Sunday, January 31, 2010

ETSY Project Embrace - Ame. Cancer Society

This is our first Treasury dedicated to the wonderful folks who make up the membership of ETSY's project embrace.  All of the crafters here are members of this team, dedicated selfless folks who donate to the American Cancer Society on behalf of "one of our own", Laura Slocum.   We, GlitzGlitter and I, BeadFrenZ are new members and proud of it!

We look forward to a rewarding experience with the (EPE) Etsy Project Embrace team and the American Cancer Society.

BTW: If you have an inkling to donate,  please follow » this link.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thank You All!

Thank You All.  

To each and everyone who voted for the "Pink Cotton Candy Necklace", we are forever grateful.

  We know that it is only because of you we at Glitz Glitter have any kind of success.

Our customers, our dear friends and Etsians, we are very lucky to have all of you!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Please Vote For Glitz Glitter On ETSY Naughty or Nice! Only 2 days left

Please visit ETSY Voter Naughty or Nice and leave a vote for Glitz Glitter Creation's "Pink Cotton Candy Necklace".  Only 2 days left.

Tell Me About Artfire...

As some of you may know or not know, Glitz Glitter Creations was Featured Artisan on Artfire the second week of January. 

We first heard about Artfire on various ETSY forums.  Those touting Artfire were disgruntled Etsians at the administration or folks with shops that weren't doing well on ETSY.  We couldn't see the harm in expanding when the site offered wonderful incentives to boot: one monthly fee, no percentage off sales and a wonderfully user friendly seller software program.  (There is no doubt that Artfire is Seller oriented)

We officially joined in September of 2009 by showcasing 12 items we hoped would do well there,  but really began concentrating on our shop in November, before the holiday rush.   Glitz visited the forums on Artfire.  She asked questions and took notes.  The reception she received was very nice.  Everyone was ready to listen and help her become as successful as possible.  She also found the Administration to be very hands on and responsive.  

In our elation, we tweeted our experience to others and some of them followed us there.

Amongst the various bits of advise Glitz received from a very welcoming community was a link to help her apply for the featured artisan spot, which she did.  She received a message from Artfire that she had been selected.  We celebrated.

Transferring data from ETSY to Artfire was effortless.  They had a tool that imported all listings in a very presentable format to their site with one click of a button.  We haven't found any hacks for Artfire nor seriously searched for them either, their software is pretty sophisticated and lacks for little, unlike ETSY's.

 There are folks that hold up Artfire's front page  as fairly shabby.  The reason for that is that they are very egalitarian in their thinking.  Everyone is featured on the front page, as every time something new is listed on Artfire, it is featured on the front page.  The philosophy there is equality for all.  The need for puppet accounts or shell accounts is a non issue.

Keeping both sites up and running was a simple matter, creating the listing in ETSY and uploading it to Artfire cut duplication out of the picture.  In December, Artfire offered a one year break to it's sellers for a pre yearly purchase.  We jumped at the chance.

Glitz's talent's hit their stride around the same time we began seriously working on the Artfire site.  The new wire wrapped briolettes, the oxidizing of fine jewelry and the expansion into necklaces were well received on ETSY.  The expectation was that these items might also do well on Artfire.  We expanded the inventory on Artfire to 160 items.

The holidays came and left, eBay, (our biggest hope) was very disappointing and Artfire had produced only 4 sales in December.  We would like to think that there were luckier sellers on Artfire than us.

With high hopes, we began preparing for the expected rush to come with the featured artist slot.  The week before the article was to air, we uploaded the complete inventory, 356 items, to Artfire from ETSY.  We wanted to be sure and have plenty of choices available and naturally we didn't want Artfire to be disappointed in us.  

We waited, with butterflies in our belly's', for the page to change Saturday night....  and then suddenly, it did.  We made plans to stay up all night  and watch the action.  We watched, we waited, we moved from room to room, (as we have a few computers in the house) and we moved again.  Finally, very tired, we fell asleep with one eye open for the "RUSH".

On Sunday morning we awoke and hurried to the computer with anticipation, "Ok, no sales yet, maybe too early in the morning, after all, it's Sunday".  

