Friday, May 27, 2011

My Deal of the Year

Tomorrow I'm celebrating myself :)
Three years of bead weaving and a new focus for, I thought I'd share.

Memorial Weekend
30% OFF
Everything in my Artfire store.

All my tutorials are now commercial editions giving you the right to sell what you make from them.
My flatwork patterns are remaining Personal Use Only with an upgrade option.

My PUCC program is up and running, so if you want a Personal Use Only tutorial you have to get a signed copy of the PUCC contract to me so I can issue you a code for 40% OFF.
You can find the PUCC contract here

If you need to snail mail it to me for my mailing address.

I have listed upgrades in my store so you can upgrade a PUCC design if you decide you want to sell from it and I have also listed teaching upgrades so you can become an authorized teacher of my designs.
(When you purchase an upgrade you will recieve documentation for it.)

I'm done with my weekly beading class and will be filling that time with more designing and more pattern writing. So watch for some interesting new designs from me including a design to make use of these babies

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saturday, Saturday......

Yes, I's Sunday, but I thought I would share what I did yesterday.

I got a jump on my day by getting up early and heading out to Lowes to pick up some pipe to use as mandrels...more about that later.  I'd heard there was a new bead store in town...correction A bead I headed out in search of it.  I found it but it was closed due to it being the What Women Want expo and the bead store having a booth there. I considered going to the expo....for a nano way I was up to that or wanted to spend the time it would take....I had things to do!

Anyway, when I got back home I looked up the new bead store, The Bead Closet Boutique, and discovered the gal who owns it has an Etsy store and has just started a I introduced myself and told her I'd stop by the store this week. For my local friends reading this the store is at 65 North 100 East (between Blvd and Tabernacle).  Not sure yet if she caters to bead weavers.

Back to the pipe and mandrels....I wanted to make some spiral beads for a design I'm working on and needed a 1/2" mandrel to mold them on. So it was a trip to Lowes where I got a length of copper pipe and then managed to get blisters cutting it into lengths that would go in my toaster oven. (Yes, I know I should have worn gloves).

In the picture you can see the gorgeous spiral lampwork I bought from Lea Avroch and the polymer spirals I made last night...the ones I didn't burn.  Of course my spirals are not sanded and buffed so no shine for those...YET!
The project I'm making them for is a lot of fun and I'm designing it to display these fun spirals....and you will be able to change out the spirals :)

When I wasn't playing with clay I was beading this 40" rope, a snippet you see here.  Lots of work, time and beads in this one.  I've not made anything like this before...such a long necklace...but I rather like it.  The picture is deliberatley not I don't want to show it in all it's glory till it's finished!

Other news
As I was driving to my second to last class on Thursday I realised I was quitting teaching the weekly classes exactly three years after I started teaching them.  Three, being the number of creativity, has always been my fave number...I was born on the 3rd of December and December being the 12th month is also a 3 (1+2=3).  I also started beadweaving three years ago so I decided to have a celebration so starting next Saturday, May 28th I will have a 3-day sale with 30% off everything in my Artfire store.

I also decided I needed a reward to celebrate so I finally bought the Kindle I've wanted for arrives tomorrow and I'm so excited.  After an unexpected sale at the bead store where I display my beadwork I knew I better do it before something else cropped up and I had to put my reward on hold ...again!  So...totally excited to go digital!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

PUCC it!

I've talked about it and now I need to do it.
So, today I am determined to write the contract for the Personal Use Contract Club and start reorganizing my stores.
If this is the first time you're reading about PUCC let me explain.

Due to the dishonest and unethical people who purchase a 'personal use' pattern or tutorial from me and then proceed to make and sell the design, typically with no mention of me, the designer, I've decided the only way around this is to publish my tutorials only as commercial editions. Commercial editions basically have royalty payments paid up front though they don't give permission to the buyer to teach the design or to claim it as their own.
I'm not the only designer who has wasted a BUNCH of time tracking these people down, writing cease and desist letters to them and generally been frustrated by the lack of ethics of these people.

