Tuesday, September 19, 2017

My pictures are broken!

I have been so busy lately, with my Kickstarter, then with studying some more to get a certification for the day job, that I haven't been keeping up with this blog. I logged in this morning to show a co-worker my Qingming project, and I found so many of my pictures are broken, thanks to Photobucket!

I am in the process of fixing them all, so please bear with me in the mean time!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Wow, it has been over a month!

I have been so busy lately, that it has been over a month since my last post!

As expected, my time has been taken up with my Kickstarter. I have been making things left and right in an effort to get the rewards completed and shipped out as quickly as possible. I am past the half-way mark on my rewards list, and I have stared shipping out some of them!
I will get some pictures of everything, though, I promise!

Here is a picture of some of the dice bags that I have made for this, so far. I have a few others that are not in the picture.
They are missing the draw string and clasp, but that's it.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Thank you!

Thank you to anyone who checked out or spread the word of my Kickstarter campaign. It was a success! The next month or two will be spend furiously making my rewards for everybody. I'll post pictures of everything here so everyone will be able to see what I'm working on.

So far, I haven't been working on much. I have gotten a new position at work, and my spare time at home has been spent working on the Kickstarter. I can't wait to share pictures of all the rewards, though! I am going to be getting a head start this weekend.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Please help!

I am just heartbroken right now.
I have 3 days left to go on my Kickstarter campaign, and my biggest backer canceled their pledge, which puts me under the goal. Kickstarter is all or nothing, so if we don't hit goal, then the project will fail and I get nothing.
When I got that large pledge within the first several hours of my campaign launching, I was so excited, yet worried that something like this would happen. This is literally the last minute that someone can back out, as it would put me under goal.

I ask that you please check out my project and pledge if you would like something! We are in the final days, and I would like to see this become a success.


More fun chainmail items -- Kicktraq Mini

Friday, April 28, 2017

My rant about kickstarter campaigns

Have you ever browsed through Kickstarter projects, and find something that looks promising, only to open the project and discover that there isn’t anything in the description to go off of? Me too! Are you interested in your own Kickstarter, but are needing some information on how to make it work?
I am currently nearing the end of my second successful Kickstarter project. In researching projects before, during, and after my own campaigns, I keep seeing the same underlying issues with so many projects. I have put together my personal thoughts on what I like to see on a project page, and what I’m sure will help with funding a project.

First: Information!
Too many times, I’ll open up a project page, and all I see is just a paragraph (once or twice I even saw projects with just one sentence!). You can’t convey a good project idea and reward information with just one paragraph. Heck, your first paragraph should be an introduction about you, before even getting into the project information.
Once the introduction is complete, give us an idea of the background of your project. Once we have a background, give us the description on what you are wanting to accomplish with this project. Yes, we all would like to be able to quit our day job and work on this full time, however I like to see a little more personality from the creator and get to know them a little more. Then you can move on to the reward information. 

Second: Rewards!
Have a solid idea of what your rewards will be. Don’t just state something along the lines of, “I will send you one handmade widget made with my new equipment”. That tells me nothing, and doesn’t compel me to want to back your project at all. With rewards structured like this, this isn’t so much a project as it is you asking for handouts, and shoehorning in the Kickstarter requirements of having an item to offer your backers. If this is the case, you may want to consider other crowdfunding platforms that don’t require a reward item because chances are, your project here will not get funded, and your campaign will not be successful. 

Third: Pictures!
Going hand in hand with the rewards, I love to see actual pictures of the item that I will be pledging my money towards. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case, it is true! Have a good picture of each of your rewards so backers can see what their investment will get them. Going off of the description of “This tier reward will get you one widget with your name inscribed on it“ doesn’t tell us much. I want to see what this widget looks like! If possible, I would like to see a sample inscription, too! As long as the pictures are relevant, you almost can't have too many!

Fourth: Not too many pictures!
This seems to be a contradiction to what I stated previously, I know. Yes, pictures are great, however, when skimming over a project, I like to quickly glance at all the pictures, then I will go back over the information and rewards. What annoys me is to find an item in the pictures that I really like and may want to pledge for, only to find that it isn’t even one of the reward items. It’s just there to show that the creator can make this item. That’s a big letdown for me. I have even come across projects that have quite a few pictures, but only 1 or 2 of them are actual reward items. The others are there just as examples, I guess? Make sure the pictures you include are relevant.