Monday came and left, Tuesday, brought all of our co-horts from ETSY to Artfire to give us support.  Wednesday, a few questions, Thursday, another question.  Friday, we were "hotlisted" a few times (ETSY calls it favorites).  Saturday night, we watched as the sun went down and our week on the front page with it.

Our receipts for the week equaled  $0.00.  Not one new sale.

Ok, we shrugged our shoulders, hugged each other and poured a glass of wine to toast the new calm we could experience.  It was over, the week we had anticipated so much and hoped would open a new venue for our goods.

Searching the net this past week, I came across a Blog written in 2008  by Crafty Equine "My Review of Artfire". where she predicted that by 2010, Artfire would equal, if not surpass ETSY, being the dark horse that would give ETSY a run for their money.

Here is what we have learned, just as the rest of America is learning,   When you offer the "prize" to everyone equally, no one is a real winner.  

Give us ETSY, give us the competition, the frustrations, the jealousy, give us Adman, give us treasuries, gift guides, demand excellence from us, push us to our limits and give us the loyal and wonderful buyers of ETSY.

Amen ETSY  (What is the accronim's meaning anyway?)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Glitz Glitter Creations Featured Seller Artfire Jan 2010

We, Glitz Glitter Creations, are pleased as punch to be the "Featured Seller" on Artfire this week.

WOW, what a way to start the new year....

eBay or ETSY?

Glitz Glitter Creations got it's start on eBay in April of 2009.  The store opened with 75 items made mostly from Swarovski Crystals and various stones that were fairly inexpensive..  Most of the sales came from buyers who actually visited the store, as bidding didn't seem to make for many sales.

We tried everything that was available from .99 earrings to $75.00 featured (7 days at the top of the page) items.  The most looks we found came from the featured option.  In October 2009, eBay took that option away from us as we were not "power sellers".  They felt that featuring an item was the right of sellers that they deemed had made more than 3000 dollars in sales and had a high customer approval rate.  

Sometime in the middle of the year, June 2009, we decided to try out ETSY.  As a buyer, we had stumbled upon the Big "E" in our search for various supplies.  Our beginning, was very slow.  We sold one item and it took our buyer almost 2 months to leave feedback.  Once we got our first feedback, ... Well the rest is history.

As sales began to increase at ETSY, the steady sales we made on eBay continued.   What was different now was the atmosphere between the sites.   We found a different clientele on ETSY.  We also discovered a community of amazing and talented folks.

An ETSY shop is the key that opens the door to interesting and interested people.  Our experience has been nothing short of amazing.

We credit ETSY, not only for a warm welcome but for advice, people willing to help, to go out of their way to see someone become successful.  Glitz's talents were fueled by the helping hands that allowed her to expand her knowledge of jewelry crafting.  We took some chances, increasing our inventory from earrings to bracelets and necklaces (thanks to one particular Etsian's instructions in that category).  We experimented with new media, copper brass and gold.  We acquired better stones to feature in her creations.

Then we began to notice something pretty radical, as we honed our product and increased it's quality, eBay was non responsive.  The buyers there were not as interested in quality or better product, they just wanted the status quo.  As our sales on ETSY increased with the finer items we featured, those same items sat lonely in our eBay shop.

A decision had to be made.  Did we want to continue making and selling items to a store and atmosphere that demanded little of us and saw no additional value in higher quality goods  or take our chances that the demands of fellow Etsians to improve our inventory  would bring to us?

With the end of 2009 Glitz Glitter Creations closed the eBay store.  

We shed our tears, locked the door and walked away.  

Hello 2010!
Yippee ETSY Inc.
Thank you fellow Etsians, JET team members, and the spectacular customers who peruse your hallowed shops demanding only the best.

We accept the challenge....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Guess Who Got To Pick Today's Treasury on ETSY?

Etsy Front Page Curator: GlitzGlitter

Etsy Front Page Curator: BeadFrenZ

WOW! What a great year....
We feel truly blessed.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thank You

I just want to let each and everyone of you know how much your comments and good wishes have meant to us.  

When I wrote the blog, it was almost 03:am and I had just laid him to rest.  I was all alone and feeling pretty empty inside.  Twitter was almost completely stopped and facebook was at a crawl.   I was too revved up to sleep and lacking anyone to speak to, I wrote the blog.  I had no idea that anyone was really reading it.  

