Blog & Site Updates

7.20.18 Today I have removed all my books and art to the Antellus website, with a view to streamlining my product presentations to reflect their categories. I had already done so with the jewelry. So if the front page looks a little bleak it is because I don't plan to promote this site other than as my personal one. I invite you to see the products in their proper settings, with plenty of room for more.
     I am also trying to get everything ready for more books and more jewelry. I am working on 2 books right now, and I plan to add 2 more to the catalog as soon as I finish these. I am also trying to finish a third before I publish it, with a view to publish it sometime this fall. It's just that I am only one person, so my projects depend on how much time I have for each one. More news later. ♦

5.01.18 Today I had to resolve a big problem with a website when I was misled by my web hosting server to switch from http: to https:. Loaded all the pages, and tested them, only to find that none of my pictures were showing up. Turns out that they parked a fake ssl folder on my hosting panel, leading me to believe that it was okay. It was not. I called them, and learned that the hosting package I had just paid for did not include a free ssl certificate, that I would have to pay extra for it. Why they would do this is a mystery to me, because I wasted an entire afternoon switching all the pages back. I refuse to pay for something I really don't need, because I do not require a signin, and I don't store data on the site. Many have said that the switch to a "secure" server would please Google. Well, "secure" servers are no more secure than the regular ones, and one has to pay every year extra for false security. So I have decided to stick with what I have and live without. I don't care what Google says. ♦

4.25.18 is now live! I will be establishing adjunct pages later. Please visit and see the new layout and images. Thanks. ♦

4.22.18 Due to the advice I have received in recent weeks I am moving the jewelry portion of my site over to a new one, I had closed the old one last month, but have been spending some time ruminating over what to call the new one. It turns out that it does not really matter what one calls a site, it's the description and keywords which determine where it lands in the search engines. So over the next week I will be working on changing the root directory on the files. I will post the new link as soon as I have that set up. Happy Earth Day.♦

4.12.18 Today I have finished reassigning and remodeling the earrings catalog. This work involved moving items up the list to eliminate blank spaces in the catalog, and I also improved the resolution of the images. It took a few days thanks to my also painting the master bedroom in my house. The walls had been a peculiar shade of lemon-orange which I did not like, but in the last 5 years I did not get a chance to do anything about it. Now I am painting them pure white with no special color distinctions, and I feel like the room is bigger and brighter for it. ♦

4.07.18 I have updated the prices for most of my products, but I still have to update the rings. I realized that my hair jewelry page did not include the relevant links so that has been corrected. I plan to refurbish some photos and add more jewelry to the catalog later. ♦

4.04.18 Today I am taking down some products and lowering prices in line with my new pricing stategy. And I am searching for a secondary marketplace. Meanwhile, I have spent some time painting walls in my house, so this may take some time. ♦

3.14.18 I am reminded that this is PI Day, which is any day containing the numerals 3 and 14. It stands for π, the factor used to compute the circumpherence of a circle. But by circumstance today is also the day that Sir Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) died at the age of 76. Hawking was a theoretical physicist who unlocked the secrets of black holes and united their effects with the theory of general relativity as documented by Albert Einstein. He said that the heart of any galaxy in the universe is a supermassive black hole. He wrote several books, including A Brief History of Time, a book designed for laymen. His latest work was exploring the concept of "dark matter" and "dark energy", the properties of which are yet to be defined. He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) when he was 21 and was given 2.5 years to live. Instead, he and his family decided to fight it, and he lasted another 55 years. He had an ever effervescent wit and sense of humor, and despite the effects of the disease, managed to continue to teach and work on his favorite subject. ♦

3.12.18 Update: I have just migrated my books and art onto this site, where all my works are easy to see. Check out the front page for images and links. Thanks. ♦