Fifth: A Reasonable Goal!
I love the campaign! The items are great, the pictures and description are excellent, and I want to pledge to your campaign for that handmade widget reward! Here is my $20 pledge so I can get 2 of them! Oh, wait. You have a $500,000 goal for your campaign. Well, I hope that you get funded, but I’m not going to hold my breath, since there is a week left, and you are only at 8% to goal.
Setting your goal too high can be just as bad as not including any of the above items. It may not prevent me from pledging to back your project, but if your goal is totally unreasonable and the project doesn’t meet that goal, then I won’t get anything, either, and neither will you. At that point, it is a lose-lose.
I calculated the cost of what my kickstarter funds would be used to finance, and that was my goal. I didn’t put out some crazy expectations that I couldn’t possible meet. Granted, after fees and costs, I won’t be making that full amount, but I will be close enough to be able to pull it off.

So, those are the main things to focus on for a good Kickstarter, in my opinion. Notice that I didn’t even mention a video?
I don’t believe that a video is as important to a project as the above items. I don’t mind backing a project that is well thought out and presented nicely, but has no video. (To be honest, most of the time, I don’t watch the videos, anyway, unless I am already considering backing the campaign).
That being said, having a video does help! I was on the fence for one project about whether or not I wanted to back said campaign, but the video pushed me over into the pledge category. Unfortunately, that project didn’t get funded, but I’m positive that having that video did help!
You don’t have to have the best professionally produced video out there, either. Heck, mine were little more than just a slide show with a voice-over. But I did put time and effort into it, letting potential backers that I am willing and able to put such time and effort into the project and rewards, as well. I’m not just asking for a handout.
All this boils down to is simply this: information and effort. You can’t have too much information in your project. If creating the entire project in Kickstarter took less than a day or two, then I suggest you review your project again, and take at least one day for each of the previously listed items to include. If you are truly passionate about your craft/design/item, and are willing to put in the time and effort to ensure you succeed, then you certainly will!  
No, I’m not an expert, and I know that I have only had 2 projects vs people out there having many more. This is just a rant my personal views and experiences.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I have hit a wall

I have just under 2 weeks for my Kickstarter project, and since I got funded, I seem to have hit a wall on momentum. I actually lost a pledge right after getting funded, which put me back under, but thanks to my awesome backers so far, I am right at goal now.
I did account for the mid-project slump, and to battle it, I added the barrettes and put in a stretch goal, but it doesn't seem to be helping so far. I'll try spreading the word to more people to see if that can kick things back on track. I'm just worried about losing another pledge and being below goal again.
Anyone have any suggestions?

If you decide to pledge and back my project, let me know! I would love to see if I get backers from my blog!

More fun chainmail items -- Kicktraq Mini

Edit: I may have just freaked out a little too soon. I'm just really nervous about the whole thing!

Monday, April 17, 2017

2 weeks done on the Kickstarter project!

So, we are now 2 weeks into the Kickstarter, and I am extremely proud to say that it is funded! I made it to my goal earlier today, and I am so excited!
I have added an new item as a reward for the project, the scale flower barrettes that I posted about previously. If you have been interested in getting one of the chainmail items I have posted about, check it out! You can get one of your very own!

More fun chainmail items -- Kicktraq Mini

This past week, I haven't made a whole lot. There are only a couple things that I actually finished. I had a custom order for one of the bow ties that I can make. One of my co-workers wanted a purple rubber with pink rings tie. I finished it up and it looks awesome. (Now I just need to figure out the elastic for around the neck. Shouldn't be too hard.)

In addition to finishing the tie, I also made a couple more barrettes that I have as a reward in the kickstarter project. I got a few more scale colors, so I decided to whip up a couple more as an example. All are pictured below.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

1 week down on the Kickstarter!

We are already 1 week into the Kickstarter, and I am at 74% to goal! I didn't expect to get so close so fast, but there it is! I am very excited, and I have no doubt that I will hit my funding goal. I have several co-workers who have yet to pledge that have told me they are wanting some of these items.
I'm finding it difficult to not spam everyone on Facebook and at work about the project. I am super stoked at the success so far, and I want to try and get the word out to as many people as possible. I'm limiting myself to one or two posts about it per week, just to keep my friends and family updated on the project and to remind everyone of just how must time is left.