I am a late comer to blogging, a late comer to most of this amazing technology we have so readily available at our fingertips, but I am now a firm believer that we are not alone on this planet and there are plenty of folks out there willing to hold out a hand.  You just have to ask.

I asked, 
I was answered.

Big group hug to all of you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Best Friend Bubba Died Tonight.

January 6, 2010 my best friend passed away.  His name was Bubba.   I gave him that name because I wanted him to grow up and be strong, fearless and loyal.  He was about 70 years old (in dog years).

We knew something was wrong when he was having a rough time getting around lately.  His once great love for the outdoors and the cold crisp air was waning as well.  He preferred his bed in the house for the last few weeks, to the kennel he usually commandeered outside, to hold guard over the house.

He was a puppy when I got him.  I tried hard to teach him some tricks but he preferred standing back and laughing at me as I tried to emulate the things I wanted him to learn.  He knew to wait for a biscuit. he sat quietly until given permission to move when he was in the mood and a time or two he fetched the ball when I threw it.  Mostly he did what came naturally to a healer, he corralled me around the yard.  He would stick his big nosy face in my path and prevent me from going where I wanted, steering me to the place he preferred I should be.

Bubba never barked unless there was a reason, the mailman at the door or a stranger in the house, were about the only times he let us know verbally he was there.  Preferring to nudge and snuggle, rather than command attention, was his way.

He walked into the house tonight, slower than usual.  I was busy, as usual and finally when the evening had turned into deep night, he breathed a last breath and passed.  We had just finished a very late, well deserved  supper when I realized he was too quiet.  I called his name and for the first time in 10 years, he didn't perk his head.  Sometime during our supper he had fallen into an eternal sleep, never to wake again.

I want to sleep, I am tired, broken and hurt.  I already miss him dreadfully.  The house is too quiet, the fears that someone might challenge the doors to this house clutch my heart because my protector is not with me now.  I wonder if I will ever sleep as peaceful as I once did.

What is a dog or a cat or any pet for that matter?  Very quickly they become a part of the family.  Each has their own personality and quirks.  They make you laugh and they make you cry.  They perform amazing tricks and do silly things that cause you to laugh out loud when it's just the two of you.  They wait diligently for you when you are away and upon your arrival, it is a holiday for them.

When you are sad, they comfort you and when you are happy, they delight in your laughter.  They know all of your secrets because to tell them anything, is to know it will be guarded with their very life.

I will miss you my dear old friend, I will think of you often and with tears in my eyes, after all, I loved you, but not nearly as much as you loved me.

Sleep well my sweet Prince...... Amen

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hitler's Secret Files Finally Revealed

At a time when the world is challenging the truthfulness of the events of WWII ( their very existence) , 60 years after it happened,  while most of the witnesses to the atrocities are very old and passing much too quickly to witness the events,  written documentation has surfaced to witness for those who can no longer speak!  

Directly copied from CBS News internet site:
For the first time, secrets of the Nazi Holocaust that have been hidden away for more than 60 years are finally being made available to the public. We’re not talking about a missing filing cabinet - we’re talking about thousands of filing cabinets, holding 50 million pages. It's Hitler’s secret archive.

The Nazis were famous for record keeping but what 60 Minutes found ran from the bizarre to the horrifying. This Holocaust history was discovered by the Allies in dozens of concentration camps, as Germany fell in the spring of 1945.

As correspondent Scott Pelley reports, the documents were taken to a town in the middle of Germany, called Bad Arolsen, where they were sorted, filed and locked way, never to be seen by the public until now.

 Warning, the information contained in this video is not polite, but it is important.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Why Did It Happen?

On Sun, Jan 3, 2010 at 1:43 PM,> wrote:  (name removed)

thank you for letting me ask you some questions. i read a book about the holocaust and wanted to learn more about it, if the questions are too personal, that's OK, i would appreciate any information you are comfortable telling me.

 Mimi and I read your blog I think it is good that your telling people what happened so people can know what happened.  I loved your blog you are a great writer.

