Thursday, January 31, 2008

New Website Ordering Buttons & Extras

I'm not sure yet, which one will be the one for the Buy it right now or add to cart function. Not sure if I should create a button that reads 'add to cart' instead. I just wanted to keep the wording simple so that it would fit into the little sun frame. I just don't know which word to choose, or if there is another word that would better be suited.

Add = makes me think of math, (not necessarily shopping?)
Order = makes me thing of something either religious or Order Rather than Chaos (But shopping?)
Buy = looks like I am demanding?

Any thoughts would be appreciated. So Please comment if you come across this. I really need some feedback.

Also, here are some other navigation style link images for the new site, along with some other site tidbits:

Above 'Info' is part of my new navigation links style image.

Above (although hard to see because of the size) is part of my new bar style frames throughout the site.


New Eyescream Jewelry Logo & Website concepts

So I am still plugging away at creating my site from scratch. I am really getting into learning a lot as I go along. I am just not so hip on the actual 'uploading my site to the host' & figuring out how to add the shopping cart feature. Making my head swim.

I may end up going with the paypal payment option & add buttons to the site. Which would mean opening up multiple windows for editing/transfering/copy & pasting my current item info for each new buy it button from paypal. phew. Not may favorite thing I can think of.

I still have SO many (literally hundreds & hundreds) of new items to edit pics & write new descriptions. Most likely my new site will be an intense shell of itself for a while as far as how many items in the catalog I have. Until I have time to keep adding more.

So for now, I will continue to get the base of the website created (without the catalog) & then switch to cleaning up the items pics & descriptions/cart concept later.

Here is my new Eyescream Jewelry banner/logo heading for my website that I just created. I was going for a sort of Medieval/Nouveau/Gothic Arty style idea. The White Eyeball/cone is hand drawn. Also, wanted it to be fresh & Pop!
And although may not be noticeable, the Cone is actually an eyeball turned to the side. This is an old design logo idea I had created about 15 years ago... & have FINALLY brought to light & worked on it.
I was also going for a subtle wrought Iron sign post idea... though I had wanted the Eyeball to sort of hang down from the long side arm of the sign post, but then changed it as it brought the image down too far & thus would have made it longer.

I am not sure how the new site design will be received... everything is always a work in progress & something to learn from. Back to the grind.

Any thoughts are welcome...


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Eyescream Jewelry Customer Gallery Slideshow

I've just updated the Customer Gallery Slideshow... and although with the new style & look... there are no more color photos so you can't see the color of the pieces or the stones, But I love the new look anyway. Classic, looks like a silent film. Love the movement & the Black & white highlights. As well, you can actually read the script written for each & even the cute little scrolls under the words.

So here it is ~X~

Labradorite Sterling & Garnet Earrings

Because I love Labradorite & Garnets tobether. Here are a pair of updated designs from the gallery. Can't really see the beauty of the Faceted Garnet Teardrops as they sort of drop out in the shadows at the bottom.
These lovelies went straight away as a custom to a client. Had a moment to click a pic.
Love the flash & Fire in these.

Monday, January 28, 2008

New Resin Jewelry 'Gryphon with Key in a Gothic Arch' Brooch

New, Handpainted Gryphon holding key. Gunmetal Cameo Brooch. Artwork Resin Set.

Art photos of nature & Golden Gate Park (after the last lengthy post)

The Calm after the storm...
Photos I took in Golden Gate park last year.


Creating a New Website Woes & Woes & then Seeing the Light

Not really on the subject of Art. But I have been forced into having to create a website from scratch with barely any html knowledge (other than the basics). I've had the same online template based service for over 8 years & Eyescream Jewelry was created utelizing the service. I have sort of been trapped by them all this time because I've had no time to learn to create a site from scratch, had a nearly 1000 catalog items & multiple pages & just way too much to attempt to transfer.