More fun chainmail items -- Kicktraq Mini

Now that I have that out of the way and out of my system, now to post about what I have been working on the past week! 
My super awesome manager at work ordered several more bracelets from me! She has been placing order for some of her friends, and she has been spreading the word about my bracelets because she loves them so much. I actually ran out of black rings (you'll see why in the picture below). I had to place an order for more, and they came in yesterday! I only have a  couple more bracelets left to make from that order and it will be filled.

Next, when spreading word of my Kickstarter, several friends have expressed interest in the dice bags/coin purses. I have been thinking of different possible designs and color combinations. With my love of colors, I'm surprised I hadn't thought of it before, but I have made a bag with rainbow colors. I just love how it came out! I may just keep this one for myself!

Last, my mom has a bracelet and earrings set in white and red for her favorite team colors. She was wanting to get a necklace to go with them, and was looking at the Celtic Star pendants on the Kickstarter. I was experimenting with some color choices, and this is what I ended up with. I think she'll like it.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

My second Kickstarter has launched!

I was able to get everything finished up for my Kickstarter over the weekend, and it officially launched yesterday. I'm feeling really good about this one. Within 6.5 hours, I got up to 58% funded!

Here are the items that I have in the Kickstarter:

More fun chainmail items -- Kicktraq Mini

Monday, March 20, 2017

Big order

This past week, I have been kept pretty busy by a large custom order for bracelets. One of the managers where I work for the day job ordered a bunch of items, and will most likely be getting me some more orders from others, so I am excited!

Here is a picture of just some of the bracelets I have made this week, only some of which were part of that order. (The hair clip wasn't part of the order, either)

I have another craft fair coming up this weekend, too, so the extra items I made will be good to add to my inventory.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Barrettes and needle minders!

I have been busy this past week making scale flower barrettes! I have a craft fair coming up this weekend, so I wanted to have a good amount to have for sale. The only downside is that I only have 4 scale colors of the right size in stock at the moment, so I am limited on the variety right now.
Here are the ones that I have done so far:

On the barrettes with the mirror scales, I put the flower with the concave side down toward the barrette. For the others, it was upward more like a flower would be. I know it is a little hard to see the mirrored scale barrettes, but I wanted to see which version everyone prefers.

For my kickstarter, I have decided on a couple smaller add-on items, but I still haven't decided what to have as an additional reward. I have that craft fair coming up in this weekend, so I'll go through all my stuff then, and see what I can find that will be good for the kickstarter.
I want to have the scale barrettes as add-ons, as well as these keychains that I started making.

I have 3.5 craft fairs coming up in the next couple months, so far. Those will certainly keep me busy! (The .5 is actually a booth that my husband may or may not have for his branded paintball stuff at a paintball tournament. If he gets a booth, I get to man it while he goes off to enjoy the tournament).

And last for this post, I have some new needle minders for my Etsy shop!

Friday, February 24, 2017

New items, and new kickstarter in the works

I have been busy making a bunch of different things!
First, after the success of the chainmail necktie, I found pictures of a chainmail bow tie. Of course, me being me, I had to try it!
I love how it came out! I already have a couple co-workers placing orders for me to make these for them, too!
Here is the result:

I have also made a new bracelet, and a new necklace. I'm not too thrilled with how the pendant sits on the necklace, so I'm toying with ideas to fix it.

I am also in the planning stage of another Kickstarter!
I have been deciding on the rewards to offer, and I would love to get some feedback from you guys! Are there any particular chainmail items that you have seen here that you would like to see as a reward in my upcoming Kickstarter?
I have already decided to include a couple bracelet designs, stretchy dice bag/coin purse, and as a big ticket item, my chainmail scarf. I would like to have one or two more items available, though, which is where you come in!

I am currently gathering photos, and will need to take some more. I will be working on a new video, as well for the project, so I may not have any more completed projects to post about the next couple weeks. I'll try to come up with something to post about, though!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Chainmail tie

Inspiration struck again, and I have created a chainmail tie, this time!
I chose the colors based on what rings I had the most of, and the striped design is similar to the scarf that I made.