1. why did the holocaust happen?
2. how did it affect your life?
3. do you sill have the earrings?

thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions,

XXXXXXXXXX (Name removed)

LOL. these are not easy questions to answer, some of them would take hours of time and smarter people than me have tried many times over in the last 50 years and still have not come up with the answer.

I am going to try and tackle this question, for you, from my perspective though.

The Holocaust happened because people let it happen.  

A man came to power who promised the people of Germany that all the troubles in their lives could and would be solved if they just elected him to be in charge.

They were difficult times in Germany back then.  After WWI,  Germany emerged quite broken and financially strapped.  The Treaty of Versailles (which was an agreement signed with France, Britain and America) stated that Germany had to pay reparations and reimburse the damages they had authored  for causing the war.  This impacted their economy to a very large extent.  The German's were also faced with the embarrassment of loosing the war, which was a very hard thing for a proud people like them to endure.

The ordinary person on the street was sometimes hungry and couldn't always find work nor could they afford the heavy burden of the taxation to repair most of Europe that had been destroyed during that war.

The promises this man made were very nice on the outside but to accomplish his agenda, he had to find a scapegoat for the people to blame.   He was a very cleaver man and a charismatic speaker.  To find his scapegoat, he dug deep into his own past.  Somewhere back in his younger years, he felt inadequate or belittled for his own Jewish heritage.

It was not a new concept, Jews have been persecuted , many times over in history, all the way back to Babylonia.  The King of Egypt banished the Jews in the Bible, Troy, Sparta, Alexander the Great, Spain, Russia and even Napoleon all tried to  annihilate the Jews all through history.

Jewish people realize that we are doomed to repeat this aggression against us time and again, as we are told by our elders.  We are the chosen people.  What we are chosen for is another story and one no one else asks but us.  We believe we were chosen to be a symbol to the world of how following G-d's laws reaps rewards.  When we forget who we are or think we can be like everyone else,  G-d steps in and reminds us that we are not so strong without him.

The man, who is named Hitler, began the process very slowly.  At first he made a few new laws that were just inconvenient to the Jews, like they couldn't go out at night or they couldn't send their children to certain schools.  Then, very slowly, he made more rules.  Jews couldn't sell their goods to others. Jews and Germans were not allowed to mingle,  mix or marry.

One day, he made a new law that Jews had to have special I.D. cards (cause they looked just like everyone else).  Then he made it a law that they had to wear a yellow star on their shirt so everyone else would know they were "different".

One day, he made a law that all Jews had to gather their things and prepare to move to labor camps.  Since they were such a nuisance by now, everyone was pretty happy with them being taken away.  So they began to disappear, 1st by their professions, the doctors, then the lawyers, next the teachers, and the merchants and finally a few strays were sent away.

Everything they left behind became the property of the German people and they were happy because they were reaping the goods from these absent people.

Martin Niemoller (1892-1984)
said it all quite elegantly in his well known quip:

First they came for the socialists,
And I did not speak out -
     Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
And I did not speak out -
     Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
And I did not speak out -
     Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me -
     And there was no one left to speak for me.

As a social study group, people are generally very passive.  We rarely speak out for others who are less fortunate than us, unless reminded, like at Christmas time.  We don't like to "get involved" if it isn't directly related to ourselves.  Human beings are very selfish that way.  We almost never share what we have nor do we actively seek out others who might be in distress.  Take as a perfect example the new phenomenon of voyeurism on T.V.  Reality TV is: us, watching them, do their thing and enjoying it, even when someone gets hurt.

There are a million stories of ordinary people who do and did get involved, even back then.  I wrote about one such person, Irena Sendler, in my blog a few months ago. Steven Speilberg made Oscar Schindler's story famous in his movie Schindler's List.  Marlene Dietrich, a well known German actress at that time, risked her own fame and fortune to sneak out many Jewish refugees under the guise as her entourage when she visited the US.  It was the biggest joke of the 3rd Reich,

"Marlene, how do you manage to loose so many of your employees every time you visit the US to make a movie?  Are you so bad to them?".