3.12.18 After doing some research I have decided to keep my business name simple, with my own name. I had retired my old business name due to its unimpressive record of accomplishment, and the old web site. It's not just that, it was the ambiguity of the name itself. It did not really narrow down what I had to sell and I found that shops I had opened under that name just did not do well. Advice from several business sites suggested that I should just use my real name as my business name, and to be proud of that. After some time considering this, I decided that this advice was sound. So all my advertising will go to getting my name all over the internet and in chosen print magazines once I polish the site. This includes improving the photos, a better setup of a page, and so on. I also spent about a week or so enlarging my photos to something everyone could see, within the parameters I decided were ideal for PCs, tablets, notepads and (maybe) mobile apps. I am still not sure about mobile apps, since people are more prone to see an image of something and then shop for it on the PC or tablet.
     My prices are quite affordable; in some cases less than shopping channel prices even as they discount their own prices. I charge only what I think is fair, based on the materials in use, my labor and overhead. No, I will not lower my prices to fit whatever eBay or Amazon think are fair. They have been bamboozled by Chinese imports which drive prices below what I have to pay to make them. I am in this business to make money from my skills, not to cater to people who do not care what a piece is worth or have no clue how jewelry is priced. I can guarantee that I will not use diamonds to create my designs, but the cheapskates want something for as little as possible. I have sacrificed discounting in favor of what designers expect for their work. I don't have time to worry about the cheapskates.
     I will be working on books alone for the rest of the month. It looks like I won't be able to post more of the new jewelry until they are finished. So maybe April.♦

3.11.18 Finally, I have had to say sayonara to a long-time acquaintance of mine who had a tendency to harangue me about my life and business choices. I know he was trying to be helpful but after all it's my life, not his. After two weeks of candle-burning coding and transferring everything over to this site from a site which was not doing well to begin with, he attacks with the kibitz already. I said goodbye. Sometimes you just have to, since I have divested myself of the club associations which gained me no recognition for my work and no identity in the jewelry community. It seems that an association of that kind is less than beneficial, since all I got out of it was nothing. Even spending money to show my work gained less sales for me than if I had avoided the shows altogether. I was doing well on online marketplaces, and I could have saved the cash. But others told me that I would not have any presence without doing the shows. Turns out they were wrong. So, no more of that.
     See, when I started in 1992, I did pretty well at shows and conventions. But since 2008 the economic outlook was bleak and I stopped showing then. In 2012 I started over, and when I had some money to spend I did more and larger shows. But the tastes of the customers changed. I used to do more elaborate and intricate designs but people did not buy them. So I went minimalist. When shoppers begin to spend money again, I will design more artistic things.
     Now, shows are more expensive and involve more outlay just to exhibit than to sell, and my prices were never low enough. That means negative dollars. After a while, I sat down with my calculator and realized that I was just throwing good money after bad. So I went online and retired from the show circuit. It has been a struggle, but the fact is that I am but one merchant in a sea of them. All my choices have been from sound economic practice, yet there are people in this world who think they know everything. I can do well without them. ♦

3.07.18 Good news! I have rearranged my personal site to accommodate all my products, which includes the jewelry. I have been recrafting the site's product pages and vamping up photos. I have put all the earrings, necklaces, bracelets and pins up, while I work on the rings. Once that is done I will be free to work on the books. Mind that coding takes time and concentration. I hope to update my catalog, too, so that also takes time. While I am coding I don't have time to write. I am only one person. ♦

2.21.18 It's been a while since I've been here. There have been some changes. I have taken down my jewelry site for a hiatus, during which I will be rethinking my options. Thus far, since 2015 I have not had much success with it. I suspect that the current economy being what it is (no, I don't think the stock market has anything to do with day to day spending or saving) there are fewer and fewer people who trust online sales at the moment. What with credit hacking, eBay going down the tubes, and so on, a lot of shoppers are choosing to go back to the brick and mortar stores. My sites being so small compared to the giants like Walmart, Amazon, and eBay, they don't stand a chance in a headwind. Besides that, book sales have been going up somewhat when I tuned up my covers, and I have been able to publish ebooks on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Yet, I feel I could do something to spruce up the jewelry site; I simply don't know what it is at the moment. I have also taken down the Facebook page; people were looking but not buying. But then, FB is not conducive to sales yet. I have to study the results of other users to see whether it is worth going down that rabbit hole. But at some point I will have to figure out what to do with over 500 pieces of inventory, along with thousands of pieces of supplies. Right now I will focus on my books and worry about it later. ♦

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