However, because I hate that the honest, ethical people are always caught in the middle and end up having to pay a higher price due to the dishonesty of others I wanted to create something to get around it.
So....if you sign the aforementioned contract saying you will only use my tutorials for your own personal use I will create a special coupon code for you which will get you 40% off any qualifying tutorial.

Of course I have to do a whole reorganization of my stores so this new program can work. My flatwork/peyote patterns will stay 'Personal Use Only' with an upgrade available for 'RTS' (rights to sell) and will not be part of the PUCC program.  I will be creating new sections in my stores that will be 'tiered'.
"Tutorials, Tier 1" will be tutorials which are priced commercially at $15 and will be $9 in the PUCC program.
 "Tutorials, Tier 2" will be tutorials which are priced commercially at $20 and will be $12 in the PUCC program.
"Tutorials, Tier 3" will be tutorials which are priced commercially at $25 and will be $15 in the PUCC program....etc.

I will also have a section where you can upgrade a PUCC tutorial to the commercial version with a 'tier' upgrade.  When you do this (also when you upgrade a flatwork pattern) you will recieve a permissions cover sheet for the pattern you wish to upgrade.

For people wishing to teach my designs there will also be a section for a teacher's upgrade.

So...I have a fair bit of work to do but I think this will be the way to avoid all the frustrations and still be fair.  Some prices may change to fall into the applicable tier.  If you like my program and want to use it...please do, the more designers who adopt a common system the more people will use it.
My goal is to have everything in place and working by June 1st with the contract up later today so people can be ready to get those 40% discounts :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Lost Weekend

Yep, it's Monday and I totally lost the weekend due to a ridiculously bad migraine after a bad choice for Friday's dinner.
In my twenties I developed allergies that caused THE worst migraines, of course I didn't know it was allergies and the doctor wasn't too helpful, just kept giving me meds for when I had a preventative. It got to a point where if I didn't have a migraine I was knocked out from the meds. And if I had a migraine I could throw up for eight hours straight and would lose my balance so much I would have to crawl around on all fours getting to my dark and quiet room.
I was so sick of being sick I did some research...before the not easy research.  I found that tiny veins and thick blood contributed to migraines...made sense to me and I knew I had both so I asked my doctor for a blood thinner and worked.  The next step was to find out if it was possible to thin my blood naturally and what I was allergic to.  A painful process because I had to get migraines to find out what caused them....a food diary was used and I discovered aged cheese was a major trigger for me.
Red wine, chocolate and stress added to it and if I had all four in the same day I was guaranteed a migraine.
So...I quit cheese, cut down on red wine and chocolate and tried to manage my stress better.  It worked and the migraines became a twice yearly thing.

So....on Friday my bad choice for dinner was a five cheese pizza!
I've gradaully been able to bring cheese back into my diet, in small amounts, but obviously the five cheeses were overkill.  Somehow we need to learn the same lesson every now and again....I certainly learned mine as I told God many times while I had my arms wrapped around and my head down the toilet.

Of course, there's not much that stops me beading....I managed to create my Blue Danube bangle on Friday before the migraine set in and last night I worked out the kinks of an idea I'd had for a beautiful lampwork spiral I bought from Lea Avroch.  That's in progress not to be shown until it's finished and has a working title of "Screwed"....which coincidentally was how I felt over the weekend :)

So, it's Monday...I'll be playing catch-up all day while still somewhat fragile, due in part to not being able to really stomach food yet. But I'm on the recovery road and the silver lining is I may just lose a few pounds.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Snapping Out of Sleep Deprivation

We're into the last days of my dog pal's 18+ years and taking care of him is topping my 'To Do' list.  This includes numerous nights of interupted sleep which has left me sleep deprived and walking into walls.
It's a tough time...on the 'time to go' scale he's up there but on the 'pain scale' he's on the low end....which tends to make the inevitable decision very difficult.

