Etsy just messed everything up…. Again.

Etsy proudly announce the launch of all new categories. Yeah ? More like Yikes !! What a nightmare. They deleted all reference to Polymer clay in every category. I found my texture stamps filed under Ceramics & Sculptures. Yep, you read that correctly. Now they are filed under the generic category of General Supplies, because I can’t seem to find a proper home for them any longer.

I was reading through all the complaints made by shop owners in the forum that Etsy deleted Lampwork from the beads and that there is no longer a category to put Christmas Ornaments. And those fancy delicate beautiful polymer clay figures or mermaids and fairies? Oh, those were added to Toys category. LOL Seriously??

The new categories look like the WalMart.com website now. So sad and frustrating. Rather than spend the day working on orders I am faced with checking on my 362 listing to see just how badly Etsy @#$% things up for me. Here is a couple threads to visit to add you 2 cents to this matter. Please make your voice heard. https://www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/15994118/
https://www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/15992322

 

Bad Etsy image courtesy of http://www.blissfulmondays.com/2013/02/14/307/

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Are you aware of the New EU VAT Tax Laws and how they affect you?

This new law was a real shocker to me. I am a USA citizen. I only collect sales tax on items I sell within my own home state. Yes, it’s a pain in the (bleep), but it’s the law. Now the entire EU, which includes 27 countries and the entire UK, thinks I should collect sales taxes for them. Each EU country has different taxes, rules and regulation that they expect me to know and follow. They expect me to register with each country separately if a customer from that country has purchased a digital download product from my online store. I have now removed all digital downloads from my Etsy shop to avoid all this.

Now I am hearing that by 2016 they want to expand this to include physical merchandise purchases, too.  This plan will not only damage by micro business, but most likely put me out of business. Good news though, I am reading that there are “Thresholds” for physical purchases. Meaning, you would have to make more $ in sales than the “Threashold” of that particular country before being forced to collect & pay the VAT taxes to that country. Each country is considered separate and VAT is handled individually for each country. Read about Thresholds here: http://www.vatlive.com/eu-vat-rules/distance-selling-eu-vat-thresholds/

Hopefully this Threashold thing stays as is, because I might as well just close up shop if they make me collect on all physical goods sold to EU customers. If I am forced to start turning away all my EU customers it will be detrimental to my business.  I estimate that 35 % – 50% (depending on the month) of my buyers are from the EU. In a good month I profit $400 – $600. So you do the math. If I lose half my customers will it even be worth keeping my Etsy shop open ?

There is a US Petition you can sign to let our legislators know we do not agree with this new EU Law.      https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/call-european-commission-suspend-introduction-new-eu-vat-laws-micro-businesses/VH1P82X0

Plus a survey you can fill out so your concerns are heard. http://euvataction.org/ Click Take Action Now to fill out the survey.

Links to read on the subject:

http://thebluebottletree.com/taxman-cometh/

https://www.change.org/p/vince-cable-mp-uphold-the-vat-exemption-threshold-for-businesses-supplying-digital-products?recruiter=36681676&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=des-sm-no_src-no_msg

http://www.buyusainfo.net/docs/x_2011043.pdf

http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/hm-revenue-customs-hmrc/blog_posts/eu-vat-changes-twitter-q-a-31555

 

To Pin Or Not To Pin?? I Choose Not …… for now. (updated*)

I know the vast majority of us do not take the time to read those long wordy Terms of Use agreements when we sign up for online websites, but Pinterest’s is one you really need to read. http://pinterest.com/about/terms/

Did you know that by creating Boards and filling them with pictures you have found around the internet you are basically saying you take responsibility and claim ownership to all those images?? So in short, you can be sued by the original owner of said artwork/image for sharing it without their permission. And believe me, Pinterest made sure their behinds are covered and will not be held responsible. After all, they are just providing a venue, they can’t control how we use it. From the TOU-

“You acknowledge and agree that you are solely responsible for all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services. Accordingly, you represent and warrant that: (i) you either are the sole and exclusive owner of all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services or you have all rights, licenses, consents and releases that are necessary to grant to Cold Brew Labs the rights in such Member Content, as contemplated under these Terms; and (ii) neither the Member Content nor your posting, uploading, publication, submission or transmittal of the Member Content or Cold Brew Labs’ use of the Member Content (or any portion thereof) on, through or by means of the Site, Application and the Services will infringe, misappropriate or violate a third party’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights or other proprietary or intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy, or result in the violation of any applicable law or regulation.”

Also, read this article posted at http://artists-bill-of-rights.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=688&catid=23&Itemid=97 which explains how Pinterest rips away all the metadata from images so it can’t be traced back to the original owner and how they can can sell any image located on their website. The following is also copied from the Pinterest TOU:

“By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services. Cold Brew Labs does not claim any ownership rights in any such Member Content and nothing in these Terms will be deemed to restrict any rights that you may have to use and exploit any such Member Content.”

