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About cameocat

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    car washer
  • Birthday 07/04/1961

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  1. ooo cameocat...a script from the fantasy appearance with Clay and micheals signature!!! cool...I would bid on that on Ebay if you ever need to part with it ...that is if I ever have the money...hee. I love that appearance!!! <{POST_SNAPBACK}> Well, where were you when I won this on eBay? I was surprised that I won it - I fully expected to get outbid. I scanned all the pages of it and posted at Clayversity. Here they are in my Photobucket album: AI3 Script
  2. I'm new to this thread, but I find the current topic fascinating! My rarer or unusual items include the MOAM cardboard store display stand (never used or assembled and still in the original box) and Michael Orland's script from the AI3 episode where Clay sang Fantasy, autographed by both Clay and Michael. I also have a few extra posters from both the 2004 and 2005 seasons at Meadowbrook in Gilford, NH, showing all the acts that performed there, including Clay.
  3. I do have some questions on which I'd like to know where FCA stands.................. Will original artwork or stylized drawing depicting Clay be allowed? What about freehand drawn silhouettes? These are areas that seems to be a bit gray with a lot of people. It would be good if someone could post a list of copywrited/trademarked terms, like Clay Aiken, claymate, cellcert, etc. I don't know them all and I don't know where to get them. Will you allow the use of just "Clay" or just "Aiken"?
  4. _______________________________________________________________ As a pin-aholic...I ask you to wait till after the Holidays!!! Just tonight on another board 6 new pins were discussed and will soon be up for sale. The Pin Fans are crying for MERCY..... cameocat, back me up here please!! <{POST_SNAPBACK}> Oh, absolutely - six new pins in two days - it is hard to keep up! There are those of us who really want to have as complete a collection as possible, including me, but financially it is hurting. By throwing pin after pin at us, it's becoming not so much fun as before. Especially with the JNT05 going on and the holidays coming up. I would also implore everyone not to hit January all at once, either. Valentine's Day will be a major target theme, I bet. So, if your design is not holiday specific, you might do better with sales by waiting until February, March, or even later. If you want happy customers, a lot of happy customers, then put their wishes and their ability to pay first. There will always be a vocal few who will be enablers and try to convince you to do your pin sooner rather than later, but think about it. Would you rather put your pin out now and have trouble selling 100 or so, or put it out in 6 months and easily sell 200 or more?
  5. Actually, now that I think about it, the $500 receiving limit is supposed to reset on the anniversary of the day of the month you opened your Personal Account. So, if you work it right, you could receive up to $1000 within in a calendar month. In other words, if you joined on the 15th of the month, your receiving limit gets reset on the 15th of every month. Here's a time frame scenario: Let's say you want to allow sales for up to $1000 for two weeks: Nov. 15th - your receiving limit is reset to $500 Nov. 15th-Dec 7th - nothing happens, you receive no money from sales Dec. 8th-14th - you receive up to $500 in sales Dec. 15th - your receiving limit is reset to $500 Dec. 15th-21st - you recieve up to $500 in sales Dec. 22nd-Jan. 14th - you can't receive any more money in sales until your limit resets on Jan. 15th I think this is how it works, anyway.
  6. I'm glad you found the tutorial helpful! Personal accounts with Paypal do have monthly receiving limit of $500.00. You should be okay so long as the total cost per pin is $5.00 or less (including shipping) for up to 100 pins. Any more than that, you will need to upgrade your account, or require people to pay via check or money order. This is all assuming you're not receiving any money for eBay auctions or other sales during that time frame. Regarding your design, I would just post your pictures in the "New Pins" thread in this forum and simply ask for feedback. I would also be explicit on just what you want feedback on, i.e. the color, or else you'll get all kinds of redesign feedback. Good luck!
  7. Personally, I hate the rubber backs with a fiery passion, as they are simply not secure enough to hold the pins in place when I wear them. I've almost lost several pins because of them, which prompted me to go to a craft store and buy butterfly clutch replacements. As far a shipping goes, I realize it is a lot of extra work to individually wrap the pins before putting them in a padded envelope, especially for those sending out hundreds of them. However, I always bubble wrap my pins whenever I mail out a trade or sale, and wish everyone else would do the same.