I haven't yet added a clasp to the back, and I'm not 100% thrilled about how the knot came out, but overall I like it. I may experiment with the design a bit to find a better knot.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Recent chainmail kick

I have been on a big chainmail kick lately, so that is all I have been working on.
Here are some of my latest creations.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Leftover rings

I overestimated the amount of rings that I needed for the chainmail scarf that I made from a couple posts past, so I have been trying to find some ways to use them up.
I started with the gold rings, because I had so many extras of this color. Few of the chainmail weaves I have made in the past would work with this size ring, so I tried to find new things to make! I started with the one weave that I knew would work with this ring size, and that is the Half Persian 4-in-1 weave. I made a bracelet in this weave using all gold rings. I did finish except for a clasp. I discovered that I don't have any gold clasps, except for some too-small lobster clasps, so it isn't quite finished yet.
The HP 4-in-1 is the top one in this following picture:

I then started with the lavender rings. I decided to make a bunch of mobius rosettes, and I picked a good size ring in silver to connect them. As I was connecting them, I did have some difficulty with the connecting rings, but I had already gotten so far, that I went ahead and finished it up with a clasp.
I love how even though they are all the same color, since the light hits the rings differently, they look like different shades.

I chose next to make a birthday gift for a friend, whose favorite colors are blue and black, so I made another mobius bracelet like the lavender, only using the turquoise rings. I used a smaller gauge ring, but same diameter for the connectors in black, and it was perfect. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of it before I gave it to her. It came out so nicely, though, that I'll probably make another one with the few turquoise rings I still have. (Pics to come later).

Then I went back to the gold and made another mobius bracelet with the same black connectors, but ran into the same issue of not having any larger gold clasps. Pictures of the 2 clasp-less gold bracelets are above, together.

Last, I sold a stretchy Half-Persian 4-in-1 bracelet in my Etsy shop, so I made up another one to replace it. The picture is a little blurry, but here it is.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Trizantine, kinged vipera berus, and necklaces

I have been on a chainmail kick lately, so that's where my crafty focus has been.
I tried a couple new (to me) weaves that I have been wanting to do, and they came out pretty nice!

The first thing I made was this bracelet. This is made using the trizantine weave (basically a variation on the byzantine weave). I used silver anodized aluminum for the tri-sections, and black for the connectors. I finished it off with one of my silver sun/moon/star toggle clasps.
This bracelet has looser rings on the outside, so it is a fun to fidget with.

Next, I tried a Kinged Vipera Berus weave with some colored anodized aluminum.
I originally intended to make a bracelet with this weave, but as I got into it, I realized that it is a little too stiff to make a comfortable bracelet. The rings I am using are ever-so-slightly smaller than the ideal size.
Since I had gotten most of the way through one rainbow already, I finished it up, and turned it into a keychain, instead! It works perfectly as a keychain, I must admit!

Here it is from the side:

Last, I got some pictures taken of a few necklaces that I have had finished for a while, but never took pictures of. 

On another note, I have noticed that a couple of the star charms on the red necklace are starting to turn black a bit. Oxidation? Corrosion? This is probably because I got these charms cheap, but I want to avoid any issues down the line with them. I love them!
Any suggestions on what I can do to prevent this with my other silver charms?

Friday, January 6, 2017

I made a chainmail scarf!

I recently got inspired to make a chainmail scarf! I saw one online and just knew I had to make one, myself (isn't that how it always goes?).
I did some research on what ring size I should use and what colors, and I made my order for supplies!
When they came in, I really didn't want to start it right away until I got some more work done on my purse (that I suspect will never get done). But then I realized that the main ring color I had ordered was a limited supply, so to make sure that I had enough while they were still available, I got started right away! (Or at least it sounded like a good enough justification to start a new project, anyway).

I started it last Saturday, and it has taken me less than a week to make. I actually had a lot of fun working on this, too! The wire size was slightly bigger than I am used to, so I had to stop sometimes to let my hands rest, but it still came together quickly.

Here it is!

This came out to 6 feet long! It's has a little weight to it (but it is made of a light aluminum), and the "fringe" makes a pleasant jingling noise when you move.
When I saw the turquoise rings, I knew immediately that was the color I wanted. I chose, then, to go with more peacock colors, and was going to choose a darker purple color to go with it, but as soon as I saw the lavender, I changed to it right away!

I am already making plans for another one (farther in the future, so I can save up for supplies). I'm thinking of maybe a chevron pattern, perhaps. Or even a Dr Who scarf! The possibilities are many!

I would love to get some feedback!