So...I'm getting way behind on work. 
The 'book' projects are on hold...all but a couple of small pieces beaded but hardly any of the pattern writing done.  I couldn't face pattern writing but as that is a huge part of what I do I decided I better get to it so I'm doing some easier tutorials to get me back into the groove.
I created Goose Bumps, an idea that had been rattling around in my brain for a while and got that into my store. And now I'm working on this set of Geometric Snaps, a basic set that can be used on many projects and will  be published as a commercial pattern.

I totally missed getting out my Pattern of the Week this week, it was made but I never got around to putting the pattern together or photographing it.  It's the first time I've missed one in six months but I'm not going to beat myself up about will only make my eye twitch more than it already!  So, Mondoshawan will be this Sunday's POTW.

I'm also working on some narrower flatwork cuffs as I've had requests for them. Below is the first of these, Zentangle4, which is all done in matte metallics with a touch of shiny metallic running through and is just shy of 1" wide. 

So...if you're waiting for the 'book' which will now be two 'volume' tutorials (five to seven projects in each one) and a bonus tutorial which will only be available when you purchase both 'volumes' is coming....just slowly.

I'm on the last month of teaching weekly beading classes and we're also on countdown to my niece's wedding....four weeks from Saturday and I still have things to do for that. By mid-June I should have a clean slate with only business and getting the house ready for sale on my plate.
And that's enough!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Solutions, solutions!

So, after all the frustrations and chatter about copyright infringement and how difficult it is for we designers to protect our rights I went quiet and did some beading.  That's the only way to get centered and realise why I'm following this path and to know that I want to continue doing so.
It also gives all the possible solutions time to marinate and formulate.

The obvious solution is to only sell commercial patterns so people are paying for the rights to sell and I released my first of these patterns, Goose Bumps, this week.  But, I am not happy, because I think this system hurts the ethical beader, the beader who just wants to make a design for themselves and to give as gifts and so adheres to the 'personal use only' rules.
I don't think those people should have to pay a higher price just because of a few unethical, greedy people.

So...a solution.
A club where you sign a yearly contract where you agree to only use my designs for your own personal use (for yourself and to give as gifts) and that gets you a 40% discount on the tutorials.
It would be called PUCC ~ Personal Use Contract Club
(added bonus, if someone complains about my prices I can say "Oh, PUCC it!")

I think I have the logistics worked out, basically, you'd ask to be in the club ("Hey Mikki, I want to PUCCer up")
and I'd e-mail you a would sign the contract, either digitally, or print sign and scan, or print, sign and snail mail it back to me.  I would then issue you your own special coupon code and you'd be set to get your 40% discount.  You would of course be able to upgrade a tutorial to commercial if you decided you wanted to sell it.

So...what do you think? Would you be willing to sign a contract to get 40% off?

I did come up with a term that someone mentioned might be useful for the beading community....RTS or Rights To Sell and I'm working on making a logo for that.
I want to format a letter with some useable graphics that we designers can send to the magazines....asking that they are used (or something like them) on the patterns in their magazines so that readers instantly know if they can only use the pattern for personal use, if they can sell what they make from it or not, if there is a license to sell available or not (and link to get it), if they are allowed to teach it or not and if there is a license to teach available or not (and the link for it).  And of course they would need to make sure these options were included in the contracts we designers are given.

As for a central registry for designs....that would be way too much work.
So, my thoughts are that we create a website where teachable designs are shown with links to where they can be bought.  There would need to be a format for listing them so they could be searchable by designer, stitch, type (bracelet, earrings, etc), and experience level.  This would give the bead stores somewhere to go to get things to teach without infringing someone's copyright.  Plus if the beading community came together to make sure that all bead stores had the web address and we had a page about copyright infringement then these stores would become informed.
We could charge a nominal fee for the listings...50c....and that money could pay for the website and go into a legal fund in case we need it.
It would be good for designers and good for bead stores. WinWin!