Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Beach Time Fun!

It's beach time again!

Once a year our family packs up and goes to Long Beach Island to relax for a week or two! We are all so busy with sports, school activities and social lives, rarely do we have time to just unwind and enjoy each other's company except for our treasured vacation! We started this family tradition when my son was 4 months old, this year he is 21 and going into his senoir year of college! Where does time go?

We always rent a wonderful house right on the beach so we can enjoy being by the ocean 24/7! I just love waking up to the sound of the waves, and seagulls.

This year we have a little Tree Sparrow that wakes up at the crack of dawn and loves to sit on the telephone pole beside our deck and seranade us as we have our morning coffee! My husband and kids usually walk down to the bakery and bring back fresh hot bagels for breakfast! Most years its cinnamon buns or crumb cake, but we are all trying to be good this year! lol! We'll see how long that lasts!!

This year, our Siberian Husky and two turtles that my son had bought in NYC came along with us!(he thought they could go in our pond at home - wrong type of turtles! So now we have two more pets to add to our menagerie!) A pet sitter is staying at our home watching the rest of our animals! (We seem to always have a house full pets!).

It's been fun to see Kaylee's (our dog) reaction to the sand and the waves! She is beginning to look forward to our long walks on the beach in the evenings and enjoying all the attention she gets from surprised beach goers.

Today we brought her down to the docks to watch the kids go sea fishing! She loved all the great smells! It's been fun!

Our two sons in blue, friend in white & daughter are waiting to leave on their first fishing excursion! I was expecting fish for dinner---but we wound up having pizza instead! Fishermen --they were not! But they had a few nibbles and fun, and thats what counts!

As my children get older, friends are also becoming a part of our vacation. This year my son's girlfriend and best friend came with us for the first week. Here they are taking a surfing lesson! My son is the one in the middle. Our second week has been set aside for our family. It's been fun to have them with us!

My favorite time of day are the evenings, when the beach is empty and the sun
begins to set. This is when I love to take my walks with the kids, my dog and hunt for shells and other ocean treasures that have washed up along the shore.

I have found alot of great items this year, so I am looking forward to creating some new keepsake/Jewelry boxes! The shore is where I get rejuvenated for the year to come and inspired for many of the items I sell! I'm always sorry to see it end but excited to get home again to my beautiful garden, the pets we left behind and of course my own bed!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Featured Artist!

My Sunday Featured Artist this week is one of my favorite Jewelry Artists - Ilana Diner. As you can see, her jewelry is simply amazing! I am truly in awe of the beauty and intricacy of her work!

Discover more about this talented artist as she tells us her story. I'm sure you will fall in love with her work and be inspired by her story!

Multicolor Gold Wire Crochet Bracelet
with Gemstones

7ART Jewelry is the brand name of my jewelry design studio. My name is Ilana, I am 40 years old, and I live in Modi'in, Israel. I was born in Riga, Latvia (when it still was a part of the USSR) and came to Israel with my family when I was 11.

Ever since I can remember I was fascinated by jewelry, and especially jewelry design. But, as often happens, life took me to different
directions - Chinese (BA) and business strategy (MBA). But I guess that when you really love something you will finally come back to it.

Silver Wire Crochet Ring with Colorful Crystals

It started several years ago with some classes in Goldsmith...and never stopped ever since...I started experimenting, playing with different materials, shapes and techniques - as a hobby at first - until it slowly filled up my whole time.

As I kept on playing I developed a unique technique, based on simple crochet but with an entirely different outcome. Although, my jewelry are made of metal wire they have a lace-like texture and feel like soft lace. I strongly believe that a piece of jewelry must not only be pretty, it has to be durable and feel comfortable. A person has to wear it without fear or discomfort.
Crochet Gold Wire Wide Bracelet with Citrin
Every item is unique, one of its kind. A lot of time and effort is invested in its design and making. It usually starts with an idea born in my head...Sometimes it is something I see, hear or even smell...sometimes I wake up with a vivid picture of a bracelet, necklace or ring. And then I can not stop until I see it done.

Sometimes I use simple copper wire first (although it takes twice as long) and only when the outcome is exactly as I want it, I will do it again using Sterling Silver or 14KT Gold. I like to interlace tiny gemstones, pearls or Swarovski crystals into my work. Usually I use 2mm stones, that are very hard to find. There is no demand for such a weird size and apparently they are much more expensive to make, so jewelry supply stores don't carry them.

I had to choose just a few of my "children" to share with you here - and the choice was hard - I love them all :-)

Handmade Silver and Gold Crochet Bracelet with Tourmaline

*You can see all my designs on my website:

*My Etsy Shop:

*If you would be interested in finding out the meaning of the name 7ART you're welcome to visit my new blog

*Follow me on Twitter

Monday, July 6, 2009

10 Tips for Managing Twitter from The Blog of Mr. Tweet

I came across this wonderful information from Mr. Tweet's Blog and thought it was worth passing along to those who Twitter or are thinking about joining Twitter! Many of us at Etsy, Artfire, Etsy Secrets and other handmade sites have started using Twitter, visit Mr. Tweet for more great information about Twittering at:

10 Tips For Managing Twitter As Your Usage Increases

This is a guest posting by Jeff Hurt (@JeffHurt), Director of Education & Events for National Association of Dental Plans. He has worked in events/nonprofit arena for more than 20 years. You can find more of his thoughts at Midcourse Corrections: Views From The Trenches.

