New Challenges for 2013

This year we had Four-a-Month, what’s coming up in 2013?

Lora Hart reports that the Etsy Metal Team is sponsoring the Brooch a Week Challenge!

Check it out or join in here:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/2101552@N25

Joy Funnell’s challenge is the Critter a Week:

http://joyfunnell.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/my-challenge-for-2013.html

and over at the Barking Dog Gallery blog, you can read about her challenge to use it up!

http://barkingdoggallery.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/recycled-jewelry-day-2

Update: 1/7/13 THere’s a daily challenge too!

Brooch-a-Day at Flickr! http://www.flickr.com/groups/brooch-a-day2013

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Tutorial Round-up! Including Last Minute Gifts to Make

Jewelry folks all over the world are busy creating awesome tutorials, here’s a list of some of them:

Alison Lee has a video on how to make a Shrinky-dink Christmas charm necklace:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPoD6LUdMuY

Shrink plastic is suddenly every where I look! Sabine Alienor has a tutorial on making sturdy stencils out of shrink plastic, what a great idea!

http://www.sabinealienor.com/dotclear/index.php?post/2012/12/18/Fabriquer-des-gabarits-How-to-make-templates

From Shari Haab, a nice looking necklace made of recycled materials:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=378142.0

Sue McNenly wrote up a kiln smackdown!

http://suemcnenly.blogspot.ca/2012/12/kiln-smackdown-paragon-e-12a-vs-jewelry.html

A video from Maggie Bergman on cleaning up fingerprints in Photoshop, for creating a photopolymer plate to make fingerprint jewelry:

http://pinterest.com/pin/245305510925083779

And here are some fun things to make that aren’t metal clay or jewlery, but are still cool:

http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/12/hot-chocolate-spoons-.html

http://lishdorset.com/2012/02/19/project-duck-tape-coffee-cup-sleeve

And if you’re in the Chicago area, there’s a new DIY photo studio:

http://www.snipsnapgo.com

Finally, hot trends in business for 2013:

http://admin.openforum.com/articles/7-hot-trends-for-small-business-in-2013

How about you? What tutorials are you reading these days? Have you posted one yourself? Please share the link in the comments, thanks!

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Inspirational Photo of the Week

Here’s a photo celebrating the winter weather we’re not having here in Chicago at the moment.

Photo credit: Galina-NB on sxc.hu

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Patty Digh asks, “How Do You Find Focus in a Social Media World?”

I’m in the odd position of promoting the use of social media to artists, while also having made the choice that Facebook was no longer right for me.

I quit Facebook over a year ago, something I’ve mentioned in articles and posts about how I now have a lot more time to apply for shows.

Recently, someone gave me a hard time for being “so hard to keep up with,” since I’m not on Facebook. So I was pleased to see Patty Digh’s post on 37 Days where she says that she too is leaving Facebook.

You can read her post here: http://www.37days.com/2012/12/thinking-thursday-31.html

And the article she links to is here: http://99u.com/articles/6960/Lab-Rat-How-Can-A-Social-Media-Addict-Find-Focus

And, while we’re on the subject, many artists are pleased to find out about Freedom, a website you can use to block your own self from using specific websites, or the web in general, for a period of time that you set. Check it out here: http://macfreedom.com

Photo credit: copyright http://www.siteroom.co.uk

I’m having a laugh at myself there with the photo of the rotary phones, “so out of date that I won’t use Facebook.”

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Winter Scholarships from Arts Business Institute

The Arts Business Institute is a workshop for craftspeople and artists, I attended one of the first ones ever, back when it was called the Crafts Business Institute. It was created by Wendy Rosen.

They’ve announced a special scholarship for those affected by Hurricane Sandy:

http://www.artsbusinessinstitute.org/blog/workshop-scholarship

The application deadline is December 28th.

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Fast Company: “Proof That Pinterest Drives Sales, And Its Fans Spend Big”

I’ve been extremely slow to adopt Pinterest and this article in Fast Company seems to indicate that I should jump in.

It says that Pinterest drives more traffic and sales than Facebook and that shoppers who arrive at your site via Pinterest spend more (than one who arrived via Facebook) and spend an average of $80.00.

Check it out:

http://www.fastcompany.com/1837726/proof-pinterest-drives-sales-and-its-fans-spend-big

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36 Rules of Social Media from Fast Company

Fast Company has a crowdsourced infographic with 36 smart rules for using social media.

Here’s the link, scroll down to the link that says click here to download:

http://www.fastcompany.com/3000050/rules-social-media

Here’s a direct link to the pdf:

http://infographics.fastcompany.com/miscellaneous/rules-of-social-media-poster.pdf

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Contests: Round Up

Here’s a list of catalogs and magazines with annual contests or competitions. None of them have deadlines that are coming up, but I’m listing them so you can get them on your list for next year!

Do you have a favorite contest to enter? Please post in the comments, thanks!

These links will take you to the pages for 2012 contests.

Rings and Things

Fire Mountain Gems

Metal Clay Today

Saul Bell Award

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