There are more, many more. unique, exceptional people, who felt that the world was not right and tried, in their own small ways, to help out.  Maybe they are not all so famous as the ones I have mentioned but they are precious, everyone of them.  In Hebrew, we call them "The Righteous Ones".  They are forever honored for their personal sacrifice and unselfish commitment to what is right and to humanity.

So, to sum up my theory of why the Holocaust happened, I would have to say, when we stop being vigilant, when we think someone else can solve our problem for us, when we forget to clean our own house first and when we get lazy, there is someone out there who will gladly do it for us and happily sacrifice anything and everything that stands in their way to get their own selfish goals accomplished.

Which leads me to your second question, what have I learned or how did it effect my own life?  I have learned to be different and that it is OK to be so.  I have spent my life trying to let others know just what can happen when we let our guard down.  I have lived my life by the golden rule, Do onto others as you would have them do onto you..  I knew from the day I was born, that life is a gift and the only way to preserve it, is to give back.  It's fine to remember others on holidays, but to remember the suffering of others everyday is our purpose in life.

I am a big mouth, sometimes a very niggling, inconvenient itch, a problem, a protector of the weak, a fighter, a crusader, and a best friend.  I rarely sugar coat anything,  I cry out in a loud voice,  I scream for those with no voice,  I listen when others turn a deaf ear, and I watch.   I don't believe everything I hear, see, touch or smell because I know that I can be deceived and I refuse to accept trite answers.

We all have a purpose in life.  If we do our best to make it easier on someone else less fortunate or ignorant, then we have accomplished our goal as a human being.  If we let nature takes it course, then we are no better than the other animals that inhabit this earth.

And finally, YES! honey, I do have the earrings that my great grandmother promised to my mother.  I wear them proudly when I live the lesson that came with them.  They arrived in the USA on January 3rd 1951.  They traveled from Russia, to Siberia, through Germany and finally to the shores of New York carefully wrapped in a piece of oilcloth.

My father told me the story of how he smuggled them out of Russia along with a few other precious items.  Both of my parents were prisoners in Siberia in the Gulag at the close of WWII.  They met then and married after both of them had lost their respective families.  The earrings were the only thing my mother had left of her family and to part with them would have killed her.  They were no longer pretty sparkly things, they were her symbol of truth and humanity, as her own grandmother had wanted them to be.

On the day they were to be traded back to Poland (my father being a Pole) they were told they could only carry one thing with them, a package of food for a day's journey.  When everything you have or had, has been taken from you, but for a few small possessions, how do you part with even them?  The other prisoners gathered at the train station, each with a small basket of food they were allowed to carry.  

My own parents approached too.  In my father's hand was also a basket of food.  He had dug up the foulest things he could find, rotten eggs, a soured potato, moldy bread and spoiled stew.  He mixed everything all up into an awful paste and filled the basket with the gruel.  At the bottom of the basket lay a small package, wrapped in oilcloth that contained a few pictures, a few documents, a pair of earrings and his watch (this is another story all by itself).

Everyone laughed at my father.  What an idiot he was, they thought.  Obviously he and my mother would probably starve on the day's trip to Poland.  This idiot did not deserve any sympathy and no one offered to share their food with my parents either.

The train finally left the station, everyone settled in as best as they could.  The night air was cold, crisp and the snow glistened by the moon's light.  At the border to Poland, the Russian soldiers entered the train for a last inspection.  The cries of some passengers could be heard as they took their last breath from a gunshot wound administered by the soldiers, when they found some contraband on them.

My father looked out the window and saw the snow was sparkling even more brightly.  As he looked closer, he realized that the shine was coming from diamonds, diamonds that some woman had thought she could smuggle through the border and thinking twice now, had tossed from the train to save her own life.

When a big smart looking soldier approached my own parents and asked to see their basket, my father handed it over.  The man opened the top and the stench of the rotten food raised up from the container.  He yelled at my dad, "Idiot  I am not sticking my hand into this foul mess!  Enjoy your meal old fool",  and he moved on.

Had the lady with the diamonds cared to share her dinner with my folks, she might have been saved her bounty.  Instead, she simply enjoyed a fairly sparse meal with herself.  See what happens when you hoard?

I hope I have answered your questions, I hope even more so that I have given you something much more special than an answer... maybe a way to think as you grow up and look at the world through your own eyes...