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February 2013

Fearfull, Fearless, Scared, Empowered, Makers, Women Make History

The hardest thing to do when I write a lecture, blog post  or a topic for the Professional Guidelines is to speak about the difficult topics, raise challenging issues, or perhaps, even, take an unpopular position.

And it isn't just about writing the topic. It is being prepared for the consequences of challenging the status quo.

The upcoming program on PBS, "Makers: Women Who Make America," uses the word "make" as in homemakers, and in make history, but for all the makers out there that work with their hands, heart and head, I hope you will watch this show, or be inspired by reading these books. Every day is the moment for "our internal revolution" to make the best art or craft we can create.

Well Behaved Women Seldom Make HistoryWell-Behaved Women Seldom Make History












Watch MAKERS: Women Who Make America Trailer on PBS.
See more from Makers: Women Who Make America.


Charlie-Rose-Gloria-SteinemGloria Steinem and Amy Richards speak with Charlie Rose about Makers: Women Who Make America

During the interview they referred to this article in the New York Times, "A Titan's How-To-On-Breaking-the-Glass-Ceiling" by Jodi Cantor. It is worth reading.


On Becoming Fearless in Love, Work and Life by Arianna Huffington

On Becoming Love, Work, and Life by Arianna Huffington








Books listed in this blog post and in the side bar are  affiliate links.


H1-HEADER tag for better SEO for artists and craftspeople
In my webmaster series for artists and makers
, I noticed that both Google Webmaster Tools, and bing Webmaster Tools identify multiple H1 tags as a problem.


Search algorithms frown on anything that could be misconstrued as manipulating search results.


What are H1 tags?

Search engines evaluate the content on each page using the "header" tags. It tells the search bots what is important.


The header HTML code affects the size of the font, and the empty space above and below the text. This is shown below:

H1 header example.

H1 headers are the most important. Most likely it should be similar or match the title of your page. Search engines think this is really important to verify quality content. One H1 tag is best.

H2 header text example.

H2 are like chapter titles. If someone just wanted to look at the headers to skim the content, they should be able to gather some insight on the information. Search bots do the same thing.

H3 header text example.

H3 is more like a topic within a chapter.

H4header text example.

H5 header text seems more likely to be integrated into a paragraph.
H6 header text gets really small. Don't know why I would even use this?




Organize the content on your website or blog using the formatting tools to create "headers" throughout the page. Headers tell search engines and readers what is important content on a page and verifies quality information. Learn to prioritize your content with headers for better SEO.

HTML Code for headers is written like this list below.

<h1>This is heading 1</h1>
<h2>This is heading 2</h2>
<h3>This is heading 3</h3>
<h4>This is heading 4</h4>
<h5>This is heading 5</h5>
<h6>This is heading 6</h6>

In this video below from Google Webmaster Matt Cutts answers, Is "More than one H1 on a page good or bad?"?

Guide to Image Sizes for Social Media

Facebook-Harriete-estel-bermanLast week, I discovered a guide to images for social media titled: How to size images on social media: A cheat sheet. Usually it takes me multiple tries till I figure out what size image will  work...a huge waste of time. Next time, I will refer to this chart.

This cheat sheet is a super fantastic resource because it removes the trial and error in creating a fabulous background or header. An eye catching image is a great way to build visibility for your art or crafts creating a personal style across all platforms. For artists and makers this is absolutely essential!

Social Media Images Sizing Cheet Sheet

Leave a comment, if you would like to share a social media TIP or TRICK.

FacebooktwitterFlickrCrafthausLinkedINAboutME Pinterest Google+

Call for Entry - 500 Metal Clay Jewelry

Lark Books has a new juried opportunity for an upcoming book titled:  500 Metal Clay Jewelry.

Rie Nagamo Bean Necklace
Organic forms: 'Beans Beans' by Rie Nagumo IMAGES COURTESY OF JUN-GIN 

Entries must be submitted by April 26, 2013
via Juried Art Services. Click on the link above for more information.

Below are links to resources  and information that may assist you in your application:

CamerarawThe most important ingredient for any successful entry is amazing photos. The Professional Guidelines has a GUIDE TO PROFESSIONAL QUALITY IMAGES. Read  and understand how important the photographic image is to furthering your career.  

ASK Harriete has a whole series of posts about Quality Photographic Images .

Philip Choen photographerCohen2One of my favorite posts is a step-by-step image based tutorial with a helpful demonstration for  “Lighting Shiny Surfaces for Quality Photographic Images” by my photographer, Philip Cohen.