Along with the fact that the service I was using is obsolete & my catalog could not be transfered.
Back in 2004 the company first was sold to another company & since then there haven't been any updates or changes to the service & nothing to feel like it was a smart decision to stay. In fact they took down our community boards because of all the complaining that took place. But never told us they were doing so.

So finally a few days ago (after I have spent every year doing research in my spare time & even starting up sites with other companies) but still not finding what I needed & not having the time to do it right. The company I am currently going through finally did it. They are going out of service as of March 31st. All of our sites will be closed. I have 2 months to create a site from scratch & have been so frustrated. (I've literally, even before finding this out) had been spending the last month searching for html / website editing software, programs, downloads, or purchases, companies who build online, & even private web designers. To no avail.

I am sure everyone who has been put into this predicament, knows my frustration & pain... probably worst than taxes, especially knowing that I am stuck & MUST do this within 2 months or fear losing my search engine rankings (which will no doubt happen anyway regardless). And or lose link exchanges, & possibly lose clients & or business.

I have downloaded so many html or wysiwyg softwares for trials it is ridiculous. I literally have about 20 of these or more on my hard drive. It's funny how they say their product is Easy & no HTML knowledge is needed to create a site... just drag & drop. Almost ALL are Template based driven. Templates are a Huge pain. As most you cannot create a site from scratch (ie: chosing your own background color, font colors etc). You mostly HAVE TO chose from one of their already created standard templates, & then are given very limited changes to colors per each template design.

Why could I not find an editor where I could choose my own background color. It seems so simple to me I could burst. In fact, when I think of creating a website, the VERY FIRST thing I look to do, is chose my background color, font colors & load a Company logo or banner at top or corner & then choose where I want my Navigation links to be placed (either across the top or down a side). I cannot tell you how silly it has been attempting to use the so called Easy editors & then searching for the area where any of these choices reside. Just make it simple. Make an icon or something & put it in the first spot.

Most of these editors also don't have much info for what each of their icons are for. I like to know what each is for, given hints at least. Why do I need this, or what this is for. What happens when you click or do this. phew!!!

I've been so wound up this last weekend, my husband was about to write off his Saturday night when we finally got to the local cafe, only to find they were closed by a few minutes (I had been waiting a coupla hours to go, but he was busy on a project)... and he realized I wasn't going to get the specialty Green tea drink I had been waiting for, & felt I desperately needed in order to calm down from my hours & hours of online torture. The last thing I said to him Sat. night... I just want to find something, ANYTHING that will make me feel I have a beacon of hope.

Sunday morning. I received a horrible call from my mother, my Grandmother had Conjuctive heart failure. She is still alive but not in a very good state. I couldn't go back to sleep & after only a coupla hours rest, I awoke & wrote a letter to myself about the state of negativity within family & how people harbor ill will toward one another & basically can't we all just get along. I called my grandmother, who has been suffering from Dementia as well. Not a coherent phone call. I told her I loved her very much. Hung up & had a good cry.

I spent the next few hours doing what I had been doing for many weeks, days, hours & downloaded more html editors. One by one I opened each up. (now I have a bad learning curve & fairly short desire to attempt to learn & or read 'Help' issues unless easily set up & easy to understand... but better at hands on with someone teaching me). I opened each & if I found that I struggled for more than 5 minutes in the beginning of each editor. I would close it & move on.

Something should draw my attention in it's ease of use to keep me occupied & creating & learning easily. I finally found it. After so many attempts I opening an editor called 'Site Spinner V2' by Virtual Mechanics. I could bypass the Template selector to customize my own site. After hours of creating a base layout for the site (which seemingly could have been this simple with any of these editors, though it was not)... I was still working with the program, multi tasking in my photoshop to create navigation image buttons & tweeking some other image elements for the new site, while ACTUALLY learning their program.

