Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Celestial Events- Blue Moon on New Year's Eve

I've always had an interest in happenings in the night sky, so I've decided to start a new blog feature where I share astronomical events with you guys. And what better time to start my blog feature than now. This is because there is going to be a blue moon on New Year's Eve!!
For those of you that are unfamiliar with what a blue moon is, it is when a full moon occurs twice in the same month. The first blue moon in December was on the 2nd.
A normal blue moon happens every 2.5 years, with a New Year's blue moon happening only once every 19 years. This means that the next one won't be until 2028.
So this New Year's Eve, put on your blue suede shoes, and drink your Blue Moon beer to celebrate this rare celestial occurrence!

For more information on the blue moon, click here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hallelujah, Tis the season

So, I've been listening to holiday music lately and I keep listening to this song. I know that it isn't an actual holiday song, but for some reason, I think it fits the season well. It's a beautiful song. I'm sure most, if not all of you have heard it before.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Facebook Tagging, Awesome and Handy.

So I have just discovered Facebook tagging. What is facebook tagging you ask? Well, it works a lot like tagging on twitter. Say I want to update my status or post on someone's wall and leave a link to my fan page. I simply type an "at" symbol and then my fan page name. (@the niki project) When you type the @ symbol, you can type your fan page or any friend, and it will "tag" them, and come up as a link. Example "I love your handbags. @The Niki Project is a fan!" In that example, The Niki Project would be displayed as a link and anyone who clicks will be brought to my fan page. I absolutely love this feature and find it especially helpful when posting on someone's wall who doesn't have link sharing enabled. That way, you can still provide a link, and it looks much cleaner that pasting a whole url.
So, I thought this was a really nifty and handy trick and decided I would share it with you guys. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Don't Delete Your Analytics Code

Hey guys. So, in case you haven’t visited in a while, I’m trying out a new background. I like it for the most part. It doesn’t SCREAM Niki, but, it’s better than the plain black I had before. One thing to mention is that since changing my background, I’ve noticed that google analytics isn’t recording any of my blog traffic. Of course! When deleting the old layout and pasting the new one I deleted my analytics code. Duh! Sad thing is, it’s been about two weeks, and I’ve been staring at my analytics thinking, “I know I’m getting traffic, I have comments.” And then it hit me yesterday. Duh, it’s been since I changed my background. So there ya have it. When you change your background, be careful not to delete your analytics code. :-P

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Custom facebook URL With 25 Fans!

You can now make your custom facebook fanpage url with just 25 fans! Mine is www.facebook.com/thenikiproject. Woo hoo! No more long url with random numbers! Click here to be taken to the Etsy thread that tells you how.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Blogger for my phone?

So I have finally joined the "cool kids club" and bought a smart phone so I can have internet access where ever I am. I switched from Verizon to Sprint and went with the Samsung 'Moment'. It has a sweet touch screen. It also has a network with lots of apps, kind of like how the iphone has a network with apps you can download, only this has what is called the Android market. So, I've been looking for an app that I can download so I can read everyone's blog updates on the go. But I can't find one that allows me to do that. So I was hoping one or some of you guys could help me. Is there an app for this? Please tell me there is. *fingers crossed*

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Woo Hoo! Awesome Day!!

I am having an awesome day today! First off, I found out that tonight is the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. I always enjoy watching it. It is such a spectacle to see the outfits and the amazing wings. Fashion shows in general, especially this one, are like watching a live art exhibit. Such beauty and imaginiation is present in these shows. Next year, I think I'm going to throw a Victoria's Secret party. Kind of like how people throw grammy parties and watch the awards together. Anyways, just hearing that it was on tonight and then watching it made my day.

THEN, I made a sale!! Woo hoo!! Which is especially awesome because I was thinking of reducing the price of these earrings since they weren't selling. But I guess I won't have to now. :-D

Also, the Ritz Carlton that is opening up this month here in Tucson (technically Marana) and is finally hiring for massage therapists. I've been waiting for them to open up the hiring for the spa for a while now. I'm super excited to get my application in there. Plus, I want to apply for Spa Supervisor, which I have no experience doing, but I figure, what the heck, might as well try.
So, all in all, it's been a good day. Which is actually interesting. I was laying in bed last night, going over in my head the things I was thankful for and it put me in a really good mood. Then it became apparent to me that the next day was going to be a great day. I just knew it, I could feel it inside me. It was like this awesome, jubilant, happy feeling that was just waiting to burst out. And well, it did today! Yet another thing to be thankful for. Oh, AND it's a full moon! I don't know why but I have this personal affinity with full moons. There is just something so beautiful about seeing a large, mustard yellow moon rising up over the mountain. *sighs with satisfaction*
So there you have it, sorry if this was a bit long-winded, but... today was good, and I feel completely content and happy and I wanted to share it. Love you all.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday and Holiday Weekend Sale!!

