Thursday, March 5, 2015

Shifting gears and expanding my professional blog

Vampkitty started out as a consulting company called Dragons Lore Publications back in the early 90s, long before the web/internet, specializing in graphic design, presentations, and QA.  I had made myself a little name being one of the first early adopters of Aldus Pagemaker and could create amazing manuals, documents and newsletters, quickly and actually started doing things with it that were pushing the boundaries of the software.  

I also had the privilege at the time of knowing several folks at Microsoft University which gave me the ability to get my hands into testing products in a more formal method.  

I started doing contracting work through Volt Technical and fell in love with the ability to test new products, expand my technical knowledge because everything was hopping, changing and just amazingly way cool.  However the downside of contracting is - getting stability of contracts.  It was great if you wanted long term, but a lot of the stuff I wanted to do wasn't very stable and a bit unheard of at the time.

However, I did manage to do testing on a digital blueprint scanner system, Excel, ICE (an embedded emulator), ESL training, Bulletin board system, and a few front office applications for fax and dictation.  I finally moved from Seattle to Silicon valley and became one of the front runners in web development as the web unfolded.  I learned to code in notepad.  I was working for Macromedia at the time, as a QA engineer on Authorware (another product I used in my consulting), and embraced the wide wild web.

Macromedia bought FutureSplash - this interesting design tool several of us were using at the time to develop content for the web.  Most of my web designs at the time were graphic intensive, beautiful, elaborate, artistic.  I followed that group.  We had a very strong webring, sharing tips, tricks and tools with each other.  Some were Photoshop camp, some were Paintshop Pro camp.  But all of us loved to build artistic beautiful websites that showed off how one can easily have digital albums on line.  I even had one of the first music sites.

But I couldn't keep up given that my day job was SQA and trying to get training for the latest and greatest technologies was not easy for me.  Slowly I fell behind the pack, especially when JavaScript took over a lot of our css work.

After 2001, with one of the last websites I created (a wonderful corporate site), I pretty much dropped out of the web space and just continued the apps SQA/Testing space.

17 months ago I found myself unemployed.  The last year+ I spent trying to build the artistic side of Vampkitty into a business.  There is some success but not enough.  So I decided to resurrect my consulting business and dig out my old tool box since there seems to be a need for artistic web sites for jewelry designers who don't want to sell on Etsy or some of the other overrun locations (of massmade items).

Hence why the name went from VampKitty Designs of this blog to VampKitty.  I am definitely going to keep designing and selling supplies, but I am also going to introduce VampKitty Bytes to the blogging space - as another creative outlet focusing on Technology, the craft of web design, improving quality in product, process and professional life.

Here's to the next chapter of my professional life.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Upcoming Fairs I am selling at this year

This year I have decided/accepted in 4 Holiday faires, and to host 2 open house parties.

I am excited, scared, nervous, worried, frantic, optimistic at the same time pessimistic but all of this rolled up into - I CAN DO THIS.

Here is this upcoming schedule - I look forward to seeing folks, stopping by and buying something - And if you say you saw this on my blog you can get 15% off your purchase. 

We look forward to seeing you at these fine Holiday Faire events.





Holiday Sip and Shop
Hosted by: Savannah-Chanelle Winery
Friday - November 7th 2014, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
RSVP requested  - Katie@savannahchanelle.com
23600 Congress Springs Road
Saratoga, CA 95070

http://www.savannahchanelle.com/sip-shop/



Casa de Amigos Holiday Craft Boutique
Hosted by: Casa De Amigos COA
Saturday - November 8th 2014, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Casa de Amigos Mobile Home Park - 1085 Tasman Drive
Main Community Center
Sunnyvale CA 94089
Main Club House Map



Open House - Feast or Famine
Hosted by: Vampkitty Designs
Sunday - November 23rd 2014, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
RSVP requested - vampkittydesigns@vampkitty.com
1085 Tasman Drive, Space 859 (N Street)
Sunnyvale California 94089
Please park in one of the many parking lots in the park



HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE!
Hosted by: Girl Scouts of Northern California, Coyote Hills Service Unit
Saturday - November 29th 2014, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Fremont/Niles Veterans Hall
37154 Second St.

Fremont, CA 94536



Holiday Craft Faire
Hosted by: The Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends
Saturday - December 6th 2014, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Santa Clara City Library (Rooms Redwood and Margie Edinger)
2635 Homestead Rd  
Santa Clara, CA


Open House - Last minute goodies
Hosted by: Vampkitty Designs
Sunday - December 14th 2014, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
RSVP requested - vampkittydesigns@vampkitty.com
1085 Tasman Drive, Space 859 (N Street)
Sunnyvale California 94089
Please park in one of the many parking lots in the park



Monday, August 4, 2014

Completely off topic - sorta - Following one's passion - A story of a Young Lady and her dream



It hasn't been until recently, like in the last three years, that I strongly believed that we must follow our passions in life, both personal (a given) and career. Doing something without passion for it, really destroys happiness


I've been following piece by piece my own passion of becoming a known Artist, crafts-person, as well as at some point want to open up an Institute to preserve and teach historical bead, paper, sewing craft techniques. Focusing on low to middle income folks who want to get into a trade.


I've known the Williams family since 1997. I have watched Elizabeth (Bear as she was called in the earlier years) grow up to be one very amazing person (thanks to her parents Cat Williams and Matt K Kringle Williams and her sibling, JA, Amber, Joil, Bryin, Cartwright).

