Monday 5 June 2017

Bead Techniques Converging, Necklaces, SEO anxiety and being Thrice Cursed in the Lawnmower department. . .

Multi coloured 'candlestick' turned look bead

Well, since I regaled you last, we have had a thunderstorm induced 24 hour power cut which somehow sent my wife's computer's internet permissions into a parallel universe or something. Well, maybe not quite that, but it did insist quite bluntly that it couldn't access the internet, when by rights according to physical evidence it really should have been able to. . . Sigh. . .
Well, no point wondering why computers do what they do, you 'just' have to find the right dialogue box and click a few things, which is pretty much what I did eventually and saved the day. Phew.

My computer was fine as it had been off at the time of the big thunder clap that knocked out power for our end of the village. . .

That's about as close to drama as we get round here, which is fine by me.

Combined technique earring bead pair

Anyway, on the bead making front, I have been playing around with my 'pot' bead technique and combining it with organic textures to make quite interesting looking half and half technique 'organic' beads. Ostensibly for earrings as I made them in pairs. Definitely going to delve into this technique convergence a lot more.

Veg impersonating combined technique beads

I also did something I had been threatening to do for ages but never actually taken the time and trouble. As you know, I make sets of beads, 6 or 8 or 10 in a set usually. And I make several different sets in different colours etc, just pleasing myself, with no thought to eventual use. Which is fine, but I had wondered what a whole necklace worth of similar beads could look like, and whether I could discipline myself to make that many beads all the same colour and using the same surface treatment.
It turns out I could.

Groovy necklace

It started by me making a long string of small 'pot' or 'candlestick' (faux turned clay look anyway) beads in a purply blue with turquoise accents. Alongside these I had been playing with making a large, multi-layered, turned look bead with simple incised patterns/marks on it, the surface featuring several bright colours.
As these two projects nestled side by side on my desk I realised that the big bead would look very cool as a sort of central focal dangle in the middle of the blue beads. I tried it and it looked great (to me) so I made the combination into a simple necklace.

So, suitably encouraged, I made a lot of greeny browny, turned look beads of various sizes and designs, and some bicones, all with same treatment and colour. Then I threaded them together to make another simple and quite earthy organic boho-ish sort of necklace.

Simple earthy greeny mixed bead necklace

As a consequence of all this I feel a bit more confident in my ability to put together larger projects as well as bead sets and pairs of charms etc.

The thing that puts me off a bit is having that amount of beads tied up in a necklace that may not sell. The constituent beads, in smaller sets might sell more easily. But that's defeatist talk, and we don't like defeatist talk, do we? Down with that sort of thing! we say. . . ;-)

I have less confidence in my ability with the next item of interest. S E flamin' O. . .
SEO or Surreal Exercise in Obfuscation as its full name should be, is not something I have had to worry about much until now. Etsy has it's own search foibles which are somewhat different to Google's SEO foibles I'm told. I got my head round those reasonably well a while ago. But now, as I experiment with moving my shop to another site I find myself up against actual SEO stuff like alt tags and meta descriptions and the like. Tedious in the extreme if you are trying to alter 300 or so listings from Etsy SEO to Google SEO. Especially when you are not convinced you need a lot of these things. Good, clear descriptions, titles and pics count for a lot surely? And in an online store you don't need to have a pop up that appears when you mouse over a pic of an item, telling you what it is, as there is always a written description right next to it. . .
So I have decided not to worry about it. I will change the titles to render them clearer and more readable, which Google likes I am told. And I will bung in some keyword phrases as 'meta tags' and copy the title into the 'meta title' or whatever it's called, and leave the rest alone. I will also read up on SEO practice, at least, as much as I can without my single functioning brain cell calling foul and shutting down in protest.

Another multi coloured turned look bead faux ceramic finish

And finally, The Country Diary of a Polymer Claying Gentleman part 304. . .
We have three lawnmowers. They all came with the house, which was great. But. . . the sit on mower is still not cutting right, the ordinary type mower is misfiring and playing up a bit, and the evil, cut through anything, so heavy it has a reverse gear, kick ass mower has lost it's ability to engage the engine to the blades. It gave up half way through my purge on the nettles and other wayward weeds in the orchard. . . Mr semi retired lawn mower engineer man up the road (handy or what?) is going to investigate all three.
On the plus side, I have my beloved camera back from the repairers. Expensive to fix, but it's like a new camera now. I hadn't realised how its settings and sensitivities etc had deteriorated over time.

Well, that's me, as they say. So, until the next time,
Jon x


  1. We all knew you could make enough and string them into a very satisfying necklace Jon. It's only been you all along who doubted.... :0)

    Think of it this way. Instead of having to sell a number of sets - all you have to do is sell one necklace! And they will sell! They are so gorgeously different that of course they will!

    As for the mowers. They are the bane of our summer existence. I do love a nicely mowed lawn as opposed to the two in our neighbourhood that are almost knee deep and totally covered with white dandelion heads. Arghhh! I do despise dandelions and spend a lot of time removing them from my yard but what is the point when the neighbour behind doesn't give a s---......

    I think living in the country is a blessing - even with all it's ups and downs. You are still one lucky guy!

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