10 New Protestant Prayer Beads

I recently completed and posted for sale on my website the above ten new Anglican prayer beads. The four on the right and the pink one on the left are long enough to be worn as necklaces for beautiful statements of faith.

The Pink Silver Serenity set (third from the left and shown below), will be of special interest to those who often pray the Serenity Prayer or who have been involved in twelve-step groups.

I especially love the lime green rhinestone encrusted cross on the Lime Glitter set (second from the right in the opening picture above). I filled in its previously hollow back with lime glitter and clear jewelry quality resin, as shown below, so it not only looks pretty on both sides, but also feels smooth in hand.

The Aurora Circlets necklace prayer beads (fourth from the right in this post’s opening photo) are especially lovely. Iridescent faceted aurora borealis roller balls are circled by silver plated rings to form its Cruciform beads. Its transparent round crackle glass Week beads have rainbow hued coatings on one side, allowing the crackle glass to display on the other side of each bead. Rainbow coated rectangular tube glass spacer beads and a custom-created patchworked jeweltone dichroic glass cross round out this spectacular set’s components.

Each set of prayer beads is priced at $32.00 plus $7.00 shipping (free shipping for local orders) and includes my 16-page Anglican Prayer Beads booklet and a lifetime re-stringing guarantee. Visit my website now to place your order before these beauties get snapped up by others!

Etsy Stats Reflect Seller Exodus

Etsy.com, a former bastion for those seeking to buy/sell handmade goods, lost approximately 43,600 of its online shops between May 2 and  June 6, 2017. This is likely at least partially due to Etsy’s requirement that, as of May 31, 2017, most Etsy shop owners must use Etsy’s combined payment interface instead of letting buyers check out only via PayPal. This number of lost shops represents approximately 4% of the 1,013,270 shops that were active on May 1, 2017.

The largest drop in the number of active items for sale on Etsy from May 2 through June 5, 2017, was in items from the USA.  The tables below reflect the number of items for sale on Etsy on May 2 vs. June 5.

5/2/17 All Items Handmade Vintage Supplies
Anywhere 45,275,971 33,507,366 7,944,436 7,847,570
USA 26,263,422 19,283,603 4,919,902 4,074,385
Elsewhere 19,013,252 14,223,763 3,024,534 3,773,185

 

6/5/17 All Items Handmade Vintage Supplies
Anywhere 44,740,918 33,059,921 7,846,887 7,837,339
USA 19,003,509 19,003,477 4,869,586 4,044,472
Elsewhere 25,737,409 14,056,444 2,977,301 3,792,867

USA-produced  items have switched percentages with the number of non-USA-produced items for sale on Etsy. The latter now greatly outnumber USA-produced items, as shown in the tables above.

Figures below break down the drops in the number of items for sale in the various categories, showing the approximate number of 5/2/17 items for sale  vs. 6/5/17 items for sale on Etsy:

Accessories (3,765,337 items) 3,663,346

Bags & Purses (1,708,161 items) 1,656,260

Clothing (4,272,416 items)  4,262,604

Shoes (244,810 items)  241,701

Jewelry (8,930,260 items)  8,752,747

Craft Supplies & Tools (7,848,251 items)  7,837,306

Weddings (1,694,486 items)  1,677,933

Books, Movies & Music (739,022 items)  731,597

Electronics & Accessories (520,639 items)  510,002

Toys & Games (823,820 items)  810,472

Art & Collectibles (6,196,290 items)  6,073,553

Bath & Beauty (1,603,891 items)  1,572,041

Home & Living (7,651,670 items)  7,605,714

Paper & Party Supplies (3,506,158 items)  3,458,069

Pet Supplies (369,282 items)  367,872

Vintage

Accessories (393,354 items)  389,282

Art & Collectibles (1,238,875 items)  1,224,970

Bags & Purses (159,453 items)  158,812

Clothing (1,160,915 items)  1,140,283

Craft Supplies & Tools (923,029 items)  900,202

Home & Living (1,982,000 items)  1,978,862

Jewelry (1,425,123 items)  1,401,527

Toys & Games (209,076 items)  207,371

Etsy claimed, in its first quarter 2017 financial report, that it had approximately 1,801,000 active sellers as of March 31, 2017, yet the number of total active shops as of 6/4/17 reflects about half that number. On May 1, 2017, there were approximately 1,013,270 shops; on June 4, 2017, there were 969,666 shops, according to Etsy’s online statistics.