!!!!!!BLACK FRIDAY!!!!!!
Dun dun dun!!
It's the much anticipated black Friday! And what better time to have a crazy shopping day than right after we have had delicious meals with wonderful people! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and headed out this morning with your bellies fully stuffed from the night before. I personally am not the kind that gets up before the sun to fight the mobs of people. I remain cozy in my bed until about noon.
I am, however, taking part in the black Friday excitement by having a sale in my shop! I'm one CRAZY kid I know! :-P Everything is 20% off. The sale is on all weekend long, from Friday to Monday. Come stop by and take a look!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Product Pic Style

So as some of you may know, my product pics are usually taken on the text of a book and the jewelry will be draped over another old book. I like how it looks. I think it lends to the romantic feel that I'm going for.
However, I've been wondering if maybe that style of product photos wasn't professional enough. So I thought that I would try and give the blank background without any text a go. Here's how they turned out. As you can see, for some of them I still opted to use the old book for a prop.

All of these pics still need to be cropped and edited a bit. The ones with the white background I need to edit so that the white is more crisp and well.. white. I think I got the hang of my other style of photos and made them look pretty decent, but this I will definitely have to work on. I think you have to be more picky with the lighting with this 'clean' style. That's definitely something I'll have to work on if I continue with this.

So what do you guys think? Do you like this stlye better or my old romantic style better? I'm always open for some good ole constructive criticism!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Friday the 13th Sale!! 20% Off! Store-wide!

That's right! I decided JUST NOW to have a Friday the 13th sale in my shop. For some this is a day full of superstitions but for me, it's pure fun! Kind of like Halloween! So I've decided to celebrate by having a store-wide 20% off sale! All items! Just type 'The13th' in the message to seller box when you checkout and I'll refund the amount through paypal. OR you can convo me first and I'll make a special listing with the revised price just for you. Hurry! This sale is only on until midnight tonight!

A Treasury About Love

Woo hoo! I figured that for the heck of it I would check craftopolis to see if I was in a treasury, and sure enough I am! It's titled "Key to my Heart" and was made by ChapterFour. It has my Red Coral Love Necklace in it. I have to honestly say that I really like this treasury. I'm all about loving one another, keeping your heart open to the world and being kind to one another and this treasury really speaks to me in that sense. Even better, when I looked at chapterfour's shop, I was in awe. It's a shop that sells prints and all of them speak of love. There's either hearts or flowers or rainbow colors, and they are all so simple. Beautiful work. I highly recommend going to Tania's shop, even if to just put a smile on your face. I know it did mine. :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Facebook and New Items

Hey guys! I haven't been on here in a week and I feel like I've mistreated all of you! After this post I'm going to spend the next hour catching up with you all. So I finally made a facebook fan page! Yay! I took the plunge! Click here to check it out. I made it yesterday and I already have 10 fans. Woo hoo!! If you fan me and then leave a comment with a link to your fan page I'll fan you back. I'd love to have some of my blogger buddies on there! Anyhoo, I was excited to use the facebook connect feature on Etsy but didn't realize that it would post on my personal page instead of my fan page, so I was kind of bummed about that. I guess I'll have to use the ole 'comment and leave a link' feature to update it. Also, up above are some new items I've posted in my shop. I finally purchased some lava beads and I've been having fun working with them. I love how rough and organic they are. I paired them with some pearls and the outcome was absolutely stunning! I will definitely be working with them some more.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blog Feature

Hey guys! Just thought I'd drop a line and let you know that Sharrie from StorybookStitches wrote a little feature about me on her blog. Also, if you mention her blog when you purchase something from my shop you'll get free shipping! While you're checking out her blog you should also head over to her shop. She sells some wonderful products for relaxation, which we will all need more of with the holiday season coming up!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Great Uplifting Blog

So I HAVE to share this blog with you guys. It's called Project: Lemon. Super inspiring, this blog is filled with goodness and joy, and I am all about it. The idea behind Project: Lemon is doing random act of kindness, but not just any random act of kindness. Here's how Heather describes it.

"Project Lemon is not for any ordinary random acts of kindness. It's for whimsical, strange, and unexpected acts of kindness. We want to fill strangers not just with joy, but a curious childlike wonder. It's about inspiring each other, sharing our ideas, and having a blog you can visit whenever you want to be filled with glee."