They have it set up pretty straight forward, Tutorials through each process, pop ups that come up now & then with tips on items chosen. Even the editor layout was slightly different than others & slightly more visually friendly. Overall I am learning so much. Now to figure out the cost on the editor. I was in luck, only $49. Though still a lot, & I haven't gotten through everything yet, there will be some snags I am sure. (though $49 for peace of mind = priceless). I researched 'Reviews' & their forums & it seems they have pretty descent customer service. The reviews for the most part were pretty incredible. Though a coupla cons came up. One being not a True editor as far as most complaining you cannot open up html pages created outside of the program or pull in your own templates created elsewhere. But I am in luck, this doesn't pertain to me. Some even complained it wasn't simple, couldn't understand the icons & weren't willing to read through. I swear, this is one of the easiest editors I've used. You have to know a little something for it to flow, but if you don't you can open the tutorials, read through (not too long) & learn so much. Others were not set up this way (having tutorials set up for each function).

So long story short, I felt I was at my whits end. My site may not be as functional in 2 months as it is now. It will remain a work in progress come April. But it will start to have it's own look. And a new facelift. I had already purchased a web host last week as well. Though I still have the daunting task of choosing a shopping cart & hand entering each item one by one. I think my catalog will be pretty small in comparison to what I already have. I am hoping for the best.
This post is so long, I'm sure no one will read it. But I really need to let out all this negativity surround html editors. I am so happy to have found one I love.

I must get back to tweeking my site. I'm actually having a little fun doing this & learning some new things.

wish me luck. Many good wishes for my grandmothers health. I love her dearly. She is the reason I got into crafts & jewelry making at all. She has been my biggest inspiration next to my grandfather.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Skulls, Bones & Stones Oh My!

Rocks & Skulls & Bones oh my... These are some of my photos taken over a course of 10 years. The Bones with Candles is among my all time faves.

I found the Balancing stones on a beach one 4th of July.

The other odd large Rock with Various bits growing out of it, always looked like a face. I call it 'Witch Rock'.

An another fave Dark Waterfall, was taken at Stow Lake in Golden Gate park last year. The Foreground stones have a little bit of water running between them & are used as a path.

Because I Heart Strawberries!!!

So One night while vending, I picked up a carton of Strawberries for the night. And inside I found the Biggest Organic Strawberry I have ever personally seen & or owned (albeit brief). And Yes, This was a REAL STRAWBERRY & not digitally worked. It was so beautiful I took a few shots of it. And had to ham up for the camera, how could you now with such a large looking Strawberry Sandwhich.
These Pics I took last summer, but thought because it was so cold out, it made me feel somehow warmer.
Yum!!! Enjoy!!!


Friday, January 25, 2008

1st Art Show Dark Art Fest Sept. 2007

Before I drift off into the ether... I thought I'd round up some of my favorite paintings I did for my first Dark Arts showing at the DNA Lounge 'meat' club at the end of September 2007. It was only for one night. I had framed a bunch of my 8.5x11 pieces as well as some larger paintings (& actually sold 3 framed pieces that night, my first)... as well as showcasing my new Altered Art Jewelry to go along with the framed prints. (which I sold a bunch of, yea!)

The first is a Self Portrait 'Twig Mask in Pink' done in Acrylic. Also shown with detail.

The 2nd is one of my FAVES is the 'Serpent Twins', and yes, it is a bit naughty. The idea was bore out of another self portrait photo I took of myself in the mirror & then later turned into this Acrylic piece on paper. I love the shadows on this piece & had created this piece at the local Sketch Tuesday (most 3rd tuesdays of the month) at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco.

The third 'Red Skull' was a print of my digital art prints on one of my favorite types of printing paper 'canvas cloth'... luv it! Then I did all the intense dark design work with Acrylic Paint... and the Red I did in a Dark Burgandy Cherry Red CRIMSON acrylic. Though actually, this piece is so Dark in real life that a lot of the detail is more subtle.

I will post pics of the actual nights event once I clean them up.

