Friday, 28 May 2010

Happy Birthday, sis :o)

It was my sister's birthday a week ago, and I had wanted to make her something special. When I recently blogged the special keepsake key ring with fingerprint and sterling silver charms, he seemed to like the idea, so I thought I'd make one just for her. She's a fabulous photographer with absolutely stunning photos on hr Flickr ( - I once nicked one of her flower makros to create a sticker cover for my laptop. So a camera definitely had to go on the key ring. She also loves the sea, and sails frequently on a traditional sailing boat, so one of those had to go on, too, together with a ship's wheel. The beads I made are Rocio Silver Mist and Reichenbach Antique Clear with its fabulous aquamarine look, plus some sterling spacers, sodalite, and lead crystal beads. And Toby the munchkin kindly provided his fingerprint for his favourite auntie.

I couldn't show photos until postie had delivered, but now it's there! Happy Birthday!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Beads are my world - the world is a bead

I had this bead for absolutely ever - well, no, that's a lie - I've had it for about three months, made it in February. All it needed was a core. Ah...that's all.....except I liked it so much, I was absolutely terrified of breaking it! I had blown the enamelled shards for it, used my shiny new brass roller, carefully rescued it when the bead release came out of the kiln and I thought....'ooooooooh! It looks like the whole world got captured inside this bead'

And then it sat there, and sat there, and sat there. Until yesterday. And I sawed the tube, annealed it, pickled it, riveted the bead, and polished it up.

And guess what? Of course it happened - a small chip came loose. But I don't think you can see it unless you know. So I think I'll now have to work a bail for it and wear it myself. What a bummer ;o))))))) That tiny chip is, in fact, a perfect excuse ;o)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Business blogging: Google Alerts

I thought I'd do some irregular blogging on some information, which you might find useful or not. Most people might well do any or all of these, but I figured....why not. So, for today...have you heard of Google Alerts? I *love* Google Alerts! They are a nifty little feature of Google - if you go here:, you'll see the box shown here. Type in your search terms and your email address, and I'd suggest you set it to once a day. Now, I use it to keep an eye on my business, hubby's business, and my workplace, so I have alerts running on my name, my business name, etc. - you set up a different alert for each one. First thing in the morning (usually), I get an email - one for each alert - with links to the pages where the terms I have flagged up have cropped up over the last 24 hours.

The internet is vast, and we can't be everywhere at once - and Google Alerts aren't failsafe! Still, it's a great buzz when I find that a link takes me to the website of somebody who bought some beads off me a while ago, and is now listing a beautiful piece of jewellery they made with it. Google Alerts also catch Flickr photos, Facebook links, blog posts, etc., so if one of you were to blog 'I read this interesting blog post on Sabine Little's blog' or 'the Little Castle Designs blog', I'll find that in my inbox the next morning.

You could go further and use it to track trends or ideas - but be prepared for a lot of reading and clicking! If, for example, you track 'lampwork jewellery', that'll give you lots more results that little ole 'Little Castle Designs'.

Anyway, I hope you can use this info to get a bit more info about how and where your business name is appearing on the Internet!

If you'd like more of these posts, let me know, please? Apologies to all to whom I've just done the granny-sucking-eggs thing to!

And..trying a new thing - this *should* be a retweet button:

Thursday, 13 May 2010

What a difference a day makes...

...24 little hours....have I got you singing?

Some of you know I've not been well - yesterday, I should have had the results from a glandular fever test, but guess what? They're inconclusive, and I have to have it repeated in three weeks. Ah well!

This means I've not made as many beads as I would have liked, but I have spent more time online. This in turn meant that, yesterday, I re-acquainted myself with my FaceBook business page, - and its 85 fans (except FaceBook now call them 'Likes'). I set myself the target of getting to 100 before the end of the day, and thanks to you all, I - we - did it :o)))) It even continued growing overnight, and is now at 107!! Thank you all, I'm all chuffed! I will soon get to work and connect a shop to the page. In the mean time, I'm planning a fan-giveaway, which I'll list over the week-end, so if you're not a Fan / Like yet, do join! (but then, I would say that!) - the Like box is just to the bottom right of this post ;o)

The other thing that made me happy yesterday was a meteoric rise up Lampwork Go Top 100 - on my homepage is a link to that page, and you can enter a vote, before you get taken to the Top 100 website. Now, in all honesty, it means little in the world overall, it won't feed starving children, it won't improve world peace...but it does mean that you guys took the time to click and vote for me, and that, of course, means the world!

Thanks to my sister for the screenshot of my site a no. 2......I now want to see if I can get to no. 1, of course, even if just to take another screenshot and treasure it :o)

So, thanks to social networking and you all, after one little day, I feel thoroughly smug about my online presence. I know there are others who have lots more Fans, etc., but I'm getting there. Thank you for helping along!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

A new website!

No, not a new address, but I've worked hard to get the best out of MrSite - I'm sure I could do more if I had the skill, but I'm pleased with how it looks so far. In the process, I became good friends with a couple of slate place mats, re-discovered some beads, finally got round to take pictures of some new jewellery (although it's not listed yet), and finished last night at 10.30pm on the pleasant feeling of listing new beads on my new website. Hurrah!

All the work's not done yet, in fact, there are a couple of tabs still missing, but I realised I was so daunted by the task, if I didn't start somewhere, it'd never get done. I hope you like the new site!