She does cute little things such as writing inspiring messages on lemons and leaving them around her city. Some of the posts even have pictures that she's taken of people finding the lemons. Her readers can also write in with stories of their own kind adventures to be posted, such as a fellow Etsian who wrote notes of encouragement and left them in her gym on a snowy day when most people wouldn't dream of going out to exercise.

I absolutely love this blog. I think as adults we forget to have fun, but Project: Lemon is like a fun little hide and seek game for grown-ups where the rewards are joy and excitement. And who doesn't want more of that in their life?

Monday, October 19, 2009

First Semi-Custom Sale!

So, as the title says, I just recently had my first semi-custom sale! I say “semi-custom” because they didn’t ask me to do something from scratch. They saw a current listing I had and just asked if they could get it in a different color.

The first pic is the original listing and the second is the custom listing. I liked the color combination so much that I decided to carry it in my shop.

Also, ran into a snag and had to use a smaller gauge wire. Instead of doing just a simple loop, I had to do a loop and a wrap for it to be secure. I LOVE how it turned out. What do you guys think? And for those of you who don’t make jewelry, do you even notice the wire wrapping?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

SEO and My Style

So if you’re on Etsy, chances are you’ve been hearing a lot about SEO (search engine optimization) lately. I know it’s something that I need to do if I want to get more traffic to my site. So I started reading some forum threads about it and I think I’ve hit a bit of a snag.

The thing is, you’re supposed to pick a few key words that accurately describe your product and use them in your shop title, your item names and their descriptions. So, my issue is, I don’t know what key words are best for my shop. Yeah there’s the typical “handmade jewelry” but from what I’ve read, you should add other words that better describe what you’re selling.

The problem I’m having is that I have a few different styles. And my style has definitely changed since I opened my shop. I have simple feminine items, and some that are more funky and some yet that have a more dark or goth flair. Now I’m trying to figure what my best move would be.

Should I try to use umbrella key words that all my items fit? I think that would prove rather difficult. Or should I ditch the different styles and try to focus on a more cohesive feel? The pics I’ve posted in this entry are my favorite pieces in my shop and I‘d kind of like to go more in that direction. But I’m not sure if they are too different to be sold in the same shop. Or maybe I should keep them all together, it would give my buyers more options. But then my shop feel might feel a bit confusing and hectic.

See, this is where being an indecisive person becomes a pain. Darn you indecisiveness!! *shakes fist*

Monday, October 12, 2009

Editing Wedding Pics

Hey, guys. So the wedding came and went and I took some pics. And I just want to thank all you guys for the supportive and encouraging comments. You all are so sweet and it was much appreciated. The wedding was great. Taking pics at the venue was rather difficult though. As I said before, it was done at the Justice of the Peace which is downtown. Apparently, some festival was going on and there were booths and people everywhere. So, it was kind of tricky to get pics without people in the background. I did what I could but there are some good pics with other people in them. I wanted to try and edit the people out but I don’t have any photo editing software so I downloaded GIMP today. I am totally new to this program so I don’t know how to do much. I messed around a bit and here’s what I came up with. The first pic is the original. You can see the people in between the pillars, those are what I want to get rid of.

So, I started off by erasing them. I didn’t think it looked horrible since some of the pic is already rather white. But I knew there had to be a better alternative.
So I then discovered the tool to lighten specific areas. So I just lightened the area with the people. Which I don’t think looks too bad. It made them not so noticeable. I think it’s an acceptable way of doing things, but I’m not sure what else to do since I am so new to this program.

I figured I could try something with the layers, which I’ve messed around with a bit but wasn’t happy with the results. I also want to figure out how to darken the bright areas so they aren’t so blinding. So, which one do you guys think looks best? Also, if you guys know of any other techniques to help me with this, PLEASE let me know. I need all the help I can get! I’ll keep messing around with some stuff and maybe I’ll do some subsequent posts so you all can go through the learning process with me. :-P

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Where'd My Mojo Go?

So my brother -in-law Deric is getting married tomorrow. The wedding is to be a small affair. Ceremony at the Justice of the Peace and then a dinner celebration at their apartment. Only like 20-30 people. I've been asked to take pics. Which makes me excited and nervous at the same time. I love photography. Deric and I were going to take a digital photography class this semester but things happened and we aren't. So, I'm nervous because I've been put in charge to capture their big day, but I'm also excited because I'm interested to see what I'm capable of. Aside from that, I'm making little wedding favors. Real simple, just tying up some MM's in tulle and ribbon. Then I'm printing up some little name cards with their names and tying them to the little bundle. Here's my supplies.

