Hackers suck

If you’ve been having trouble with my site today, it’s because some ass has been banging on my site with bots trying to break in. As of now I’ve rebuked over 500 attempts; this traffic from India may have caused my site to slow down to the point of being unusable. For this I apologize; I do more than most to try and keep up with  this stuff and block entire networks all over the world. These misbegotten sons of the crap you scrap off your shoe are causing the internet to be almost unusable.

I’ll keep fighting the good fight, hang in there with me.

Nancy

Stainless Steel Chain

I’m considering switching  to stainless steel chains for my work.  A number of years back the cost of sterling silver skyrocketed and I was forced to switch to silver plated chains for my necklaces. With 100’s of necklaces in stock, I can’t afford to keep that much money tied up in chains.  I considered chains sort of like packaging, they are not the main focus of the piece, my glass is the focus, the chain was just a vehicle for displaying it. Many people have a nice chain they can switch out. However, I was still unhappy with the silver plated chains, yes the cost is great, but they discolor over time.  I often have to discard and replace the chains because they tarnish and can’t be cleaned (I’ve tried, they get weird,) and that’s just not very sustainable. I detest throwing things away like that.

Just about a year ago, I ordered some stainless steel chains for myself.  I’ve worn one for a year now, every day, it doesn’t discolor, it’s strong and I really like it. The only downside I see is that it’s not as shiny as silver, and I wonder if that would be off-putting? I also like the idea of steel and glass together, as in architecture.  In addition, some people have allergic reactions to silver so cannot wear the silver chains, but stainless is hypoallergenic.  Stainless steel is stronger, cleaner and will last longer.

So i’m gonna go out on a limb and swap out  for stainless steel chains this season and see what happens. I’ll have a limited number of sterling chains,  as well, but the price is significantly higher. I’ll also use up my silver plated ones but, after that, I think I’ll not order more of those.

~Nan

New work at Glass Orchids

New work at Glass Orchids being fired in kiln.
New work at Glass Orchids being melted right before your eyes.

 

My goal for winter was to create new work at Glass Orchids, for the upcoming season.

have to say that I’ve failed miserably at that task this winter.  This winter I’ve been consumed by other tasks, after getting through the holidays I’ve spent my time working on websites for myself and the various arts organizations I’m a part of. I’m also the manager of two of the artisan cooperatives I’m in , and organizing for the upcoming season takes a lot of work.  I admit, I also enjoyed days of laziness which are greatly  needed to refuel for the coming year. 

I’ve got plans for new work at Glass Orchids, so many plans lol…… but first I’ve got to set up for the opening of the cooperatives, do my taxes (which no are not done yet), clean my studio, plant my garden, and then, yes then, create new works!!!

In addition to working getting this site ready for prime time, I also created a new website for one of my cooperatives: Belfast Harbor Artisans. 

 

So it’s 2019….A New Year

A new year, a new season! January is typically the month I rest up and take a little break, but this year the new season seems to have come earlier….. working on websites for The Bangor Art Society, Belfast Harbor Artisans, converting GlassOrchids.com over to GlassOrchids.art, working on a site for my sister, and one for SouthWestHarbor Artisans…and helping River Arts with theirs.

Getting the agendas set for the coop meetings this weekend, and entering pieces for shows at River Arts and the Bangor Art society. I need to organize my studio and stock, and make new work, and do taxes… planning my garden for this spring….applying for shows……why did I ever think Jan/Feb were slow months?

This year I’ve left 2 coops, and am going to try and pare down what I make to those things that have been selling, and things I just love to make. I’m hoping to focus a bit on obtaining a few new wholesale accounts too. 20+ years doing this and I’ve still not found the Golden Mix, the formula to maximize income based on wholesale. retail, coops, consignment, online sales……. sometimes I feel like Jason of the Argonauts.

Now, just to get back to something I said above.. I’ve moved GlassOrchids.com to GlassOrchids.art.. why? Well, maybe you’ve read my saga of Google Jail? GlassOrchids.com is in google jail so I get no traffic or search engine placement. I made an innocent / but ignorant mistake and will pay for it forever apparently….. but hopefully with GlassOrchids.ART I’ll be able to recover…. time will tell….