It all sounds like a copyright nightmare to me. A shame, because I loved the concept of the site. I chose to delete all pinned images from my account and replace them with a “No Pinterest” image and a warning that you can see here. http://pinterest.com/tonjalenderman/ Support your fellow artists and don’t Pin !!!!

******I have an update. A friend share a link with me that was very interesting reading. http://ddkportraits.com/2012/02/my-date-with-ben-silbermann-following-up-and-drying-my-tears/ There may be hope after all. 🙂

How To Use Pinterest

Yep, another addiction to add to your list 🙂 Pinterest is the perfect way to save all your favorite inspirations, recipes, vacation ideas, or thing you just want to remember. And it’s FREE !!!

How To Use Pinterest

Go to http://pinterest.com/ and request an invite or have some send you an invite.

Once you are signed up for a Pinterest account it gives you a Pin It Link to add to your Bookmarks/Favorites. Be sure to save that link where it’s easy to get to, because you’ll be using it a lot. LOL If you forgot to save it you can find it here http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/

First thing you should do after sign-up is add some “Boards”. They can be named anything. I have a few so far with names like “My polymer clay jewelry”, “I saw it on Etsy”, “Polymer clay tutorials” and “Wire Wrapping”. Anything you may be interested in can become a Board. Maybe you like textiles for inspiration. Make a Board for it. Or perhaps you have dreams to visit far away lands. Make a Board for it. Like to collect yummy recipes? Make a Board for it. I think you get my drift now. 😉 You can add more boards any time by
1) Clicking Add+ on the top right on the Pinterest web page (you have to be logged in), then click Create A Board. Name it, select a category, click Create Board. Repeat as needed.
2) When you find something you want to Pin and are using the Pin It link [that I will assume you now have saved somewhere handy 😉 ] there in a option at the bottom of the drop down list of Boards you have created. Where it says Create A Board you can type in your new Board name. Click Create after you have left your Comments about the item you are Pinning.

Now that you have an account, made some Boards and saved the Pin It link, welcome to your new addiction. LOL Whenever you see something worth pinning, click the Pin It Link. When the new window pops up click Pin This then
1) add a comment
2) choose the Board you want to Pin It to (or create a new Board as described above)
3) Click Pin It
4) repeat as needed 😉

I hope I covered everything. I am still new to the Pinterest thing, but I am already addicted. 🙂 http://pinterest.com/tonjalenderman/

Baking Polymer Clay In A Solar Oven ??

This subject has been talked about in the past, but Desiree took it one step further and experimented with the idea 🙂 Check this out !!! http://desiredcreations.com/Misc_SolarOven.htm

My Amazon Shop, An Apology & A Clear Stamp Update

I set up an Amazon Associates Book Store. If you use my link you buy your polymer clay books and dvds I get a tiny commission. 🙂 It’s not much, but it helps keep my blog up and running.

I feel the need to apologize to my readers. The Winter Blues have really got a hold of me this year. I think my muse decided to vacation someplace warm and sunny, because she sure isn’t here. Evil little vixen. LOL I am so looking forward to some warm weather and sunshine. And being able to open the windows for some fresh air. It’s just stifling in this house both physically and creatively. I need sunshine !!!

I recently purchased several books about making Zentangles that I really want to use to develop a new stamp line. Should be interesting, so watch for future updates. 🙂 I’m also working on a couple sheets of Inspirational Words that will be the perfect size for stamping jewelry. I also had a request to make larger Rune Stamps, so they may end up on a 2 sheet set. If anyone has a great idea they’d like to see become a stamp, please drop me an email. I’ll see if it’s something I can do.

Thank you everyone for sticking by me. I will try to be more blog attentive in the future 🙂

Doing Craft Fairs? Need Tent Advice?

I friend emailed this link to me and I think it was very worthy of sharing 🙂

“What Kind of Tent Do I Need For Shows” is a wonderful post written by Larry Pile, AKA The Kessler Craftsman, that is full of wonderful info on choosing the tent that is right for your needs.

Happy New Year, Resolutions and Thoughts

Happy New Year !!!!

I can not believe it’s 2011 already. Where the heck did 2010 go? It was pretty good to me and I’ll miss it. 🙂 My clear stamp business has become a smashing success. At least by my standards. It keeps me busy and fills my PayPal account with money to resupply my polymer clay habit.

I also discovered a new passion for covering little colored glass balls with cane slices and calling them Christmas ornaments. 🙂 I drove to the city this morning and hit the Michael’s clearance sale. (That 25% off entire purchase coupon was handy) Came back with a dozen boxes of those little glass ball in assorted yummy colors. I’ve already decided our tree next Christmas will be hot pink, white and lime green. Much to my husbands dismay. LOL Guess I better start stocking up on canes now (or learning to make my own) so I can decorate said new ornaments. If I start tomorrow I may be done in 357 days.