But, I'm being lazy. I should be doing that, or clearing out my memory card, or making some jewelry, or cleaning my place. But, it's kind of one of those days. Anyways, my cat ventured outside while I was snapping pics so I figured I'd put up a pic of him. So everyone, here's Dude.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Love Netflix!

So Zeb and I have had Netflix for a few weeks now and we absolutely love it! We got the plan that is $13.99 a month and after the fees it comes out to be something like $15.12. With this plan we get two DVD's out at a time and UNLIMITED instant movies that we watch on our Xbox 360 or computer.

So, while our movies are in the mail we get to chose from, I think it's 17,000 movies to watch instantly. They also have a lot of seasons of Tv shows to watch too. All in all, it is well worth the money we spend on it. There are only a few drawbacks and they aren't even that major. One is that in order to get blu-rays, we would have to upgrade our account for an extra $3 a month.

Also, it would be sweet if their whole collection of movies was available to watch instantly, but I know that's asking for a bit much. So, really, I can't complain. We have watched some great movies that we've been meaning to see and never gotten around to. Also, once you watch a movie, you can rate it. By doing that, the system learns what you like and suggests movies for you that you wouldn't have otherwise considered.

So do any of you have Netflix or subscriptions to other movie services? I'd love to hear about your experiences.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Desert Wheat and Contest

So I have been tagged by Velvetwoods! Check out my previous post for some info on her blog and shop. But here's the rules for this photo tag game.

1. Open your first photo folder
2. Scroll to the tenth photo
3. Post the photo on your blog and tell the story behind it
4. Tag people to do the same

So my tenth photo was this desert wheat plant. It's not really wheat, but that's what it looks like to me. It had just rained so I ventured out with my camera and I liked the rain drops on the stalk. Also, it was still rather cloudy and I didn't adjust my settings right so I apologize for the grainyness.
So to help this continue on:

2ndcoming is tagged
beFREEdesigns is tagged
Glowbug Design is tagged

Also, one of my sparrow necklaces has been entered into a contest on DawnWillBreak's Blog. Join in the fun and cast your vote. The winner receives a free pair of earrings. So stop by and support your favorite artists!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Made A Stellar Treasury!

Here it is! My first ever treasury! My plan is to start making these little buggers and each time I'll feature a few of my blogger buddies! For this one I've featured Velvetwoods and Imaginative Intentions. They are both great artists whose work I admire. Velvetwoods has a beautiful blog and an even more gorgeous shop that is filled with dreamy surreal prints that are to die for! Imaginitive Intentions also has a fantastic blog that you can visit and a shop that is full of amazing pendants with an array of images. So, if you want a great piece of artwork, whether for your wall or for around your neck , check out their shops. You'll definitely find some fascinating eye candy. And don't forget to check out my treasury. It turned out great if I do say so myself!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Halloween Pieces, Finally!

So just like the title says, these are my new Halloween pieces. The first three are part of my "Drops of Blood" line. I saw these beads and immediately thought of blood droplets, so that's what I made them into. I have noticed though that on my first pic you can see my fingerprint a bit on the glass. I'll have to touch it up before I post I guess.
I love these earrings. When I think Halloween, I think red and black. Now I know that the colors traditionally are orange and black, but I like red much better, and I think it makes for better contrast. *shrugs* One thing I noticed about the book that I hung the earrings on (It's a lovely aged copy of Interview With The Vampire, my fav) is that it's opened up to the part where Claudia goes a bit crazy about being made a vampire. You can see the quotes, "Which one of you did it? Which one of you made me what I am?" A great part in the movie. Just thought it was kind of cool that the book was opened to that page.

These, real simple design, but they are on sterling hooks.

I particularly like the black beads on the bracelet. You can only slightly tell from the pic but the black beads are shiny on the flat parts and on the rounded edges they are matte. Very cool detail I thought. Anyways, Sunday I should be doing my model pics so these will be going up starting that day or shortly after. Just thought I would update you guys since everyone and their mom has already added Halloween items.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Finally Got Up The Nerve

Finally, I got up to the nerve to sell this necklace. I made it months ago and was holding on to it with the thoughts that maybe I wanted to keep it. To be honest, I'm not sure what I would wear it with. I'm generally not the type to wear statement pieces. But for some reason, I love it! So, I took pictures of it about a month and a half ago, but still couldn't work up the courage to list it. But, I saw it sitting in my box of finished pieces and realized that it was time to let the ole gal go. So, finally, here she is. Tangled Up In Love is finally up for sale in my shop. I just hope she goes to a good home. :-P

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Giveaway! I Am Honored!