  8. I've posted my first attempt at a pin design and selling tutorial for beginners. I would definitely like some feedback, specifically on these areas: 1. I posted everything in one post - does this seem okay, or should I break it up into separate posts? 2. I do have very definite opinions on the use of copywrited images and photographs, but I toned down my initial thoughts to try and reflect the prevailing views. Let me know if I've gone overboard or not, or if I should expand upon it. 3. I also have very definite opinions on selling pins for profit. I toned down my intial thoughts here as well. Let me know if I've gone overboard or not, or if I should expand upon it. There are areas that I do want to expand upon, but I wanted to get the basics up as quickly as possible. I did note the areas that were not yet complete, but some other areas I wanted to expand upon are the Paypal, tracking, and shipping sections. Am I missing anything obvious? Is it too wordy or too brief in areas? Does it make sense? Is it helpful enough?
  9. So You Want to Design a Pin – A Tutorial Getting started Got an idea for a pin? Wonderful! This tutorial will offer you information and guidance on the process of designing, ordering, and selling your own pin design. Just remember, good preparation, organization, and communication will make the process much easier and more enjoyable for you. If you are minor, please partner with a responsible adult to supervise the process of selling your pins. This tutorial is meant to be used by you who are new to this process in hopes you can be better prepared and take advantage of lessons learned by those who have already been through it. Many thanks go out to all who have shared their experiences in various threads and on various boards on the designing, selling, trading, and shipping of pins – your contributions are highly valued and very helpful in making this tutorial compilation possible. Customer service Everyone knows you are a Clay fan and the people buying your pins are all Clay fans, but it’s important to remember that you are actually conducting individual business transactions with many customers. Each and every customer expects to receive goods for money tendered. Therefore, you need to be prepared to replace pins lost or damaged in the mail. Good communication is vitally important, and there is no such thing as too much communication. Let your customers know when you expect to get the pins and when you expect to ship them out. If you encounter production delays or changes with the pin company, let your customers know that, too. If you receive questions via email or PM, show courtesy by answering them in a timely fashion. Copywrites and Trademarks If you are using a photograph in your design, you must make sure you get permission from the photographer to use it. It does not matter if the photographer is a professional, amateur, or just a fan – if he/she took it, he/she owns it, and only he/she can give you permission to use it. If you are unable to obtain permission, you should find another photograph that you do have permission to use. If you don't know who took a particular photo, post it on some of the boards and ask! The same also applies to trademarked images and drawings. Also, it does not matter if you are designing a pin to sell at cost, to sell as a charity fundraiser, or for trade only – get permission from the photographer to use any photo or part of a photo before taking any orders. Pin Design There are several types of lapel pins that you can choose from for your design. The following descriptions were copied, combined, and somewhat paraphrased from the websites of several pin companies, including Pin Pros and Pin Promotions. Cloisonné Authentic cloisonné pins have been made by Chinese artists for centuries. The methods used hundreds of years ago are still used today. Pins are made from a die and each color is injected into a recessed area or "canal." The pin is baked between every color. After all colors are applied, the pin is polished. Cloisonné pins have a very limited number of colors. Because of this, along with the high cost to produce authentic cloisonné, these pins are rarely made today. Instead, most customers choose hard enamel cloisonné. Examples: None known Hard Enamel Cloisonné Hard enamel cloisonné pins are the new cloisonné pins. Hard enamel pins have metal lines around the text and graphics. These lines hold the enamel. Sometimes, lines can be raised to create text or graphics. Also called Epola, New Cloisonné, Clois-Tech, Cloisonné II and Semi-Cloisonné, these pins have been around for about two decades. Cloisonné can only use a handful of colors, but hard enamel cloisonné pins can have over 1,000 colors used in the making of the pin. Hard enamel cloisonné pins are also cheaper to make and offer a faster turnaround time. For these reasons, most customers that need cloisonné pins, choose hard enamel cloisonné. Only an expert can tell the difference between cloisonné and hard enamel cloisonné lapel pins. Many lapel pin companies do not distinguish between authentic cloisonné and hard enamel cloisonné pins. They call hard enamel cloisonné pins cloisonné when actually they are not. One way to tell the difference is the colors offered. Authentic cloisonné only has about 120 colors from which to choose. If a pin company says they'll match to any of the industry standard colors from a color