The numbers Etsy cites in its financial report are “active sellers at any given time/day.”  The number of shops does not equal the number of sellers. Many shops are staffed with two or more sellers. Some single sellers have multiple shops. If a shop has “0” items, it is not counted in the active number of shops on Etsy. Also not counted are shops on vacation mode, shops that have deactivated all listings, and shops that have “0” listings.

Even given these considerations, it appears that Etsy is experiencing a seller exodus, and I am glad to among their numbers. I closed my Etsy shop on May 15, 2017.

Elko Centennial Cowboy Boot Now in Place at Great Basin College

GBC Boot

After over two month’s work, the Elko Nevada Centennial cowboy boot I created for Great Basin College (GBC) is now in its final resting place on the college’s campus.  This boot is one of several similar six-foot-high boots placed around Elko by sponsoring businesses and painted in various styles by local artists. The campaign is part of the city’s centennial celebration this year.

GBC Boot

I’ve heard a rumor that sponsors have been found for all of the city’s initial order of 26 boots, and that the city is placing an order for more such boots to meet local demand. The new order will not be available for artists to paint until next spring, however.

GBC Boot

I am grateful to GBC President Mark Curtis for asking me to complete this project for GBC. Credit also goes to Dr. Curtis for the photos included in this post. I especially appreciated his contributions and help throughout the creation process, and his arrangements for placement of the boot in such a prominent location on campus. I hope it will be a meaningful landmark there for many years to come.

For more information about the development of this boot, see my earlier blog posts about stage 1, stage 2, and stage 3 of the project.

Ten Anglican Chaplet Bracelets

Ten Chaplets

Ten new Anglican chaplet bracelets are now for sale on my website for $18.00 each. These feature a variety of colors, styles, and lengths. I previously was creating most of my Protestant chaplets to fit my own wrist, so in this batch I included some shorter and longer than that average length.

I have also begun using larger lobster claw clasps, such as the one shown below, in antique brass, and gold- and silver-plated brass. Their bigger openings will allow them to be attached to a wider variety of locations and fastenings.

Squiggle Chaplet

Each of these Protestant chaplet bracelets comes with a velveteen storage pouch, a lifetime restringing guarantee, and a copy of my 16-page Anglican Prayer Beads booklet that includes prayer bead pictures, history, symbolism, instructions, and nine sample prayers.

Prayer Bead Booklet & Pouch

I’ve also recently updated my Anglican Prayer Beads booklet with a instructions for using chaplets, which are shortened forms of Anglican (Protestant) prayer beads. To make chaplets’ use crystal clear, I have included the following diagram in this revision of the booklet.

Chaplets are designed to be used in any way you choose to enhance and/or organize your prayer time. They may also be worn as bracelets or attached to purses, backpacks, rear view mirrors, cell phones, etc., to keep them handy and as personal statements of faith.

The Aqua Ceramic Hearts Anglican Chaplet below is one of my faves. If it is not sold soon, I may just keep it for my own use!

Ceramic Hearts Chaplet

My chaplets also make great gifts and starter prayer beads for adults and children to practice their use. Visit my website and snap some up today!

 

Closing My Etsy Shop 5/15/17

KLG Etsy Shop

I joined Etsy.com as a seller in 2006, one year after its inception. After 11 years as a successful Etsy shop owner, I’ll be closing my Etsy shop on May 15, 2017, due to Etsy’s reprehensible strong-arm tactics directed at Etsy sellers. As of May 17, 2017, Etsy will require most Etsy shop owners (including all those in the USA) to accept payments through Etsy’s “Etsy Payments” interface instead of exclusively through Paypal, which many Etsy shop owners prefer, as I do. If a seller does not comply with this requirement, his or her Etsy shop(s) will be closed by Etsy on May 18, 2017.

