Monday, December 6, 2010

Website Disasters

What frustrates me most about maintaining a website is my lack of control over the host server. Over the past couple of years, was hosted by a server that, well, let's just say it wasn't/isn't the most stable server in town. In fact, I don't think they're even in town which is another reason I'm upset. I prefer to keep my business here in the States including support. Whatever, I finally got fed up enough to switch hosts.

One week later and my website is still down, the old host still hasn't done what they need to transfer my domain and now I can't even get any email! ARGH! So, if you need to reach me for any reason, you'll just have to send a message through my Artfire Studio or Etsy Shop.

The trials and tribulations of website maintenance are ubiquitous so I won't bore you with mine. Suffice to say I'm offering a special, unprecedented 30% OFF every item, except sale items, in both my shops!!! Just convo or write the word WEBWOES in your comments at checkout and I will refund 30% of your purchase!

Happy Holidays everyone. Hope yours is running smoother than mine! LOL

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Artfire Makes an Offer

... that you can't or rather shouldn't refuse. If you're an artist, photographer, designer, crafter or anyone who creates handmade/handcrafted items for sale, do yourself a favor and run, don't walk, to become an Artfire Pro member at

ArtFire is offering a limited number of people the chance to lock in a never-before-seen $5.95/month rate. In order for them to offer you this deal they need at least 20,000 members, including me, to opt-in for the exclusive $5.95 rate. Don’t miss your chance to lock in the best deal in e-commerce. Once this deal is over, it’s not coming back.

With Artfire, There are no hidden fees.
There is no contract.
There are no games.
There are just millions of shoppers.
They connect you with them.

And when you're done setting up your shop and/or signing in for this offer, even if you're an existing Artfire Pro member, check out our Artfire Studio at

Friday, June 4, 2010

Not My Style

"That's not my style."

How many times have you heard that from others or said it yourself? But personal "style", just like our taste buds, change constantly. There was a rule at our dinner table when I was growing up... "You don't have to eat but you must taste." It didn't matter if we'd had that particular food before and decided we didn't like it. My mom insisted that our tastes would change as we grew older. Things we liked, might not have the same appeal when we got older and things we thought absolutely disgusting at 15 would become our favorite foods at 25. She was right. I love raw clams, oysters and broccoli. Three foods that had made me gag every time.

When we're young, we're encouraged to try many different things. To stretch our imaginations, try out different philosophies, foods, and looks. We're told we can be anything we want to be if we just try. My mom also used to say "You may be the greatest piccolo player in the world, but you'll never know unless you try the piccolo." Wise woman. So, I tried. Well, I didn't try the piccolo, but I expanded my horizons by tasting foods I never tried before, trying on a piece of clothing before dismissing it as 'not me' and even revisiting old styles and things I'd never liked because she was right. My tastes changed as I grew and the years went by.

Well, I'm no young woman anymore but does that mean I have to stop trying new things, tasting new and old foods or dismissing a look because I don't think it's me? Nope. The day I stop trying new things will be the day they can plant me 6 feet under. Well, I'd rather be cremated but that's neither here nor there. What I am trying to say is that while almost everything I make is something I love to wear, they're not always "my style". Which is why a lot of my jewelry is on the eclectic side. One day I'll like chainmaille, the other wire wrapping and the next beading. So I play with them all. However, if I ever do find a set style in my art, I'll probably force myself to change it because I don't want to get in a rut.

Most of the jewelry for sale on Artfire, Etsy and my website, are pieces I loved making. But I'm expanding my horizons daily. Right now I'm getting into metalsmithing, though I've nothing finished to show or that I want to sell... yet. I'm still learning and trying new (to me) techniques and tools, having a blast and realizing that my style is every growing, evolving and changing.

There's no law out there that says everyone can have only one "style" for the rest of their lives. We can change our hair, our clothes and even our eye color and beautiful one of a kind jewelry is the greatest way to say "We are unique!" So challenge yourself and think out of the box. Try something new, different and unpredictable. Buy a new perfume, try a new food, wear a different type of shoe... and let your jewelry be as spontaneous and unique as you are!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

I've been spending the last few weeks diligently working on redesigning my studio space to fit in the new jeweler's bench I recently purchased. But with my bad back, it's been a slow process. I have to thank, publicly, my new friend, Deborah, who I met through the Yahoo Group, FloridaBeaders. This woman has generously encouraged, cajoled, scolded and pushed me to get this work done. She has unstintingly given of her time to help me physically as well as mentally and emotionally move the garbage and clutter from my home and mind.

You expect this kind of aid from someone you've known for years, or a family member. But for it to come from a woman who was a complete stranger to me less than 3 months ago... well, it touches me and makes my heart swing wide open. Yes, I agreed to teach her what little I know of silver smithing, as I'm just a beginner myself, but it seems so inadequate. So, how do I thank this open hearted person? How do I repay her for the unselfish things she's already done and is still doing? Indeed I want to make her something really special, but how do you show someone how much you appreciate the help they've given you, asking for nothing in return?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Eyes Wide Shut?

I've been living in South Florida for over 30 years now. So, I guess many would consider me a native. I mean, after 30 years, if you're not a native, what are you? But I was born and bred in New York and they do say you can take the girl out of NY but you can't take the NY out of the girl. To this day, I really have no idea what that means.