A recent MarketingProfs poll showed that more than eight in 10 Twitter users, most of whom represent small business, expect their company’s use of Twitter to increase in the next six months.

Obviously, these savvy business and organizational professionals realize that Twitter, when used appropriately, can help them better serve their customers, engage in relationships and even, in some cases, lead to new business. Here are 10 tips from the Twitter Pros Playbook that can help you better serve your customers, 140 characters at a time.

1. Use Your Real Name In The Name Field, Not Your Username
If you put your Twitter username in the “Real Name field,” people will not be able to find you when they use Twitter’s “Find People Link.” Example, my Twitter username is @JeffHurt. When I first started using Twitter, I assumed that people would search Twitter for @JeffHurt, (one word, no space). Friends and colleagues were searching Twitter using my real name. They didn’t know I had removed the space between first and last name.
I later changed my settings and entered my real name so I could be found as Jeff Hurt and @JeffHurt. This made a world of difference and is probably one of the simplest, yet most effective things you can do to help others find you on Twitter. Even if you’re tweeting for an organization, put your real name in the “name field” and the company name in the profile bio and username.

2. Embrace “What Has Your Attention” Not “What Are You Doing” Ignore the heading “What are you doing?” above the update box on Twitter. Consider tweeting about what has your attention. People really don’t want to know about what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It just creates more noise for many of your followers. Make your tweets relevant to what you’re thinking about, what has captured your attention and even what you’re reading.

3. Tweet With Others In Mind First
Take a look at your tweets. What do they say about you? Are the majority of your tweets about your company, products, and services? Are they all “me, me, me” related? Stop that! The blue bird of happiness will not land on your organization because you’re pushing your products and services on Twitter. You’re looking really self-absorbed and egomaniacal.

And by all means, do not just share case studies about your customers with your readers. You’re still pushing me, me, me, my, my, my products. You have to earn your readers’ trust and attention and to do that, you need to give in order to get. See next tip.

4. Use Angela Maiers’ 70-20-10 Twitter Engagement Formula
Be purposeful and intentional as you enter the Twittersphere. As you “Twiv to Twet” (give to get) and move away from self-promotional tweets, consider this tweeting engagement formula.
a. 70% of your tweets should share resources- sharing others’ voices, opinions, quotes, blog posts, articles, content and resources
b. 20% of your tweets should engage in conversations with others, responding, connecting, collaborating and connecting with others.
c. 10% of your tweets can be chirping, chitchat as Angela calls it, on trivial details or self-promotion.

5. Use A 3rd Party Twitter Client On Your Desktop And Mobile Device
If there’s one thing I stress above all others, using a 3rd party Twitter client is it. Tweetdeck, Seesmic, Twhirl for PC and Tweetie for Mac are four clients that many people use on their desktop to manage Twitter more effectively. These Twitter clients make your Twitter experience more robust than the Twitter web interface. One of the biggest pros is that you don’t have to hit the refresh button continually to see new tweets from others and you can see columns for all friends, replies and DMs on one page. For your iPhone, consider Tweetie, Twitterrific or TweetFon. For Blackberry, consider Twitterberry, Blackbird, or SocialScope.

6. Be Authentic, Real And Act Like A Human
Authenticity, sincerity, and humanness is the name of the game. Tweet like a real person, act like a real person, sound like a real person, be genuine and true to yourself. Tweeps in Twittersphere can see through your mockingbird calls and know if you are there to mimic a human, ready at any opportunity to pitch a product instead of engage in dialogue.

7. Identify Tweets With Links To Videos, Podcasts or Slide decks People hate seeing a great tweet headline with a link and clicking it to discover that it’s a video that’s being downloaded or a PowerPoint slide deck. Use abbreviations like vid or PPT in your tweet. Also, if your tweet contains a link to questionable material, use the NSFW (Not Save For Work) abbreviation.

8. Twitter Is Not About Amassing A Large Number Of Followers
Contrary to the Ashton Kucher and CNN competition, it is really about the quality of connections versus quantity. Yes, everyone secretly wants to be voted the most popular Tweep in Twittersville but don’t fall into that bird trap. One of the easiest ways to find quality Tweeps and new people to follow is to participate in a Twitter chat. Twitter chats showcase the best of the best of Twittersville.

9. Stop Your Automated Direct Message Tweets To New Followers
They’re impersonal, pushy and often self-promotional which equates to a Twitter Fail Whale. Yes, it’s nice to send a welcoming tweet to new followers and if you do, keep it personal and human. Don’t send them a link to your latest method of how to gain thousands of new followers! We don’t want to know about that. Nor do we want a direct message with a link to your newest get rich quick scheme.

10. If Your Tweets Are Missing, Don’t Show Up In Twitter Search, Or Are Absent From a 3rd party Twitter Client, Contact Twitter Support I’ve seen this happen many times. People decide to join a Twitter chat, they include a hashtag and when they hit their update button, their tweets never appear using that hashtag. As Twitter grows and evolves, they experience latency issues with Twitter API and Twitter Search used by many of the third party clients. Start with these Twitter resources to help your tweets be identified again.

BONUS Have Fun!