Elizabeth has always had a passion for caring for animals, and a gentleness that I have only seen in a few folks when it comes to all animals. It her life goal to be a Veterinarian.


I know my daughter Chrystiana Lynn wanted to do that, and it is NOT cheap. I also know how long and hard road to achieve. Elizabeth has a lot of hurdles, Sciences, Math, Medical school, all ahead of her to achieve this goal. But, like her parents - she is a feisty, tenacious, determined young lady.

The Williams have always been a generous family, opening their doors to strangers, adopting an entire set of siblings who lost both their mother and father in a short period of time (They were exchange students), helping others out when they lost everything with Katrina, the list goes on. They believe, like I do, in pay forward and it shall return when you most need it.

Last few years - the Williams have experienced a serious life changing set of events, including Matt's heart attack. Both Matt and Cat are working towards their degrees themselves, making another great positive contribution to society with what they plan on doing with their degrees. But the money is extremely tight with them. And because they had no insurance = they are still paying off Matt's medical bills.

Now; why am I writing this


Thanks to the twinkiness of the government, Elizabeth's funding for her college education took a significant south turn. This has jeopardized her starting this fall and being able to even continue.

If some clown can get 55k for wanting to make potato salad, all because of social media passing around, and the link went viral, I figured why not see if we can get this to go viral!


I know there are those who will help contribute to something far more reaching, far more important, strangers out there who believe the same - Pay forward and this definitely is something that Pays forward.


Help us Help Elizabeth fulfill her dreams.
Please share (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/elizabeth-veterinarian-to-be)


Thank you

Ronni Eloff

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Reality Shock --- what happens when you realize you just don't have enough made

Though it was a good one to have, still a shock.  It all started because I needed to clean up my tags on my listings on Etsy.  Right now I have 172 items active up in VampkittyDesigns and you know I have been very proud of getting that many posted.  I still have a lot of necklace sets to take pictures of but managed to get the majority of all the earrings I had made up on the store.  But thinking of adding 1 new tag to 172 listings, well I wasn't thrilled.

Did a bit of research, downloaded the free trial version and fell in love with BEtsi.  This new tool is the BOMB to help me with my listings on Etsy.  I found it not only adds Tags in bulk, I could clean up, re-organize, find my misspelled tags, and standardized on verbiage used in tags.  And I did that in less than 3 hours.

I haven't tried the other parts of the tool yet, but suffice to say, this just saved me hundreds of hours.  Anyway back to my reason for the posting.  One of the features it has is to tally up quickly your stock and how much inventory do you have up in the Store, the fees (Etsy and Paypal) and net worth.

That was the shell shock.  Only $6,000+ dollars of merchandise is up in the store.  That is NOT going to work... not at all.

So it is scramble to make more and get the remaining necklace set backlog cataloged, pictured and posted.

Tomorrow is picture day for about 30 pairs of earrings and 20 necklace sets... Tidbits of what is to come below (taken with my phone camera)





Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Nice to be featured for a change

I do a lot of Etsy treasuries (some posted here for example) and sometimes the group remembers to include me.  But it is really a nice surprise when someone I don't know at all includes something of my work in their Treasury, like today - Etsy Treasury - Join Team Vintage USA


I never had considered my designs Vintage, but looking over some of them, I can see how they could be considered Vintage.  - It was a nice feeling to see this, this morning.

Speaking of Treasuries - it is Tuesday, meaning my weekly SRAJD Etsy Treasury.  This one was a bit of a challenge, since I wanted to do something that hadn't been done in a long time.  Looking over the SRAJD Treasuries Pinterest Board, I realized a very basic combo hasn't been done in a LONG while.

SO -- here's SRAJD Tuesday Treasury - Black -n- White


These are all amazing designs.  Very inspiring that is for sure.

Speaking of designs - SRAJD has a lovely contest each month - themed designs.  I am working on two pieces for this months' design.  But the competition so far is TOUGH.  This is just this month so far for entries.  I have an idea for June 23rd Angkor wat, Cambodia and one for June 30th Marble Caves, Chile. I will post later today on both these ideas and sorta a working journal on how to become inspired - but in the mean time these are the two pictures that are inspiring me for these two weeks.

For Marble Caves, Chile (Picture Credit: Jorge Leon Cabello)


For Angkor wat, Cambodia (Picture Credit: Sam Garza)

Hopefully these two pictures will help guide me to what I want to do.  I have most of the components for the first one.  Today I am looking for the components for the second picture.  Either Agate or Carnelian for the Orange, Aventurine or lampwork green for the other main color.  I have the temple pieces in antique bronze.  It should prove interesting.  More in my next blog entry.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

SRAJD - Tuesday Treasury 5-20

Etsy Treasuries are fun.  I think I enjoy just looking through all the beautifully handmade designs, be it jewelry, lampwork, metalwork, papercraft, sewing, you name it.  If it is handmade, and pleasing, I like making treasuries around them.

With that, being the Captain of an Etsy Street Team (SRAJD Etsy Street Team) we as a group make all kinds of Treasuries to promote the brand, the individual artists and themes.

I do Tuesday Treasuries each week.

This weeks' theme is:


 SRAJD Tuesday Treasury - Dads and Grads
Dads & Grads

Check out our other SRAJD Treasuries.  We have a lot of wonderful artists/designers.