All of my products, the vast majority of which have never been available in my Etsy shop, are available on my personal website KristiLynGlass.com. Therefore, I am in a far better situation than many other Etsy sellers who have been given less than a month’s notice to (1) comply, (2) scramble to find another way to market their products, or (3) go out of business. Those who have previously purchased my products via my Etsy shop are encouraged to bookmark my website and shop there for my products in the future.

Etsy’s Rationale and Requirements

Etsy is imposing this requirement to increase its revenue by collecting the payment processing fees that would otherwise be collected by Paypal. However, Etsy is not offering sellers the impeccable reliability, worldwide acceptance, pseudo banking services, and outstanding phone customer support that Paypal provides. Etsy only provides customer support via non-prompt (and sometimes ignored) email requests for a call. It also has a history of (on at least one occasion in 2016) fouling up its sellers’ finances so badly that customers had to wait a month to receive their orders and/or have their payments processed. Buyers are reporting serious problems with Etsy’s new shopping cart that allows purchases from multiple shops in the same cart. Sellers are currently reporting lengthy payment delays for product sales. Many sellers are therefore distrustful of Etsy’s ability to successfully manage their finances. Sellers are also unwilling to hand out personal information and bank account access to yet another entity.

Like Paypal, Etsy Payments accepts a wide variety of payment types, but using Etsy Payments will require Etsy sellers to:

  • Provide Etsy with his or her social security number and a photo ID.
  • Allow Etsy to access his or her bank account (for Etsy to both deposit and withdraw funds)
  • Use Etsy’s shipping interface, which is limited and not as easy to use as Paypal’s
  • Delay receipt of payments as long as 3 days, whereas Paypal allows instant access to received payments

If a seller chooses to continue to have payments made via PayPal to go into a Paypal account and other forms of payment to go into the seller’s bank account, the seller must set up and maintain accounting systems for both payment sources, adding to the seller’s workload. The layout of the Etsy buyer’s checkout screen visually funnels the buyer to check out via Etsy Payments, even though the Paypal payment option may be offered, thus maximizing the processing fees collected by Etsy and minimizing those received by Paypal.

Etsy’s Climate Change

Etsy’s founders built Etsy.com in 2005 on the premise that it would contain only handcrafted items made by its shop owners. Artists and crafters flocked to this venue to sell their wares in the Etsy marketplace. Over the years, the definition of “hand made” has definitely changed. Etsy is not curated. It allows the sale of mass produced items, encourages the sale of (Etsy approved) manufactured items as handmade, and doesn’t cull bad sellers. Some would call that a “flea market.”

Etsy began broadening its scope to allow sales of vintage items and art/craft supplies. The latter attracted large-scale sellers from China and other foreign countries who set up shops on Etsy containing thousands of items. Etsy collected fees for listing, selling, and renewing each of these items, allowing Etsy to grow exponentially. This led to Etsy initiating a public offering of its stock in March 2015. In the process, the original founders of Etsy sold out to a board of directors that has increasingly ignored Etsy’s initial premise and the needs and interests of the thousands of artists and crafters on whose backs Etsy was built.

This month, Etsy launched a spin-off site called Etsy Studio that has very close ties to Etsy.com. Etsy Studio offers how-to videos  with detailed instructions and required tools/materials lists. Most of the required items on those lists link back to the products sold by suppliers via Etsy.

On May 2, 2017, a new shakeup in management occurred, and a new CEO is now  in charge. Check out the first quarter 2017 financial report for details and insight into Etsy’s new direction.