Philip Cohen Photographic  tutorial for lighting reflective surfaces.Images
Above is one intermediate step from a step-by-step photographic tutorial on lighting reflective surfaces by photographer Philip Cohen.         

Use the  TOP TEN TIPS for Getting Into a Juried Exhibition, Show, Book or Magazine
from the  PROFESSIONAL GUIDELINES document as a guide for your application.

Alyssa Endo photograph of a  photo shoot.qua

Hope this information helps and good luck with your application. If you have any questions, why not send me your photos with the description and we can review them for a post on ASK Harriete?

Update Content or Create a New Post/Page?

I have always wondered if I should update old posts with more current information or write a new post as fresh content?  Have you wondered the same thing?

How about pages on your website....especially pages about work in progress or a continuing series? Does it work to keep updating the page?  Will people come back to the same page over time? What do you think?

UpdateTOMORROW2A recent Google Webmaster Video answered this  quandary referring to a news room site, but I think the information applies to all websites or blog posts offering information.

Watch the video on the bottom of this post, but to summarize Google recommends to update, revise and build on one page for the following reasons:

Wikipedia is an excellent example of "one page" that just gets richer and more developed" with "updates or more information".

I followed this practice of updates over time on my pencil page for the sculpture "Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin." Mostly, I did it to document the progress over the five years it took to construct the work, but it was a significant factor in building visibility for this sculpture. At the time from an SEO perspective, I had no idea whether it was a good idea but action was based on instinct rather than fact.

The day it was finished American Craft magazine committed to a story about the work. Do you think that would have ever happened if I had waited to write about the work until it was done?

If you are concerned about continued visibility for a single URL over time, artists and makers can always write about it on Facebook, other social networks with updates or place a link on your home page.

Consider this approach for your blog posts or websites.  I regularly go back and update older posts with current information occasionally going back as far as 2008 for this blog. Now I know that this is the "right approach"  for many reasons.

The Google Webmaster video recommendations with Matt Cutts is at the bottom of this post. Subscriber can click on this link: Do you have any specific tips for news sites?

This post is part of an on going series on Search Engine Optimization for artists and crafts people.

Risky is the New Safe -- Inspired Opinions

Risky-Is-The-New-SafeI just finished reading the book Risky is the New Safe by Randy Gage.* The book raised many concepts that were exciting, challenging or thought provoking.

For me, it is inspiring to discover this kind of external encouragement while making new work or  writing a challenging keynote lecture for the upcoming  conference

It takes a lot of guts to voice strong opinions or do anything counter to the status quo, but  
"...the safe route always leads to mediocrity, and that is the real risk." 

Below, are a few quotes from "Risky is the New Safe" (in red italic) and some information that I think artists and makers may find inspiring.

 Artists and makers, you "know that unconventional approaches, contrarian thinking, and innovation-- which sometimes means tipping things upside down, and sometimes means beginning with a blank canvas".....this is "where the real magic is."

FIND YOUR NICHE MARKET "Seek out the challenges, determine what the problems will be and who will be facing them, because therein lie the greatest opportunities for contrarians, critical thinkers, and people willing to take risks."

ARTIST working with a little color
You know, the internet is such a part of our lives and yet we forget the fact that e-marketing is still in its INFANCY!
Randy Gage writes:  “The statistics you read about online commerce may seem mind-blowing, and the numbers grow substantially every season, but you have to keep in mind that we are still at the very, very earliest stages of online purchasing right now. Those huge sales figures you see reported today are miniscule in comparison to what they will be in 5 to 10 years.”

Now, what does this mean for artists and makers? How can we be a part of the future of e-commerce? What are the tools we need? Learn more about upcoming topics at the Professional Development Seminar. (More information at the bottom of this post.)***

"Success is simply a continuous process of conquering challenges."

ARTISTCOLORBe-GoodRecently, I listened to music from the Beatles and Annie Lennox. Both are music phenomena. Their music has had longevity, power and each a singular voice....well, guess what?  They have tons of music that aren't hits, but they kept on creating. That is what it takes to be successful, and even the most well-known, most successful people don't produce hits all the time, but they keep working. They keep making.

"Successful people are people in motion. They move a step closer to their dream daily. They are in action every day, even when they don't feel like it. This takes motivation."

Risky is the New Safe is worth reading.
I recommend getting this book from your local library, uploading it to your I-pad...or buying the book to savor every word.