Art Clay Silver or PMC carved jewelry creations

I thought I'd post some of my mid 2007 Art Clay Silver creations. I had a lot of fun with these. Best of all, I fired them right on my Gas Stovetop on top of a Metal Mesh piece used for soldering. The First Ruby Sun Rays with art clay Gold paint accent. The 2nd is my personal piece winged skull with Loveliest Labradorite fire drop on cord. I loved this piece so much I made a Cold Cast mold of it for future creations. The last is my personal Thumb ring. Carved when dry & the actual piece was created with older reconstituded from dry old ACS. This one was a DOOZY to create with set sapphire stone eyes. For one, you are not supposed to do rings or other 3D type creations attempting to fire on the stove top. They are supposed to be done in a kiln so that they can be protected with the fabric center. One of the horns came off at some point & though I tried to slip it back on & hold it in place, eventually, I had to torch it to the piece. As well, when dried & carving/sanding, the piece broke in 4 places, thus disrupting the design carved around the band (which would have been a lot nicer if it hadn't broken). But I like a challange.

Soon to come: I will be creating custom carved design pendant frames & other bezel frames in Art Clay Silver / PMC & also sterling torched frame & bezel pieces for setting my Altered Art Collage work for jewelry. Can't wait.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Altered Art Moleskin sketchbook

It's been so cold. I shouldn't complain, it's not wintery weather in the midwest. But since I am so used to California winters... it is cold enough to where my nose hands & toes are frozen. I am leading up to the following project. Staying nestled in my warm bedroom... not wanting to leave for barely a stretch... I cuddled up with blankets, kitty & art supplies as well as the movies 'War Gods of the Deep' & 'journey to the earth's core', and King Kong Original as well as the 1976 (my fave) King Kong version.

Now that I have this new moleskin, I've been checking out what it can handle. Unfortunately, distress inks seep through. Though I tried to use them on the above pages... not too exciting & the left side is still unstarted & the Right side is still unfinished.

Tools & Techniques:

  • Distress Ink pads
  • acrylics
  • my artwork ephemera cutouts
  • moleskin sketchbook
  • the original image was a photo I took of myself years ago for my first full length album cd, Dark Muse 'Sounds from beyond the Silver Wheel'...


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Altered Art Collage My Mucha Design Inspiration

Here is another of the Altered Art Collage creations I did on stampbord.
This piece is So beautiful, but so hard to capture on film.

Tools & Techniques:
  • Custom Rubber stamp from my own photoshop art (photo of myself from my banner logo on the jewelry site).
  • Lilac Distress Reinker (new fave) straight from bottle & applied to edges with sponge.
  • Acrylic Paint (black, white, blackcherry red, eggplant purple, plum, silver metallic)
  • Collaged handmade design paper ephemera
  • Pearl Ex Colors (hard to see in the finish, but image not really yellow as shown, but more of a powdery white with Fushia/white pearl ex hues).
  • Vintage Glass & Crystals (burgandy red carved heart leaf, faceted squares in purple & pink, faceted pointed flipped upside down & glued.)
  • Swarovski crystals (tiny pink, fushia, black)
  • on Stampbord
  • Final Finish is a Diamond Glaze

Creating Art while vending ???

'Beaming Eye of Inspiration'

I love the instant satisfaction of positive words about my work. (which is why I continue to vend from time to time). Online sales are great as well, but I need to connect physically/mentally/emotionally/ live with others to fully feel feedback sometimes.
So far I've introduced my new line of Altered Art & Collage jewelry creations last September, and had been working hard on creating & honing the resin work and such months prior.
There have been over 400 pieces created. Each a different piece of wearable art. Literally!
With Resin set images spanning from my photos, actual miniature paintings, collages, vintage altered pieces, drawings, photoshop/digital art etc.
It's been pretty fulfilling hearing people comment on my art (not just my jewelry art) but my literal art/paintings/photography & aesthetic in color & arrangement. It's funny how calming & artistically well rounded I feel doing this sort of jewelry creations.
The downside so far is that I haven't posted any of my work for sale online, and I've been selling them to fast to post.

