Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's Time to Donate to a Worthy Cause....

Wow, it's been too long since I've posted! I was reading everyone else's blogs, learning what's new and hot and one in particular said, "It's okay to take a break from blogging". I took the advice! I had a prom to run around for (not mine, I wish!), after prom weekend, final exams, trying to find just the right grill for Father's Day (no luck) and now my 20th anniversary is looming before me and I found what I want to give my betrothed but only have 2 days to hopefully get it in time.

And work has been very good. New clients are finding us and I'm pretty excited to get started on new accounts. With all my good fortune, I've decided that I'd like to donate a portion of my income to a good cause. I'm partial to helping women organizations. I'm looking at some right now.

EngenderHealth: They improve the lives of men, women, and families through it's work in family planning, maternal health, HIV and AIDS, gender equality and many other programs.

I like the idea of promoting gender equality. They educate men to support their partners' reproductive health, promote gender equity, and reduce gender-based violence. Too often women are left with no decision making, poor health care, unfair "divorce" practices, stripping them of all rights they have of a decent human existence. World wide, women carry most the responsibility for work and childbearing, but have little rights.

Young Women's Leadership Network: These organization works with inner city youth with a choice in their education to create an all-female public education options and to motivate low income girls and women to achieve their goals.

I am all about girl power. I want to see more women leaders. It's time for a fresh perspective on how to run the world, don't you think?

Women for Women International: Starting at a grass roots level, they help women sustain their own income, their own decision making, provide strong social networks and safety nets. Because of war and conflict, women and girls often lose everything that ever mattered to them. They have no safe haven to heal, speak of their pain and gain a foot hold again.

This organization helps these survivors return to being an active member in the community. They start the healing process by rebuilding their community, build civil society, start businesses and train other women and serve as role models. They in turn restore peace and stability.

Wow! There's a lot of work to be done out there people! Is there something you are doing to help? I'd love to hear about it. It's time to get to work and help make the world a better place.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Search Engine Optimization: Make Sure Your Website is Hooked Up!

When I first started my website almost 2 years ago, it was with I built the site and then waited for all the inquires to come in. That didn't happen. I would search "jewelry assembly", "jewelry outsource in the USA" and my website didn't come up. I just thought that it was new and it would take forever to penetrate the millions of pages that make up Google. So I left it at that, waiting for my turn to get to the first page.

Then I started this blog, started tweeting, became exposed to other bloggers who are quite informed about Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. One of the bloggers I contacted was at I asked them to take a look at my website and tell me what's wrong with it. Well! I got a list of all kinds of website mishaps! My first course of action was to revamp the site. In the almost two years it went live, things have changed. I called GoDaddy to find out why it wasn't showing up on Google at all. The techie informed me that I wasn't even signed up for Google!

Say wha?? AND if you think you can just throw a website up there and go back to making your earrings thinking the almighty world wide web is working for you, think again. You have to maintain it. If there is any inactivity in maintenance on your website, Google drops you. You won't even know it because they don't send you a note saying, "Hi Melinda! I haven't heard from you in a while so I'm ignoring you!" Talk about a reality check.

There's also LOTS more search engines other than Google. Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Lycos, Clusty, Altavista, and ASK are just small percentage of the search engine universe. There are dozens of general search engines and hundreds of site specific search engines. Unfortunately, there isn't a " central registry" to get on these search engines. You have to go to where your website is hosted and make sure you are signed up or connected to each one. Check it off and WAIT to make sure you've been accepted.

GoDaddy also has a website optimization and other search engine visibility information page. It starts off with "The Top 10 SEO Checklist" and then will show you if you have errors or warnings. It takes you to a checklist:
  • Proper Title Tags
  • Proper Description Tags
  • Proper Heading Tags
  • Page Content
  • Proper Navigation
  • Proper Sitemap
  • Controlled Crawling
  • Duplicate Content/Tags
  • Word Density
You click on the problems and it takes you to the Analyze Content page where it has buttons to analyze and correct your "problem" areas, step by step. GoDaddy has great tutorials and definitions of all these words like meta tag, key words, site crawl, spiders. If you still can't make head or tail out of it, call their 24 hour sales and help number. Someone will work with you and teach you, step by step. I found them to be super helpful.

I don't know anything about building websites, my wonderful, patient, VERY patient husband built mine. If you go at this a little at a time and study the definitions of these words it will help you understand how make your website work better. There is so much information out there about this, learn one thing a day about it, that's it. Absorb one message and make sure you get it. Now when I read what other bloggers say about SEO and how to maximize exposure, I know what they are talking about and can apply some small bit that will help the website along. Make sure your website host is doing all they can for you. Check up on it to make sure something didn't "expire" since the last time you visited and you aren't aware of it. And DO make sure you're hooked up to search engines!

Friday, June 4, 2010

We Have a Winner! I Spy Game 1

We have a winner, folks! So many of you were close and I got terrific feedback, people remembering the I Spy books. I'm definitely going to do this again, it was a lot of fun. Thank you all so much for participating. Drum roll please......
and the winner is:
Sue Ling Mark of New York City!
and it's her birthday is today!
How super nice is that??
Happy Birthday Sue!
Your prize is on it's way!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I Spy: a Head Pin.......

With the short week in the studio, I've amassed quite a pile of finished work. I still have to write up directions, take a photo of each piece, bag it, label it, then ship it out. But before I do that, I thought this would be fun! I had all the I Spy books when my son was little and he just loved them. As soon as we got a new one, we'd tear through them. He started making his own I Spy pictures, with elaborate Lego setups, and all his little trinkets. So here's the first game of I Spy for you. If you double click the picture, it makes it bigger for you so you can see better.

I Spy: a Head Pin.

The first person who gets it right, will win this fabulous prize! Just for you June babes, a pair of sterling silver lever back earrings I made, with 5mm simulated Alexandrite birthstone also wrapped in sterling silver. They are an inch long.

First one to e-mail the answer, wins. Please don't to leave the answer in the comments (but comments are appreciated!) because I'd like others to play the game too. Immediate family members are excluded. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Washington Irving Boat Club

On Memorial Day, we took a motorcycle ride to Washington Irving Boat Club. It sits a 1/4 mile north of the Tappen Zee Bridge on the east side of the Hudson River. Tarrytown is the stop on Metro North Poughkeepsie line out of Grand Central Station. It's a private boat club but does cater to the public with an outdoor tiki bar and grill and a full service restaurant with full views of the river called Sunset Cove. It was lovely to sit out right on the river and there is plenty of shade too. We could see the city, a bit hazy, but on a clear day you can see the Empire State Building. The boat club was formed in 1951, four years before the Tappen Zee Bridge was built. For more background of the boat club, which is very interesting: Please check this link for a detailed history of the Club submitted by Mike Smacchia
Did you know? It's 3 miles across from where we sat! It looked like you could easily swim there in no time, it looked that close.
It's cash only for the tiki bar and grill outside but they do take credit cards at Sunset Cove. It's a great little spot to take in the sunset. It was a perfect little escape for us, considering we didn't get to go away for the long holiday. It was the perfect ending to the weekend. There's also a park nearby too, right on the river. On May 26, they started Tropical Wednesdays, with Christ's Church Tarrytown steel drum band, Steel Passion. Performances run Wednesdays from 7-9pm, weather permitting.

Washington Irving Boat Club
238 Green St
Tarrytown, NY 10591
(914) 332-0517