*Risky is the New Safe is an affiliate link


Creativity is rooted in self-reflection, personal expression, and social context. But context comes by connecting to a larger community. The Internet encourages “Us” to share, but tutorials, books, and social networks sometimes facilitate copying or infringement with questionable consequences. Do we understand the impact of copying, under-pricing, sharing information, and skills that someone else invented? A challenge to the status quo is worth considering.


Your comments about this topic are most welcome.


Find ERRORS with Bing SEO Analyzer

Bing Webmaster Dashboard

Bing Webmaster Diagnostics ToolsSEOAnalyzer


This post continues with bing webmaster using a tool that finds errors on your website that may affect SEO.

Enrolling in bing Webmaster Tools is easy. I recommend that you give it a try.



Look under
Diagnostics & Tools.


The tool we want to try is called the
SEO Analyzer
on bing.







The SEO Analyzer (shown below) reveals problems with a page using the eyes of a search engine. (Click on the image for a larger view.)   Problems such as images without ALT tags, missing H1 headers, or meta-descriptions that are too long are revealed.
Bing Webmaster SEO Analyzer

Instantly apparent are flaws in my web page code that I didn't know were so important to SEO. There may be more problems than you expect. It is amazing (i.e. somewhat discouraging) to realize that my website has so many mistakes, but SEO is affected by code errors.

Fixing one page a day is a realistic goal.

Below is an example of a page in SEO Analyzer.
Bing Web ALT Image Tag

If you click on the problems listed in the
SEO Suggestions
it will show you the page of your website and where the problems are on the page with a blue dot plus sign.

The blue dot plus sign indicates the problem. (This is shown below.)

My website has quite a few errors. Most of these problems
are not obvious to the human viewer, only search engines, but my website may be penalized if there are too many mistakes. In this case, I knew images needed ALT tags, but I didn't know these images were missing ALT image tags.

Another thing that will show up is a missing H1 header tags. Frankly, I had no idea that this was so important. Search engines prefer a clear hierarchy of H1, H2, H3 tags. If you don't know what this is...I will explain it in a future post.

The bing SEO Analyzer is very limited in its scope. Use it for what if finds, and then keep working with other diagnostics tools provided by bing or Google Webmaster Tools to optimize your website or blog.


Images on your website, Are they lost or found?

Search Engines Have No Vision!So Help SEO See Your Images?

Simple, Sensible, Sensational, SEO Improvements.

Trading Links and Lies = Poor Performance

"You link to me, I link to you."  I've seen such requests to trade links frequently and everywhere.

Fine, great way to make friends, but bad news for your web site.
This is serious.

Lie detector rmachineThe reality is that Google is getting smarter about search. They can now figure out which links are relevant to your site, and which are not. Consequently, and with increasing accuracy, those superficial links that were merely traded are becoming more like little "white lies" -- and search engines are becoming more like lie detector machines.

There are three concepts to affect links:

  • Link Juice
  • Measure of credibility
  • Content

Link Juice leaking juiceLink Juice
"Link Juice" is an SEO concept. Think of your website as a container of juice. Links to other sites from your website essentially leak "link juice." This is especially true if the links are not perceived as relevant to the information presented. Thus a random link not relevant to your website is not working FOR your site.  Instead it is working against your site by draining or leaking "link juice."

Measure of credibility
Links to your site that are NOT relevant, important, or generating traffic are considered weak or bogus by Google. In fact, links to your site that are weak, not relevant or without authority may even have a negative impact on your website.

Links ideally should offer additional relevant content. Thus an article about fashionable hand knit scarves and current fashion trends that link to a knitter that makes fashionable hand knit scarves would be great. In this example, the content and link are relevant.

A link from your best friend who likes your work, but is otherwise unrelated, is not relevant content. A link like this may actually hurt your site as a weak leak and lacking authority. It could also hurt your best friend's site (because it is leaking their "link juice" as well).

In an age of information, search will become even more refined. Search will be more accurate. Search will discount superficial or fake links.

Lots of links to your site or from your site that are not relevant or content based information will not be considered credible. Trading links are like little white lies that just keep accumulating negative points.  Links should be about content and based on merit, not trading links.


  • Make sure your links are authentic and sincerely related to the content of your site.
  • Seek high quality links from relevant sites with high traffic.
  • Do NOT pay for links or trade links in the future.
  • Remove all weak or irrelvant links.

Below is a video from Google about links. Note that the speaker makes a specific reference to what Google calls organic links. The term "organic" (in regards to search) means naturally fitting into the context, not artificial.