guide, it's not really an authentic cloisonné lapel pin. Examples: When Doves Cry Ambassador Of Love Soft Enamel The soft enamel style is the most popular type of custom made lapel pin because it offers brilliant colors and raised metal detailing. These lapel pins are similar to hard-enamel but the edges between the colors are not as smooth. The die is made similar to cloisonné. Soft enamel is used when cost is a factor or fine detail is not needed. Sometimes, an epoxy dome is added to the pin to prevent scratching. The process begins by die striking your design into iron or copper. Then it is plated to your specified color. Soft enamel pins are frequently used for sport pins, corporate pins and other types of lapel pins. Examples: Brazil Clay-Trippers Die Struck A die is used to stamp an impression onto a copper or iron sheet. Copper has a slight advantage over iron since it is a softer metal. This means when struck with the die, copper lapel pins typically have sharper images than their iron counterparts. Examples: Use Your Voice Listen To Your Heart Gain From Giving What Women Want Photo-etched/Silk-screened/Offset Printed The process of photo-etching, silk-screening, or offset printing a lapel pin allows special logos to be used without the need for the fine gold or silver metal line around each color on the pin. An image of your design is transferred from a photographic negative onto the surface of the metal. Your design is then etched into the metal using an acid-reaction process. All the acids and other impurities are carefully rinsed off. The indentations are then filled with the enamel colors. Colors are inserted by hand, one at a time, using different sized syringes. The sheet of metal is then fired at 450°F for 12 to 15 minutes. Pins are then cut out of the sheet according to your custom design. Non-colored (raised) sections of the pin are then plated to a shiny gold finish. An optional epoxy protective coating (dome) can then be applied to protect the color enamels from fading or cracking over time and to make the pins more attractive and thicker. Examples: Clay Dawgs Clay Dawgs Christmas Photo-Dome Photo-dome pins might be the way to go if your original art has color gradients or you do not wish to have the thin metal lines separating the colors and text. These pins are created by printing your art on paper and then applying the paper to a thin metal pin. Epoxy is placed on top of the paper. The pin will be an exact reproduction of your art. Examples: CA Chicks For Clay Nap 2005 No Clack For You Design Considerations You can choose a combination of pin types if your design warrants it, such as a die struck pin with enamel accents. You can also make hinged pins or have 3D elements of the pin attached on springs. If you do design a hinged pin, be aware that they do add a great deal of complexity and time to the production. Hinges can be easily broken if not designed well or properly packaged when shipped. Loops or holes can be added so that the pin can double as an ornament or pendant. Dangles and chains can be added as well. Some designers also make non-pin items such as key chains, pendants, and ornaments. Choosing the appropriate size of your pin will depend on the complexity of your design, the effect you wish to achieve, and the cost. Some collectors like small pins and some like large ones. Some like simple shapes and some like fancy cutout shapes. Some like text and some don’t. If there is a lot of detail or text, you should go with a larger size pin to improve legibility, or simplify your design to improve visual impact. Typically, pins are made in the range of ¾” to 1 ½” in size. However, there are some very large pins that go up to 2” or so. It is a good idea to review all of the other designs shown in the Pin Gallery so that you are not inadvertently designing one that is similar to an existing pin. Do try to be different and unique! If your design is too similar to an existing pin, you run the risk of infringing upon that designer’s copywrite. With so many pins out there now, if your design is a poor one or just doesn’t grab people’s attention, it probably won’t sell well. Your website or fan group’s URL (or something else) can be put on the back of the pin instead of the phone number of the pin company. Pins can also be numbered, especially if they are a limited edition. Pricing, Selling, Ordering, and Shipping Setting Edition Sizes Typically, the minimum number of pins that you can order is 100. The price per pin will drop with each additional 100 ordered – the more pins ordered, the cheaper the pins are individually. Sometimes designers will limit orders to a specific amount such as 100, 150, or 200. These days, most pins are selling anywhere from 100-300 or so. Some designers will take pre-orders via email before taking any money to try and gauge how many pins will be purchased in order to set the appropriate price. Setting Prices Selling pins and other items with Clay Aiken’s image for personal profit is simply not condoned. So far, Team Clay is looking the other way in all this, probably because most designers are making pins at cost, out of love and camaraderie for Clay and his fans. Prices should be set to cover all the expected costs of the pins, shipping supplies, postage, Paypal fees, etc. No one expects you to take a loss in this venture. Most sellers that do end up with a modest profit donate it to a