You can see where Etsy is headed. It sees the art/craft supply market as a plum revenue source, rather than the artists and crafters who are offering handmade items for sale on Etsy. It is focused on making a profit, rather than its original ideals. Therefore, Etsy has no conscience about imposing requirements on  artists/crafters that will effectively winnow out the smaller and perhaps less productive ones. This includes the mom and pop businesses who use Paypal as their business “bank account” and those who want to keep their accounting efforts to a minimum.

Impact on My Business

I currently pay a considerable amount of money to Google AdWords to advertise my products on the internet. When people conduct a Google internet search, text and display ads for my products will appear on the same page as related search results. Unfortunately, the majority of those ads have been driving customers to my Etsy shop, rather than to my personal website. I don’t know if Etsy and Google are in cahoots, but it certainly looks that way.

Once my Etsy shop has closed, I will be monitoring my AdWords account closely to determine its effectiveness in driving traffic to my personal website. I am hopeful that my website will receive more traffic, rather than less, but time will tell.

I hope and pray that my Etsy customers will find my products on my personal website, but I am sure that many of them will not make that effort. I will do what I can to alert them to my Etsy shop closing, but I anticipate that my sales revenue will experience a downturn in the near term as Etsy customers transition to finding my products elsewhere.

I invested heavily in the development of my personal website, so I consider this change an opportunity for the website to begin making more of a return on that investment.

Tallies

Below are Etsy’s current statistics on the number of items available in each category available from each location. The statistics change each minute, probably due to sales made and listings added/deleted. I calculated the “Elsewhere” stats by subtracting the USA stats from their respective Anywhere stats.

5/2/17 All Items Handmade Vintage Supplies
Anywhere 45,275,971 33,507,366 7,944,436 7,847,570
USA 26,263,422 19,283,603 4,919,902 4,074,385
Elsewhere 19,013,252 14,223,763 3,024,534 3,773,185

Active Etsy sellers as of 12/31/16: 1,700,000

It will be interesting to compare these statistics to those available on 5/19/17, after Etsy closes the shops of noncompliant sellers.

 

3 Readymade SteedBeads Rhythm Beads

3 SteedBeads

I recently created the three new sets of readymade SteedBeads Rhythm Beads shown above and posted them for sale on my website. The two on the left are 52″ long and will fit a large size horse. The green one is 50″ long and will fit a slightly larger than average size horse. The purple set has two brass tags flanking the pendant that say “be true” and “follow your heart,” respectively. The green jingle bells have the softest tone of the three sets shown. The purple set’s brass temple bells are next softest. The large round brass temple bells on the brown set are quite loud. Check out all my readymade SteedBeads Rhythm Beads here. Don’t forget to order matching SteedBeads Saddle Dangles and/or Mane Dangles.

Ordering a set of Custom SteedBeads Rhythm Beads is the best way to get exactly what you want in terms of size, pendant type, and bell type and bead colors. Most of my available bell types are shown below. The large round temple bells (first and second in row one) also come in plain brass.

Rhythm Bead Bells

In general, those in the top row are louder and lower pitched than the ones in the bottom row. If you want to hear how the different types of bells sound, give me a call and I’ll jingle some for you!

 

13 New Protestant Prayer Beads

Colored Prayer Beads

I recently created 15 new sets of Anglican Prayer Beads and posted them for sale on my website. Two of them have already sold! The remaining colored ones are pictured above. The first, fourth, and sixth from the left are long enough to be worn as necklaces for a lovely statement of faith. The third one from the left is a spectacular rainbow set that incorporates iridized glass chevrons as spacers and beautiful faceted rainbow-centered iridescent Cruciform beads.

Rainbow Chevron Prayer Beads

Its specially commissioned dichroic glass cross harmonizes perfectly and is delightful in hand.

5 Neutral Prayer Beads

The new prayer beads above are in reds, browns, and blacks. The one on the right is necklace length. The one on the left is made of iridescent shell disk beads. Its cruciform beads are rainbow foiled faceted clear crystals surrounded by lovely embossed metal cages.

Wire Ring Detail

Check these all out on my website, and snap your faves up soon! Comments below are always appreciated.