Anyway, till next time,

Nancy

Fryeburg Fair

Wild preparations are underway for the Fryeburg Fair! I’m firing my kilns on overdrive. The show runs September 30th thru October 7th, 8 days, 12 hours a day; whew. This year I’ll have many more items made with upcycled glass bottles, as well as other new items. Long hours ahead getting ready for the fair!

~Nan

Getting away from it all

I  just got back from 5 days/4 nights on Monhegan Island. I turned 60 last week and took myself on a short retreat as a gift to myself on this momentous occasion. This was my first trip to what is, apparently, mecca for Maine painters. It was like stepping back in time… children can roam free without fear, I stayed at Monhegan House and there are no locks on the doors; there is a hook so you can lock yourself in for sleeping which is great. I asked about it and they said they have NEVER had any issues with theft etc…   it’s like the land time forgot.

I planned on painting non-stop everyday lol.. yeah sure…. I napped a lot, I finished 2 novels and started a 3rd, and yes I started 7 paintings. Now, I haven’t painted with oils in awhile and found it frustrating that I could only go so far with each and then had to wait for them to dry before continuing. I’ve been using acrylics mostly because I want them to DRY so I can finish.  It’s ok, I now have 7 paintings in process. I’m really only happy with 2 of them but hey, that’s par for the course with artists.

This island seems to have this weird thing where the restaurants don’t serve wine but the tiny shops have amazing wine selections. I did  my part in forcing them to restock. Sitting by an upstairs window, drinking wine, reading a book and watching the sunset… listening to the distant tolling of a bouy bell and the gulls plaintiff cries… .. really heavenly.

I highly recommend this island for those who enjoy quiet. If you are like my husband and can’t rest then NO, don’t do it…. but if you can sit quietly for hours then this is the place for you. There is a lot of hiking to be done and I did  my fair share to get to painting sites. The easy trails are not for the weak ……. I did  manage to tumble down 15 or 20′ on a trail… and didn’t break anything.. wow someone loves me up there. After hiking, painting & falling I felt like I was on survivor….. the path seemed to never end… but I’m  here to type about it so it’s all good.   I am a bit sore….. I think the entire island is uphill. Bring a walking stick.

Most everyone was friendly and I had some nice conversations with total strangers.  I will say that, like  most of Maine, this island is mighty white. I did see a few people of color but not  many.  There were probably more folks over 50 than under as well. although there were a lot of younger folks hiking and probably working there for the summer. I’m not making any judgement about the ages or color of the folks; just observations which I felt might be useful for those planning to visit. There were families with young children and I overheard one little girl tell  her dad she wants to live on the island.

I also got to stop by and visit an old customer Black Duck Emporium and hope to have my work offered there soon again! It was great to see them after many years and actually get to shop in their store. It’s lovely and offers a wide selection of goods from soap to dishes to t shirts.

Like much of Maine, the island is suffering from a drought. I asked a local woman who runs a farm stand about how they water their gardens as she had many. I gathered she has a well which helps, she also has a water catchment system and prioritizes what gets water and what doesn’t. They had beautiful white and orange pumpkins growing in the fields… it was impressive.

Winter can’t be easy there and I think they have about 45 year round residents. One has to prepare for winter and stock up because there is no where to get food or supplies when the weather is bad and no ferry runs.

All in all it was a wonderful experience and I hope to return next year with our own boat, which we can sleep on. Greg can fish during the day and I can paint. Then we can enjoy the local food & wine as the sun sets.  Oh, I had some fantastic fish tacos at the Fish House. A painting of the Fish House will be forthcoming. Life is short, get the tacos & a t shirt.

Pictures of the trip will be added here soon…… I highly recommend a visit!

~Nan

The continuing saga of Google Jail

Well apparently one of my ads for GlassOrchids.com has been released from Google Jail and  has made it through the gauntlet of Google ad approval. I have no idea why it’s different than the ones that have been denied. I’ll let you know if/when I figure it  out. This one seems to be targeting mostly mobile devices. I guess any new traffic is good but it sure isn’t transparent on how Google Ad approval actually works.