Tonight, what I call my little poopoo (term of endearment) scissors design sold twice over. As well as one of my Serpent Twins locket & my fave Cthulu Skull print set in sterling.

So I've decided to now bring a small assortment bag of art supplies with me to vend. Not just my standard jewelry tools for quickie adjustments... but some of my smaller hand carved rubber stamps, ink, coupla paints & my new Moleskin brand sketchbook. I actually created a beautiful piece tonight & was surprised I could do so in a crowded loud & somewhat smokey goth club.
I just got to the point that I didn't care & just started to massacre my new book, until luckily it all fell into place & began to flow (I was a little nervous for a while).

'Beaming Eye of Inspiration'

tools & techniques:
  • Collage my digital art self portrait
  • laid on painted black journal page
  • Enhance Beaming rays by painting Silver Acrylic
  • stamp Eye with handmade carved rubber stamp w/black mica ink
  • Color with shimmers of silver paint wash &
    silver ant. pearl ex
  • color with more pearl ex & powdered eye shadow colors for peachy/pink hues
  • hand stamp bottom with part of my handmade/carved rubber stamp of my octopus (tentacles flipped up)...
  • hand paint details...

So to re-cap:

  1. Dark Club + jewelry making = bad lighting = not very inspiring = not a lot done! but . . .
  2. Dark Club + Art Supplies (ie: paint, paper, stamps) = Calm, Fun, Focus (unbelievably so), Fluid, Flow!!! (though I can see how this might not be for everyone :)


Monday, January 21, 2008

ATC party collage #1 & #2

'Flaming horned Icon of the Sacred Heart'
(1st image is the 2nd piece I created for myself, the 2nd image is the 1st version that my friend Stephen now owns).

This Altered Art Collage took forever to get started. I had my first Altered Art mini party & invited a select few over for fun & frolic (too much frolic within green tea & mini pumpkin cake bites & Berries oh my)... but by the end this horned icon piece was finally finished.

'Horned Icon'
Tools & Techniques:

StampBord, Custom Rubber stamp, Black Stazon, Lilac Distress reinker, collage design paper bits, Acrylic, Vintage Burgandy Leaf Glass, Copper sheet, Pearl Ex 'pearl' & Red Russet, Diamond Glaze for sealing.

The main black ink design of the Horned icon is actually a Custom Rubber stamp I had made from one of my paintings.
I loved the final outcome so much that I created a Second one for myself. She turned out slightly varied, & I am sure with my stamping of her, that she will not be the last.

Everyones work is posted below as well. Noting that at the end of the day, we threw our names in a box & drew someones to receive one of the ACEO pieces to take home. I received my friend Stephen Powers piece called 'Secret Forces'.

Basically, I asked that everyone try to utelize new & different materials than what they were used to & also asked them to bring not only their favorite art tools of the trade, but also some random ephemera that others might be able to bring new life to.

So I cleared out the kitchen, opened up the table & set out most all my art supplies for everyone. I had so much to dive into it was almost overwhelming. Everyone had such a great time that I forgot to take pictures of everyone while they were creating (next time).


Altered Art Collage party #1

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The First

I have been on an altered art book binge. Taking in some new inspirations.
For a long time I've been feeling so stagnant with my art & am finally finding my voice again in being to combine many loves to create new works.

Current Book to horde (for today):

'Secrets of Rusty Things' by Michael DeMeng

Ok, I have to admit the work is Sensational & I was automatically drawn to the images of his work. The little stories to go along with his process were just icing. The Dark & Rusty & Ancient aesthetics drew me in. It is hard for me to only view it as inspiration when I am so drawn to the process that it feels familiar.

This one book opened up many doors for me. I am thankful.