outcome, they are lightweigh and fun to wear.
Sterling silver wire are wrapped around to create two rings, adorned with tiny silver beads.
The briolettes are green glass quartz. Glass quartz is a laboratory made quartz, to enhance the charity of the bead and to give gorgeous colors not available in the natural stones. They are very fashionable in the jewelry industry.
This pair is ~ 6 cm including the ear wires. All metal is sterling silver.

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Natural Perfumery  

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One of my latest hobbies is blending essential oils to create natural perfumes. I always had a very sensitive nose for smells, so I know I can put my strong sense of smell to good use.

A very recent niche to perfumery is about using only natural components, no synthetic material, like they use in the commercial perfumes. I am very interested in this, and decided to pursue it a bit further, see where it takes me. I think it complements making artisan jewelry quite nicely.

So far I have the following essential oils (real essential oils, not fragrances) that I can play around with (more on the way from the UK):

Ylang Ylang
Clary Sage
Black Pepper
and Jojoba and Apricot as carrier oils

I've already played around today with three little recipes, the first two I snagged from the web, and the third I put together myself. Very basic stuff, but I remember when I started with wire wrapping, I was so proud of my first little wrap around a bead. I guess that's what these little perfume concoctions are for me *grins*. Bottles need to be dark color, and to be shaken a few times a day for the mix to blend nicely in. The earliest you can have an idea of what it will really be about is after 48 hours, but just like with a good wine, the longer it stays, the better it will be. One week, two weeks, or even more...

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Lapis Lazuli Herringbone Silver Necklace  

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Using some of the lapis lazuli beads I bought the other day, I made this sterling silver necklace, incorporating also matching dyed agate beads, which I used for the larger wrapped herringbone weave links. It's a looker piece!
Approximately 44 cm long (except for the hanging part).

Lapis lazuli is said to enhance one's awareness, insight and intellect. It is also said to impart ancient knowledge and wisdom, bringing peacefulness and self-acceptance. Helps cure depression, insomnia, recurring fevers, vision and hearing problems, and disorders of the throat, lungs and immune system.
And best, it has a gorgeous deep blue color :)

35 Euros

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Hawaii turquoise silver earrings  

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I finished this pair during the weekend, and only now,  that we have a day off (public holiday) from work, I got a chance to capture them with the camera.

Hubby doesn't like them, he said they're too exotic for his taste, so I called them in his honour Hawaii :-)
Two gorgeous turquoise drops I bought from a seller in Etsy, and tiny yellow agate beads, which I bought the other day, showed them here.
Total length is about 6 cm, and they're average weight. Nice and flashy, indeed exotic :)

21.50 Euros

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