Anyway, I’m thinking about what to do next to get more traffic to this site given my striped pajamas. I’ve got two solutions that I’m going to try:

  1. Adding a few pages to my other site NancyDaviesTang.com , and pointing them to this site and then submitting the new pages to get crawled might work.
  2. Creating a mirror site (already  registered a name GlassOrchidz.com.. the Z for zombie version… raised from the dead and all that) and pointing it to this site too.

The second takes much longer to implement so I’ll work on the first one first. I have been known as being stubborn, and I’m not giving up.  If nothing else, my saga should serve as a warning and education to others…..

~Nan

Google Jail Continues & DuckDuckGO

Can DuckDuckGo replace Google?

For very personal reasons I’m beginning to think Google has entirely too much power over our internet lives. As a business, being well indexed is integral to survival, and yet, it’s becoming more necessary to pay to get a high index placement.  In the categories I’m in, companies like Etsy and Alibaba get the highest placement. A small, individual run company has a hard time competing with those companies.

 Awhile back I posted about the error I made way back in 2013 by not replacing an image in a free template; this led to my being removed from the google search engine because of a DCMA complaint by the owner of the image (it was the face of a woman, stock image).  Google Jail is for life. Rather a harsh sentence for such a small and innocent infraction; especially given the importance of being found in the google search engine. As you may have seen, if you follow my blog, I did find a workaround and some of my pages are now being indexed.

No Ads for you [said in the voice of the soup nazi]

So, I figured, hey, let me pay Google by running some ads and, hopefully, my site will start to get some traffic again. But no, no Nannette, you can’t do that.  Apparently Google will still not allow me to buy an ad because of that original DCMA complaint. Even though my site has been ported to a different server, a different platform, and the offending image and template are long gone. Now I’m not saying I had no culpability in my own downfall, but my error was one of ignorance. I do feel there should be a solution to get out of jail before the end of time.

I am indexed in Bing, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo. I’ve been using DuckDuckGo more and more because of a growing concern about internet privacy. I’m pretty happy with it so far and my site is listed on the first page of the search for some of my key words; as it used to be in Google.

Check out  DuckDuckGo

Like Facebook, Google needs to be replaced. Both  have grown too large and serve those who pay to play more than  fair and open access to information. Both use our information, and invade our privacy, in ways they should not; although we allow them to do so by playing.  IMO, It’s high time the next new thing appeared on the horizon.

WordPress Technical Support & Development

WordPress Technical Support:

I’ve just joined a site called Fiverr; this is a site that lets folks offer services starting at just $5. I’ve been in tech for over 35 years, and have been working with WordPress for quite some  time. I currently manage 6 WP sites which include blogs, shopping carts, security software and more.

Check out my profile on Fiverr to see how I can help you.

I’m offering services starting at $5 to solve a WordPress problem for you, and ranging up to $200 for a complete WordPress website setup.

Feeling all alone out there in WP land? Do you have plugin problems? Can’t get WP to do what you want? Have you been hacked, or do you need security set up? Having trouble getting your shopping cart activated? Need to port your website from another platform to WP? Whatever your need, I can help.

Press Releases

In addition to WP help, I’m offering a tiered service to help you with Press Releases. Everything from writing a simple release for your event, to creating a stunning release and submitting it for you. All starting at just $5.

Interested in joining Fiverr yourself? Click ME to get started!

 

Time to make the donuts!

It’s been  hard finding time to get into the studio these last few months – I’ve been spending a lot of time opening a new artisan coop  in Belfast, ME, I’ve been trying to get my garden/farm up and running, working in the coops, traveling to galleries to enter new pieces for shows etc…  but finally I got an afternoon to work.

What to work on? hmmmm.. so much  inventory is needed to keep going…. art pieces…. earrings.. etc… well I decided to pull out a stash of vintage dichroic glass I’ve been hoarding for about 20 years. I bought it from one of the pioneers in using dichro for jewelry and have been saving it, mostly because I just didn’t want to waste it! But today was the day (well last Thursday anyway.) Since I was using old dichro, I decided to create pieces in the style I first used 20+ years ago. Funky, chunky and bold pieces here we go…