So there is this awesome blog, Fun Fabulous Finds , that hosts TONS of giveaways! It's a super fun blog and there are so many giveaways that you will for sure find one that you want to get in on. For the whole month of September she is having an "All Things Halloween" giveaway where she will be giving away a halloween item from an Etsy shop EVERYDAY! And there are five different ways to enter for each giveaway. The giveaway for my Owl With Swarovksi Eyes Necklace has started today. That's the picture of it up above. I feel so honored! So head on over to her blog to get entered in this and many other giveaways!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Made Me Happy

So, for those of you that have read my post on spirituality, you know that I'm not really sure what to believe. However, while I was driving around yesterday I saw this man on the street corner. He wasn't begging for money or food. He was just simply walking back and forth on the street corner showing his sign. Now, I'm not sure if I think that Jesus is our savior, but for some reason, this made me smile. I think it's because there was something in the way that this man presented himself. He wasn't imposing this onto anyone. He wasn't shouting and being obnoxious trying to get people to believe what he believes. He seemed genuine. As if he was saying, " I love you, and jesus loves you, and we are all saved by him. This is what I believe. I thought I would share this with you, because I care." I guess I could say that his demeanor was almost god-like in the fact that he seemed so loving, so caring, so accepting, so genuine. Anyways, I felt moved by this man so I thought I'd share it with you guys.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Eerie/Lovely Song

I haven't heard this song in a while and then my awesome pandora played it. For those of you who don't know what pandora is, it's a website where you type in a band or a song and it streams music that is related to what you typed. PLUS, you get to rate each song, thumbs up or down and it adjusts your station accordingly. Pandora.com I have found many amazing artists that way. Anyways, this song "What Else Is There" by Royksopp. Love it! It's so chill and it has an eerie kind of vibe, especially if you watch the video. Kind of odd, but I like odd. :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

My First Treasury!

Yay! My pink Monroe Necklace was used in a treasury! As you can see the treasury is all about pink. Thank you Jesalynn! She has a cute shop filled with adorable ribbon and hemp bracelets. You should check it out!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What I've Been Up To

So Zeb and I decided one night that it was finally time to get our CD collection in order. You see, we keep our CD's in those books where you just slide the CD into the sleeves and we had all the cases in boxes. Anyways, we did this one night when Zeb had a friend over. Zeb and I would find the appropriate case and put the CD in it and Zeb's friend Shane would alphebetize them. The pic above is the alphabetized stacks. We also have another stack of about 20 empty cases that we couldn't find the CD for and we have about 30 Cd's that we couldn't find the cases for. So, we don't want to throw out the cases, thinking we could just get used CD's on Ebay or something. So, we still have all these cases, and now we still have a CD book for the ones that didn't have cases. So it seems like our collection (mostly Zeb's) is taking up more room than it did before. *sigh*

Also, I got some premo!! I'm super excited to mess around with it! I really want to get my hands into some PMC but I figured I'd get a few techniques down before I dove into the expensive stuff. I already tried making some pendants with the air-dry craft porcelain, (See pic below) but it was really sticky so I didn't really like working with it.

I also added a new item to my shop. I've taken my most recent pics on this amazingly worn copy of Interview with the Vampire. I love the feel that it gives the pictures.

Eternal Darkness Is In A Blog Contest!

So excited! Adrienne of StudioHaus has made a list of her favs and I'm on it! Woo hoo! She's also having a little contest where people comment on their favorite item on her list. I think it's at the end of the week that she'll announce the winner. Head on over to check it out and cast your vote!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Coming Early Next Week

So here's some of the pieces I have been working on. I made the top one really long so it can be worn as one long necklace or doubled up to look like two. The bottom one is freshwater pearls and swarovski crystals. Very feminine, could even be considered bridal wear. As for the pearls, I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but the freshwater pearls aren't smooth. They have ridges and aren't perfectly round. I think it looks kind of neat and my mom does too, but it makes me wonder if it would turn people off. If they would rather have perfectly round glass pearls instead. What do you guys think? What's your preference? Anyways, I've taken the product photos, now I have to wait until Sunday to take the model pictures. So I'll be listing them on Sunday or Monday. Also, sometime this weekend I'm going to get some more supplies. Yay! So there will be even more pieces to come!