known charity. If you are using the pin as charity fundraiser, do share that information with your buyers upfront and indicate how much will be donated. Collecting Money There are two basic ways to go about collecting money. One, you can front the cost yourself, order the pins from the company, and then just sell or trade them. Two, you can accept payments from buyers before ordering the pins from the company. Most people use the second method, as it can be prohibitively expensive to front the cost yourself, with no guarantees that you will sell enough pins to recoup your costs. Most sellers accept Paypal as the preferred method of payment. A few might only have Personal Accounts which cannot accept credit cards or debit cards. Personal Accounts are limited in how much money can be received within a one month timeframe. You are much better off with a Premier or Business Account; however, Paypal charges a fee for all moneys received. For U.S. citizens, the cost is 2.9% (3.9% for international buyers) plus $0.30. Make sure you account for this cost in setting your prices. Some sellers set up an online store with an electronic shopping cart to handle the orders for them. Others simply post their Paypal email address and cost information. Paypal allows you to download the order information into an Excel spreadsheet. Tracking Information It is vital to keep good records of your orders. You can do this with a spreadsheet program such as MS Excel or a database such as MS Access. Shipping Pins should always be shipped in padded envelopes. Some people even wrap the pins in bubble wrap before putting them in the padded envelopes. There have been many reports of pins being shipping in plain envelopes and being totally mangled by the Post Office. Pack the pins well and don’t take any chances. Also, don’t forget to fill out the custom forms if shipping pins out of the country. Padded Envelopes Here are some sources for padded envelopes: (type in bubble mailers and boom!) Labels If you have properly set up a database or spreadsheet with addresses, you can use them to print off labels. Always do a test print on plain paper to verify the placement of printing on the label sheets. Pin Companies Here is a listing of some of the companies that have been used to produce Clay related pins. You can search online for other companies that make custom lapel pins as well. Dollar Pins Contact: Laura (say Dianna of Clay Train Connection sent you) Phone Number: 563-927-3179 Example pins made by this company: Clay Train Comments: Based in Iowa. Dianna had her pins within 7 business days. Free shipping. Pin Mart Example pins made by this company: 2004 Maine Pre-Party Comments: This company was fine to work with and had reasonable prices. Pins were received sooner than expected. Pin Promotions Contact: Jeff York Phone Number: 1-800-264-3923 Example pins made by this company: RedJet pins and ornaments Clackhouse hinged Jukebox/DVD Comments: This company has made the majority of the Clay related pins out there. There have been some production problems, but they were always addressed. Pin Pros Pin Pros offering a 5% discount to Clay fans email: Example pins made by this company: Hooked on Pins CA Dangles Faithful Fans Comments: Margi is a fan who posts at the Clayboard. They are good to work with and some designers report good results with artist proofs. Pinz Contact: Gary Anderson Example pins made by this company: Delaware Clay-liens Comments: This company is smaller with good prices and good individualized attention. (other companies coming soon) Additional Tips and Comments (coming soon)
  10. I got my DVD pins just fine, thank you!
  11. artquest, I just read several posts over in the Clackhouse's pin forum advising you to dump the defective pins. That is the only place I've seen that happening. I don't recognize any of those posters as well-known collectors, so I'm hoping you will listen more to the collectors here and at the Clayboard who want the pins. I'd hate to see the pins being thrown away.
  12. Beverly Amerine at snowbodypin @ (remove spaces)
  13. Definitely! I think you should go ahead with option 2 or 3 with your "mistakes" - I'd buy some.
  14. After I had responded to WhatWouldClayDo07 in the New Pin thread, she PM'ed me with a lot of questions about the process of getting some pins made. I told her it would take me some time to write something up for her, but that in the meantime she should read this thread because there is a lot of good information in it. A lot of people have learned things the hard way, and I would hate to see new designers make the same mistakes over again. In thinking about what I was going to say, I thought it might be better to simply write a tutorial for her that could be posted for all wannabe pin designers to use. Much of the information that I would include is already here in this thread, but it would put it in a more organized format. So far, I have drafted an outline of what I think this tutorial should contain and it would include credits to whomever provided the information. I'm hoping to have a rough draft compiled by tonight and will post it for feedback. Here is my outline (subject to change!): I figure this will be a work in progress - the first draft will definitely have some holes in it. I welcome any and all feedback on this! ETA: This is taking longer than I thought - I will try and have something done this weekend!