Anyway, so why I am writing tonight? Good question. I'm trying something different with the blog., Writing not just about my adventures in jewelery design but about me. Along the last years exploration into the mysterious world of jewelery design I learned a lot about the craft; wire wrapping, stringing, beading stitches, the difference between Czech crystals and Swarovskis, how to pierce, saw, and solder silver and other metals, how to make plain jump rings into incredible fabric like works of art and more. But the most important things I learned were about myself.

I learned that I hate to do small beading projects but can sit for hours opening and closing tiny jump rings to make a ring, bracelet, earrings or necklace. I learned I love metal fabrication. Actually taking metal, sawing, piercing, cutting and soldering it into something beautiful. I learned that I love to teach!! And I'm good at it! Even though I am far from being an expert, apparently I have a gift for being able to show others what I've learned and I love sharing my knowledge. It gives me a thrill to hear that.

I've spent the last few weeks in depression because I'm out of work again. But thanks to a few really good friends, one in particular (thanks Deb!), I'm getting over myself and back into doing what I love to do... make jewelry. Slowly we're getting the studio cleaned up and rearranged to make room for a new jeweler's bench where I can comfortably do more with fire and, if I'm real lucky, take on a student to teach what I've learned and hope they won't make the same mistakes as I have. I've learned so much from the professional and amateurs on Orchid Forum at Ganoskin, a lot of it over my head, but much of it very informative that only makes me want to learn more and more and more.

I think the day I stop learning, is the day I will put all my tools down and do no more. But I think that's a very long, long way off. What I'm trying to say is I am a work in progress. As is my jewelry, my blog, my FB pages, my website, my Etsy store and Artfire Studio. I hit high spots where I work like a fiend, and low spots where I don't go near the computer for weeks.

But now I would really like to hear back from people who have gone through these same sort of growing pains. Regardless of your hobby, avocation, passion, craft or job, what do you do to get our of bed in the morning and get working on something you love. You'd think it would be easy, but hey, they don't call me a Master Procrastinator for nothing! What about you!?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's my birthday later this month. Happy Birthday, Me! To celebrate, my gift to all of you is 20% off all regular priced items in my Artfire Studio. Just use the code MM2010 at checkout.

Okay, so I've heard from some Etsy buyers that they feel left out. Well, I do have more inventory in my Artfire Studio than in my Etsy Store but... it is my birthday and I did promise to give out some presents, so, send MM2010 in your comment at checkout and get 20% off all regular priced items, refunded through Paypal.

Oy, now I'm hearing from those of you who want to shop at my Web Store. I'm not sure what to do for you guys. I haven't updated the site since the holidays. Still working on a new look but it's taking much, much longer than I anticipated and frankly, I just don't like the old one so don't want to put a lot of effort into it. Hmmm, lemme think, ooooo, got it. Should you want to purchase directly from the MikiCat Designs Web Store use coupon code MM2010 (yup, same one) and you can get 20% off too.

Now, one more thing, wish me a Happy Birthday at checkout at ArtfireEtsy or the Web Store and receive a free surprise gift with your purchase. No, I'm not going to tell you what it is, it's a surprise! :) Silly.

The discount does not apply to already reduced items, gift certificates, shipping or tax.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Quiet month

Okay, I've been MIA for awhile now but working a full time job takes a lot out of me. That job is over and for now, have some free time to work on the jewelry, website and blog again.

I'm currently considering a number of new designs and waiting for the photos of the jewelry I made for my niece's wedding in late January. She looked so pretty! And I was very, very happy how the pieces came out for her and her sisters.

Here's one photo of all three together.

Aren't they beautiful? All of them are gorgeous and the bride was stunning. I'm such a lucky Auntie! The Bridemaids' jewelry was a perfect match to their dresses and made from sterling silver and Swarovski crystals in Peridot and Erinite. The Bride's jewelry was made from sterling silver and Swarovski Pearls and Crystals.

For now, I'm out of work again but looking and hoping to get lucky. While it will take away from my jewelry time, I need the paycheck! In the meantime, stay tuned to find out about our up and coming March Madness.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Busy New Year

It's been a busy holiday and New Year for me. Part of why I haven't written anything is because I have a day job. And I spend most of the day on the computer. When I come home, the last thing I want to do is spend more time online. So I've been neglecting you guys. So sorry.

I've been working hard on making jewelry for my niece's wedding which is this coming Sunday. I'm still not finished and I promise I'll get some pictures posted as soon as they're done. But it's not easy with a full time job and bad back. I need to start making time to create more.

I did sell one of my favorite earrings, Gypsy Bubbles, and for half-price! If you want to grab a pair for yourself, you can find them on both Artfire and Etsy and they will stay on sale at least until the end of January. After that, they will probably go up a the price of silver rises.

But for now, I'm finishing up the wedding pieces, working every day for the paycheck, getting together with friends and enjoying the unseasonably cold South Florida winter. I can't believe it's sooooo cold. Just as long as it doesn't last too long, it's okay by me. Still can't wait for those balmy days of 78 again! I hear they're a comin'. So come on down. I'll hold on to some sunshine for you.


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