Links need to relate to the content.
Links that you buy or share are not organic.
They will not help your SEO.
P.S. Do not look at any information or YouTube videos about link building from before mid-2012 when Google Panda and Penquin algorithms changed search.

Another video about links building.


Spam Comments Hurt Your Site


Lark Books is offering a new opportunity for an upcoming bead book! If you would like to submit your work the information is below. I have also provided links to resources that will assist with a successful entry.

The deadline is extended!

4 Worry Beads from recycled tin cans by Harriete Estel Berman
Worry About Worry Beads Coming Undone by Harriete Berman
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Information for upcoming book  1000 Beads can be found by clicking here.

Worry Beads by Harriete Estel Berman constructed from recycled tin cans.72
Worry About Worry Beads Coming Undone by Harriete Berman
Philadelphia Museum of Art

There is no entry fee to 1000 Beads.

NEED HELP  with your application?
TOP TEN TIPS for Getting Into a Juried Exhibition, Show, Book or Magazine 

1 Worry Bead by Harriete Estel Berman is made from recycled chocolate tin cans.ny

One bead from "Worry About Worry Beads Coming Undone"

Can you make a bead  like no other bead before? All work must be made no earlier than 2010 and more recent work is considered better. The deadline is May 10, 2013. Yikes!

Identity BEADS by Harriete Estel Berman are about creating an identity from our consumer society.
Black and White Identity Beads by Harriete Estel Berman based on the concept of creating identity in our consumer society by what we buy, and why we buy it.
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Ordinary materials can be extra-ordinary.

Black AOL Bead Necklace by Harriete Estel Berman is about using ordinary materials into extraordinary. al_neck.72
AOL Bead by Harriete Estel Berman Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Think outside the box

                        (OR should I say outside the bead?)
With a book of 1000 beads there should be plenty of entries, but there will also be lots of competition.


Black and White Identity Beads about creating identity in our consumer society
Black and white identity Necklace       Photo Credit Phil Cohen

Strategic Thinking When Applying to a Juried Opportunity can make a huge difference.  ASK Harriete can help.


Identity Beads in our consumer society by what we buy and why we buy it.

The quality of your photos can make all the difference between acceptance and rejection. Read this post for comparisons: Juried Submissions: What information do jurors really take into consideration?

Black and white Identity Bead Necklace photographed by Steven Brian Samuelse Black and white identity Bead Necklace photographed by Philip Cohen.alce i

Photo credit for photo comparison:
(left) Steven Brian Samuels      (right)  Philip Cohen

There are many great photographic options, but professional quality photography with perfect focus and proper exposure is your key to success.

The PROFESSIONAL GUIDELINES can help you with two documents:



  Sugar Necklace"

  by Liesbet Bussche


The deadline has been extended . This book wants new work not previously published, a perfectly understandable recommendation, but then why was the entry originally posted with so little advance notice? The deadline has been extended to May 10, 2013, which is fantastic, but with poor distribution.






Lisbet Day Bead Lighting

Urban Jewelry Pearl Necklace
, Artist: Lisbet Bussche

Why not reach out beyond the concept of small glass beads to a larger audience? Reach out to sculpture, metals, design, lighting, or ceramics to expand the definition of beads. Ask other fields to submit a bead(s).

If the crafts community doesn't open itself  to the unexpected we are limiting ourselves to a diminished expectation.



Ubran Jewelry Pearl Necklace
,   Artist: Lisbet Bussche

Beads can be tiny.  


Beads can

also be  



Beads can be 1mm, 1 inch, 1 foot, 10 foot.



Bead table Bonetti
Table by  Mattia Bonetti

Bead mattia-bonetti-by-william-waldron-1-thumb
Table by  Mattia Bonetti

I have included images of bead sculpture, furniture and jewelry in this post. Please Click on the images to go to the original source of the image.

 Murals Created with Thousands of Buttons, Pins and Beads by Ran Hwang
Murals Created with Thousands of Buttons, Pins and Beads
by Ran Hwang

In the effort of transparency, all of the images were found on the internet. Some of the images are my work.

Thomas Heatherwick's Bleigeissen at the Wellcome Trust London.  As you travel from floor to floor, the colour spectrum changes according to the light from the Dichroic lens filters, creating a waterfall rainbow effect.

Can you take the idea of a bead from ordinary to EXTRAORDINARY?

Hanging Glass Bead Sculpture in Sculpture Garden, of Walker Gallery of Art, Minneapolis MN.

Share a link to extraordinary beads in the comments.

Good luck with your entry.