Biggest Batch of Decorative Pillboxes Ever

  Pillboxes 1

For the past month or two, I have been working on a huge batch of 28 decorative multi-day pillboxes shown above. This batch is now complete and each is available for sale on my website.

Lately, I have made a lot of pillboxes with mirrored tops. For this new batch, I decided to go back to use of stained glass tops, which resulted in a wide variety of embellishment techniques.

Bllue Pillboxes

The blue pillboxes above took full advantage of some lovely stained glass, such as the dark blue boxes on the upper left and lower right. Blue cat’s eye glass “bubbles” and a swimming fish enhance the effect of moving water on the blue swirled boxes. Iridescent dichroic glass is flanked by rectangular glass cubes on the narrowest vertical box. The same blue stained glass was used on the top pillbox and the two boxes at lower left. The small rectangular box features a glass dome containing free-moving shells, faux pearls, real starfish, and aqua crushed glass. The lace pattern on the top and lower left pillbox is enhanced with blue rhinestones well seated in a protective layer of clear jewelry quality resin.

Green Pillboxes

Several of the green pillboxes above take advantage of resin techniques. The horse is a print of one of my Rainbow Herd horses, encased in resin and then embedded in a layer of clear resin that covers the entire box top. The septagonal pillboxes feature my handmade metal tray bezels with clear windows in them, surrounding their dichroic glass cabochons. I’ve described the lengthy bezel creation process in an earlier post. The peacock feather was created by encasing a glittered fabric peacock feather in resin, then gluing it onto the box shown. The small rectangular pillbox at lower left has a large iridescent dichroic glass cabochon embedded in a layer of jewelry quality resin with green tiger-striped glittered netting also embedded in the resin on transparent green stained glass. The other small rectangle pillbox has the same transparent green stained glass with a steam-punk metal winged heart that has a faceted heart-shaped cabochon with a peacock feather design in its center.

Red Pillboxes

The red, pink, and purple pill organizers above were created using a variety of techniques, all incorporating resin in some way. The two dark purple pillboxes have purple paisley glitter netting embedded in the resin, along with purple and teal glitter and glitter-filled resin cabochons that I made using molds. The pillboxes‘ stained glass is iridized, so it also has a rainbow effect from some viewing angles. The lighter purple pillbox has a similar composition with purple glitter in the resin and cabochon. The red pillbox on the top features glitter and star filled cabochons that I made. The stained glass on the two light pink pillboxes is iridized with a rainbow effect that is quite magical in hand. They each have the same rainbow colored ribbon embedded in a resin layer covering the entire glass surface. The darker pink pillbox appears darker on the left side because its glass is translucent, and it has a pink 7-day strip base pillbox on that side of the box. The 7-day base pillbox on its other (ribboned) side is transparent clear. The red pill dispenser on the right side of the picture features a metal tray bezel in an infinity shape. It is filed with resin, enamel paints, a dichroic glass cabochon, and red and gold glitter. The tray bezel is flanked by two rocks painted gold and red.

Neutral Pillboxes

Even more techniques are featured on the neutral colored pillboxes shown above. To embellish the top left box, I created another glittery tray bezel and flanked it with two large glitter-filled round resin cabochons also made by me. The stained glass has lovely swirled orange and yellow colors. The pillbox to its right has a mirrored top with enamel paint and glitter embedded in a layer of clear resin. This pillbox is an example of the many mirrored pillboxes I made prior to this batch. To its right is a box with five faceted faux opals on its russet brown stained glass top. The big studded metal heart bezel on the center pillbox is filled with yellow and teal acrylic nuggets held in place with clear resin. The heart is surrounded by a layer of resin containing gold paisley glitter netting on creamy stained glass. A similar technique was used on the bottom gray pillbox, using silver glitter netting in a resin layer surrounding a single resin cabochon containing a black and white glass bead that looks a little like a car tire. The same gray stained glass was used on the smaller rectangular pillbox at lower right. I filled the seashell slice with silver glittered resin and glued it onto the stained glass pillbox top.

