Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tangled Metal Is Giving Away Chainmail!

Tangled Metal's world famous Chainmail Hacky Sack
I decided to do a little giveaway when I reach 250 "Likes" on the Tangled Metal Facebook Page. It isn't a contest because there are no requirements. Once I have 250 people liking the page I will select two people at random to receive a free gift. The winners will be able to choose from the chainmail hacky sack pictured above or a custom pair of chainmail earrings.

If this works out well, I will be doing a giveaway for every 250 fans I get on Facebook. But I need your help to spread the word. At the writing of this blog I am at 223. Please share this info with anyone you might think would like my work.

I have been making chainmail for over 25 years. I love making it. I love coming up with new designs and patterns. I also enjoy making things that I have made over and over again in my 25 years in the craft. Even though the earrings look alike, each one is a little different.

I put a little bit of myself into each and every piece that I create. Some of my designs took many years to perfect. I have stumbled upon new and interesting weaves and designs by accident more than a few times. Someone asked me recently which of the items I was most proud of from everything that I have ever made. I answered them the small scrap of chainmail made from coat hangers from the very first attempt at chainmail. That was over 25 years ago. I look back it it every now and then and think about the amount of time it took to make that small scrap.

Today it would tame me minutes compared to the days it took back then. Anyhow, the reason I wrote this blog was not to revisit the past but to look forward to the future. If you are not already a fan of the Tangled Metal Facebook Page, please take a moment and go "Like" it. If you are already a fan, pass the word on to all your friends. Who knows, you may just get some free chainmail.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tangled Metal On Etsy Front Page With Steampunk Pendant

Click to see the treasury featuring one of Tangled Metal's items
Yes, it happened again, one of my items was on the front page. Well, actually it was an alternate for the front page. Meaning that I was in the treasury but my item wasn't on the front page. That is okay because I did pick up over 100 item views from it and maybe a few views to the whole shop.
Tangled Metal's "Mechanical Sea" Steampunk Pendant on Etsy
The Steampunk pendant is one of my earlier works. I really enjoyed making it as I do all of my pendants. I have been making chainmail for over 25 years but I only recently started making other forms of jewelry. I am learning the art of silver smithing from my father. He has been making jewelry for more than 45 years. I do not yet use a torch for soldering so all of my pieces currently feature rivets or wire for connecting. I do not use any glue in any of my metal work.

I have had two items on the front page on Etsy. It is a great feeling to see your work and to know that many people will see it as well. The pendant is still available as of the writing of this post, but if you click on it and it is sold when you read this, rest assured there are many other Steampunk pendants and brooches in my shop.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Reaching Your Goals Through Mini Goals.

The tortoise and the hare is a great example of how to reach your goal. If you asked the hare what his goal was before the race he would have said "To win!" Had you asked the tortoise he would have said "I plan to go slow and steady and put one foot in front of the other until I reach the finish line. I plan to stay focused and meet each obstacle and overcome it while always moving forward."

Well, okay, maybe they would not have said anything like that at all. The point is if you set your goals high without a plan it is just as bad as not setting a goal at all. I have to write my goals down. I then try to imagine the path to reach my goal. I tend to write a flowchart like path. I then look at each of the mini goals that lead to the end result. If those goals are too big I break them down even further.

I do not always reach my main goal but I do manage to meet many of the smaller ones along the way. I also learn from each of my mistakes. My biggest flaw is seeing the timeline. What I sometimes think will take a month may take a year. Perhaps I am overly optimistic sometimes. I am working on that.

This week I have set a goal of getting 2000 "Likes" on the Tangled Metal Facebook Page. When I set the goal I was at 143 followers. That was three days ago. Today I am up to 153. It seems like a very unreachable goal if you look at it overall. However, I have set the goal of having 200 followers by the end of the next weekend. 47 Likes seem a lot easier to reach than 1947 followers.

I have set a plan in motion and I am going to stick to the plan and reevaluate after the weekend. I will let you know how it goes. If you would like to help me reach my goal go to the Tangled Metal Facebook Page and "Like" it and share it with all of your followers. What are your long term goals. What short term goals have you set to make it to your long term goal? I would really like to know. Please leave me a comment and maybe we can help one another.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What Will You Do When The Zombie Apocalypse Starts?

Zombies have become pretty mainstream. From Toshiba laptops to Honda zombie driver commercials it would seem that they are the next big thing. But have you ever stopped to think about the possibility of it actually happening, the zombie apocalypse, that is? It would seem that there are some who take it pretty seriously.

The CDC was recently shown in a poor light on AMC's The Walking Dead. The CDC actually decided to create a zombie preparedness guide. I am not kidding. They actually created it. The idea is that if you can be prepared for the zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for anything. They made it out to be a bit of a joke, but it is a great way to make sure you are ready for any emergency.

The truth is, a zombie apocalypse is probably not going to happen. The idea has been around for many years and noting even close has happened. It may just be all fun and games and a way to sell laptops but I think the zombie craze is pretty cool. I will continue to watch the movies and commercials and try to be prepared.

What are you doing to prepare? I'd like to know what you think of the popularity of zombies today.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I Love My Wonderful Daughter!

Me and my beautiful daughter Rowan
In light of recent news I wanted to just make a short post to say just how much I love my daughter. She stays with me four months or so at a time and four months or so at a time with her mother. She is now 16 years old, but I don't have the typical problems that most parents have with a teenager.

Rowan Elizabeth has rarely ever been in trouble of any kind. I have never had to ground her let alone punish her in any form. She made all A's when she was in school and now that she is home-schooled she continues to learn everything she can. She's smart, very smart.

I love my daughter very much. She is kind of taking after me in a way. She has already started making very cool hand sewn plushies.  I am trying to talk her into opening up an Etsy shop and as soon as that happens I will let all of you know. Never forget to tell your children how much you love them.

Anyhow, I just wanted to write this little bit about my daughter. Do you have any children? If so, leave a comment and tell me something that you love about them.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday America!

Happy Birthday America. There is no place I would rather live. What I love about this country is hard to put into words. So, here are some images that say it far better than I could ever voice.

Lake Ouachita, Arkansas
1967 Ford Mustang Shelby Cobra GT500
American Comic Books
American movies
There are many more things I love about America but this page could end up with way too many pictures, so I will stop and ask you a question. What do you love about the country that you live in?