And for those of you who have asked, I will be selling the ornaments again next year. They were a huge hit with the recipients this year so I have a good feeling they will sell like hotcakes next year, too. 🙂

Resolutions

#1 I have decided I need to stop letting all the little things stress me out. I have anxiety issues already and if I can learn to tell myself “Nope, ain’t going there. I can’t control this and I’m not going to let it freak me out” I’ll lead a much healthier life.

#2 I am going to make more time for my jewelry making. It somehow got put on the back burner last year. (LOL Last year 🙂 That sounds weird) I am going to try to make sure I set aside most of the weekends to devote to my jewelry. Even if I have to barricade the door and tell hubby to fend for himself.

I already have 2 finished projects for 2011. Yeah me !! It’s something I have been wanting to try for ages. Actually 2 somethings. I’ve been seeing all these wonderful findings on Etsy. I finally bought some and they arrived New Years Eve. I topped the projects off with UV Resin, which I bought nearly a year ago and never tried. So here are pictures of my projects.

Polymer clay inset into metal pendant finding & covered with UV resin.

Polymer clay inset into metal pendant finding & covered with UV resin.

More polymer clay inset in metal earring findings, coated wit UV resin

More polymer clay inset in metal earring findings, coated wit UV resin

Some random thoughts
I wanted to say to all my Facebook Friends, PCC Family, ArtFire Smooshers and devoted readers, thank you for making my life fuller and more interesting. 🙂 Blogging wasn’t something I thought I could get into, but it’s been fun sharing and reading all your comments. Hope 2011 finds you all happy, healthy and prosperous.

A recent post on Facebook by one of my new friends got me thinking. It was about the infamous “giving credit” subject. While I think giving credit for someone’s techniques you may have used in your own projects in a nice thing, I don’t feel it’s mandatory. I sure don’t expect it of anyone who buys my tutorials or clear stamps. In my opinion, people who write tutorials or teach classes or make video lessons do this hoping you will use the technique and yes, perhaps even sell the things you make. I’m pretty sure they do not expect people to add a thank you note to ever item they show pictures of or list in a selling venue. That’s just silly and unnecessary. Of course, this is just my opinion, yours may very and you are entitled.

That’s it for my first post of 2011. Hope to see you here again 🙂
Tonja

Victory Is Ours !!! (at least part of the way)

Polyform is keeping cobalt blue and zinc yellow in the color line-up 🙂 We yelled, they listened. I will still greatly miss the fluorescent colors, but they was Wasabi (bright green) and Candy Pink will be good for brightening up our colors. So stock up on the discontinued colors while you can friends. This is a victory, if only a partial one 🙂 We did it !!!!!!

I am also pleased to hear that the new improved copper will actually be copper 🙂 Like a new penny copper. I am personally very happy about this change.

Quoted from their Facebook page:
Polyform Products
Polyform has reviewed all of your heartfelt comments in reference to Premo Cobalt Blue and Premo Zinc Yellow. In response to your needs we are going to find a way to keep these colors available for you. We will work with distributors and will post the information as soon as we finalize the details.

To answer some of your other concerns:
Frost has been renamed White Translucent in order to clarify it’s color to new users. The color has not changed.

Copper has changed, there will be a color recipe to create the older version of this color. The new Copper color is closer to the color of a new copper penny.

The fluorescent colors have been discontinued. Two new colors, Wasabi and Candy Pink, are quite bright and sure to make a “color pop” in your creations.

The recipes for discontinued colors, with the exception of the fluorescent colors, will be available. Many of the recipes use new colors so releasing the formulas now will not help you. We’ll release the formulas on January 3rd when the new colors are going to be available to ship.

We are really excited about our new line of Premo Accents, Premo and Sculpey III, as we’re sure you will be. Designers who have already used these colors are singing their praises. They’re on trend, as well as colors designers have requested.

Your comments were heard, your loyalty appreciated.

Polyform Follow Up: The Upset Continues

Just wanted to share other blogger’s stories and the effect the changes to the Premo clay line will have on their work.

Lindly Haunani – Not so Colorful Changes…
Carol Simmons – Polyform: Say it isn’t so!
Crafty Goat – New (and Discontinued!) Premo Colors Announced
Crafts By Chris – Premo discontinued colors
Positively Charming Things – Polyform is changing their colors
Musings from the Moonroom – The Polyform Debacle
Fantasy Clay – No More Primaries from Polyform Premo
Deborah’s Daily Dish – Clay Friends…WE HAVE A PROBLEM
Desert Wind Designs – A little of This and That

2 ongoing discussions at Polymer Clay Central Forum – http://forums.delphiforums.com/polymerclay/messages/?msg=66257.1
http://forums.delphiforums.com/polymerclay/messages?msg=66242.1
Online Petition to sign –

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