If you are wondering where the dark brown pillbox went with the two seashells on it, its stained glass top unfortunately broke in half during the glue-curing process, so it had to be scrapped.

I’m quite excited about this batch of decorative pillboxes. Please check them out on my website and do leave a comment below to tell me what you think of my creations!

Elko Centennial Cowboy Boot Project–Stage 3

GBC Boot

Work has continued on my 6′ high Elko, NV, Centennial cowboy boot for Great Basin College (GBC). I added the white letters on top of the previously green letters on the left side of the boot, as shown above. The green lettering didn’t show up well on the green background, so I carefully applied the white lettering over the green letters.

I then added a second clock tower decal with adjacent white letters on the right side of the boot’s foot, as shown below.

I noticed along the way that nowhere in the overall design of the boot did it say the current year, on which Elko’s centennial and the 50-year anniversary of GBC are based. I therefore added the year 2017 in white letters on the heel of the boot. This also makes the words “ELKO 100” more meaningful, as they could otherwise possibly be construed as having some other meaning, such as “this is the 100th boot made in Elko, not the 99th.”

GBC donated all the lettering, decals, and boot plate to the boot project, for which I am very grateful, as this significantly reduced my project expenses and made application of these elements to the boot much easier.

GBC had some beautiful commemorative medallions made to honor GBC’s 50th anniversary this year, so GBC President Mark Curtis provided me with two of them to position in brass bezels at the base of each boot pull. The medallions were slightly too large for the bezels, so President Curtis expertly ground down their back sides to fit the bezels. He also drilled center holes in the bezels and provided flat-head screws and a drill bit for their attachment to the boot. I glued on and screwed in the bezels, and then glued the medallions in place with an industrial strength 2-part epoxy glue.

The 50th anniversary side of the medallion is displayed on the Student Life side of the boot, as shown below.

The other side of the medallion features the GBC seal, which I positioned on the Academic Departments side of the boot at the base of the boot pull.

All of my work on the boot was then complete, so I packaged it up for delivery to Elko Body Shop today.

Wrapped Boot

The GBC building and grounds crew delivered it to the body shop in Elko, where my nephew, Brandon Keller, arranged for and oversaw the application of three automotive clear coats to the boot by the shop owner and one of his painters. These layers were required for the project so it will be protected from the elements in its future outdoor location. My heartfelt thanks go to Brandon and Elko Body Shop for donating their time, expertise, labor, and material to this project. They did a terrific job, and I would highly recommend their work.

The GBC building and grounds crew then picked up the boot at the body shop and delivered it to the GBC campus. The boot is temporarily housed in the foyer of the Greenhaw Technical Arts Building until a cement slab is poured for it in its futured outdoor location on campus.

I was on hand for the delivery so I could see the finished piece and take a few pictures of it, although it was hard to get good shots of it in such tight quarters. GBC President Mark Curtis admires the finished boot in the picture below.

I love how shiny the clear coat made the entire boot, tying the lettering and colors together. Before the clear coat was applied, the gold and green areas were matte finished, and the lettering, decals, and aluminum tape diamonds were shiny. Now the boot looks unified, complete, and very well protected.

President Curtis and his wife, Margaret, also showed Brandon and me today where the boot will be placed on campus.

Future Boot Location

Later this month, a cement slab will be poured in the center of the above triangle so the boot may be mounted on it. In this  location, the boot will be seen (and I hope admired) not only by pedestrians walking by it, but also by those driving by the college on a nearby road. Brandon Keller, President Curtis, and Margaret Curtis are shown in the picture above. My thanks go to them all and the GBC building and grounds crew for their help with this project and their encouragement of me during its progress.

The deadline for the boot’s completion is April 1, 2017, so I am delighted to have finished and delivered it well before that date so it may be in its final home on schedule. I will post pictures of it there when the installation is complete.

For more information about this project, see my blog posts for Stage 1 and Stage 2.