Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To Twit

Old Books
Old Books by Kraybon

Amongst all my other pursuits, I love to read. I get lost in the story, watching
the scenes unfold in full Technicolor in my mind's eye. In fact, I often have
trouble surfacing to the real world from a particularly well-told story... much
to the chagrin of my family. Because I love to read, however, I am also inclined
to notice and appreciate unusual or extravagant language choices.

Like saying perchance instead of by any chance. Or indubitably instead of of
. I am often teased about my word choices when I am exceptionally tired- I evidently wind up sounding like an 18th century dictionary. Not that I notice, particularly, but the gales of laughter from my friends and family invariably give me away.

Recently, however, I used a phrase without thinking, and nearly had my head
bitten off by a particularly anti-technology friend of mine. My errant statement
from the conversation went something like this:

"I didn't mean to offend you, I was only twitting you about your focus."

At which point I was treated to a short, but heartfelt, lecture on the insidious
influence of Twitter on the English language. "Tweet is not a real verb!! It's
made up! And you call yourself a lover of excellent English, you hypocrite."
am exaggerating, somewhat, there was no name calling. But I think it was a near thing, to be sure.

The point is, I do love the English language in all it's complicated majesty. I
think it's fascinating to look at contradictory rules of speech in society, and
to watch them change year in and year out. But this time I was actually upset.

The person to whom I was talking is a very intelligent individual, if not so
literarily inclined. I am no old fogey either, to spin tales of "When I was
young...." to a disbelieving younger generation. I'm still under 30- and will
be for several years!

Yet this seemed to me to be highly significant. Our modern society has so warped a beautiful piece of interesting English that not only is it no longer commonly used- but it's not even faintly remembered in it's proper place.

So that there will be some modern remembrance of this suddenly out-moded term, I
give you this definition:

Twit- verb. To tease, to make fun, to use in a lighthearted yet chastening way.

He twitted her about the vanity of her new hat.

I have absolutely nothing against Twitter. I enjoy it, at times. But I object
most strongly to the appropriation and misuse of already taken segments of the
English language.

Let us have the majesty, and invent new terms for new technology. Surely a
society that produces such amazing new social tools can also produce new phrases
and verbiage to go with each advance!

Care to twistle, anyone?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Grumpy Haters get a new face

The new banner and logo.

The plush, (apologies for crap pic quality).

Pretty nifty, huh? The ever talented LeeAnn from Crown of Rue designed this for me from a plush I made. The cupcake was a direct reference and Etsy specific so I wanted to get away from that as we all head out into this Brave New World. 

I've ordered my stamp and my labels and price tags. I use Vistaprint and with my larger items put two pics on either end of the card, cut it in half and Presto! I professionally printed price tag for less then the cost of my craptastic printer ink. 

For smaller items I use the image three times, it works really well. You can also position the image and the fold the card so you have a mini card. I used those for my soaps to carry the logo and list materials and scent. Works like a charm. 

Now it's restocking like mad. We had a great season at Ballston Crafts Market and Linda from Artspring in Silver SPring, MD cleared us out, much to our delight. Even better she and her business partner Chris, called yesterday to say they'd sold out of monsters and how fast could I make more?

My husband has offered to schlep what I can make to the shop on Monday. Which is a Godsend, otherwise I'd have to post a big box.

Of course, I'm not anywhere near ready to move into my workspace, although I am ready to move, the workspace isn't. Hows that for convoluted sentencing?

So you'll find me buried under a pile of fleece, next toa box of safety eyes and to the left of a pile of boxes. For the last time, hopefully.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


buy my love
Photo "Buy My Love" by Plzy

Have you ever noticed that there seem to be many different interpretations of the word jewelry? In fact- not only are there interpretations, there are knock-down drag out fights about it! They say It's only jewelry if it's forged- AND it must be entirely made by hand- that includes clasps, headpins and chains, so don't even think about it Betty Beader!

Seriously people- come on. Webster's says jewelry is:

jewels; especially : objects of precious metal often set with gems and worn for personal adornment

Please note that it doesn't say it has to be precious metal, and set with jewels. It just says especially. As in, other ways are just as valid. So if Miss Betty Beader makes jewelry from fishing line, silver tone charms, and wool beads- more power to her!

Is there a difference between that piece and something I may make with forged 18k gold and diamonds? Well of course. They are two entirely different skill sets, and are created for entirely different audiences. But they are both jewelry, and Betty and I can both be termed jewelry makers.

Can we both be called jewelers? Um. Back to Webster's, which says a jeweler is:

1 : one who makes or repairs jewelry
2 : one who deals in jewelry, precious stones, watches, and usually silverware and china

Seems like yes, doesn't it? Here's where public opinion comes into play. Public opinion says "No". Ask ten people what they say a jeweler is and 8 out of ten will say someone who makes jewelry out of precious metals set with gemstones. The other two are more jewelry creators, and they work in beads, so their definition is a bit more elastic. Something like, "Something that you can wear that's hand made, usually out if metal, but not an article of clothing." But even these people, when given the chance to choose, will point to something with precious metals and gemstones as "real jewelry".

So you see the problem. Most people won't consider beads or unusual materials as something a "jeweler" will use. In fact, I've talked to groups of jewelry makers, and invariably we all talk about what we're making, like craftspeople do, right? Except when it's my turn, they all go a little bit quiet, and someone will say "Oh, you're a real jeweler." Every. Single. Time.

Even jewelry makers don't agree on what jewelry and jewelers are!

Now I'm not saying that what Betty Beader and I make are the same, or that they're classified the same way. Or even that they should be classified the same way. But it bothers me that what seems like the majority of beaders seem to think that what they make is somehow not "real". Each and every one of us is making something. Something amazing to our sense of beauty. What could be lesser about that?!

In point of fact, I don't introduce myself as a jeweler. I think the term is misleading, worn out, and overused. I'm an Art Metalsmith who specializes in Jewelry. Period. Now that's a little long, for ordinary conversation, so I usually say I'm a Metalsmith. Which is a term that is hardly ever used, so when they look askance at me, I can say I forge silver and gold with gemstone accents. Usually this is enforced by pointing to whatever piece I'm wearing that day. This gives them a very clear idea about who I am and what I do- as well as NOT enforcing the jeweler stereotype.

Which can only be good.

Now, even though I know I'm standing on the edge of a precipice here- what do you guys think? Am I right? What do these terms mean to you?