Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Destash 1 June 2018






These are for now the packages for the first destash.
Yes, there will be more. I have a whole load of things that need to go as they take up a lot of room and I don't know if I'll be able to get to finish them and put them in the store, if I ever manage to get around and enable the store, that is.

So, shipping is included in the price for a small flat rate box, insured.
If you buy more than one item, I will try and see if the items in both packages fit in one box, or if they fit in a regular priority rate box that would be cheaper than a medium flat rate box. Trust me, I will try to find the cheapest shipping solution. And I will refund you the money if there are extra for the shipping. i.e. you buy 3 packages, normally the shipping would be $19, I manage to fit stuff in one medium flat rate box for $13.00, I refund you the $6, or if it fits in a regular priority mail for less, then whatever is the cost, what is extra I will refund you. I will send you the pdf with the USPS receipt so you can see  how much it was. You will also get a notification with the USPS tracking number.


VERY IMPORTANT.
If you are an international buyer, let me know ahead of time. For the quantity of items of a package, the shipping cost may be anywhere from $13.50 to $25.00. I will put the item on hold, you email me your address, I will weigh the item and go on the price calculator of USPS, and tell you exactly how much it is. Then I can simply send you a Paypal invoice for $27 +whatever the shipping cost difference is.

These will be up for 48 hours. After which I will take them down and bring up 0 more. What is left will be distributed in the future packages.
Destashes are NOT refundable.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Whisper

I'm sitting here praying and hoping. He was so good in these past months. Prancing and playing, and eating his food and interacting with the cats. My little Anubis. My little deer.





Taking you in the past... I used to have at one point two dogs, the most unusual pair someone could imagine - a toy yorkiepoo, Betsy, and a Great Dane/Newfoundland mix, Thor.They were best buddies since Thor was 3 months old. Betsy was almost 5 years older than him.
I will skip over how I got them and other stories, and just mention that at one point, when Betsy was 16 years old, out of fear that if she's going to die, Thor will also die of a broken heart, I adopted a lurcher (greyhound and terrier mix) baby girl, Maya. She was essentially raised by Thor.
Then in 2005, right after Thanksgiving, Betsy went to the Rainbow Bridge, two months short of her 20th birthday. The other two mourned for over two months - Thor more than Maya, understandable.
Then the next year, in the beginning of fall, one of Thor's back knees all of a sudden got all swollen. A trip to the vet and an Xray confirmed that he had a very advanced osteosarcoma - he had no knee, really, the whole end of the femur was a huge tumor. The vet told me that the leg would have to be amputated and he would have to go on chemo, but at 16 1/2 years old for that size of a dog (Thor weighed in his good days 125 lbs) he would probably not survive the surgery, and given the size of the tumor she was sure it was metastasized.
I agonized for three days over the decision and finally I had to put him to sleep. He couldn't walk anymore and was in pain.
I took Maya with me when he was put to sleep, so she could be there for him and kiss him good bye.
It was a good thing - she only mourned for a few days, and from the day I brought home his ashes, she started being fine.
But she was bored. Raised in a house with other two dogs, she was alone for 10 hours a day when I was gone to work. So I decided to get her a friend, in January 2007.
We went together around to local pounds and shelters. She was the one who was supposed to choose her friend, not me.
I was honestly aiming for another senior gentle giant, but we couldn't find one. Finally we got home with an adorable loveable 1 1/2 years old mastiff mix. He was awesome, obedient, housebroken, everything, only that.. when they started playing, and he playfully put his paw on her, Maya flew 3 yards back, head over heels. I realized he was too big and too playful and she could get hurt unintentionally, of course.
So the next day I took him back to the shelter (they have a foster with adoption intent program) and gave him the best references (he was adopted the next day) and then looked a bit more to the dogs they had there.
And in one cage, in a corner, all sad, sat what looked like a greyhound puppy. All the other dogs were at the door, trying to get to me and being happy. Only the little one was  in the farthest corner, looking dejected at the ground.
I went back inside and asked to see him. He was brought to me, his eyes were staring somewhere in the distance, oblivious to everything and everyone. He was registered as "whippet mix" and I found out his story. Apparently he was an owner surrender. He had belonged to an old man who was wheelchair bound. Why would a person who is in a wheel chair want a racing dog, beats me. Whisper (at the time his shelter name was Devo) had never been outdoors. His paw pads were as smooth as a baby's behind. But that was just the beginning of the story. The old man had a bum of a son, and alcoholic who was into dog fighting. And had a pitbull "puppy" about a year old. And every time he was visiting his father, Whisper was used as "training bait" for his pitbull. That is where all the scars covering his throat and face were from.
I signed the papers for him and brought him home. I placed him on the couch, wrapped in my woolen jacket. He stood there for almost two hours, staring somewhere in the distance, watching something only he could see. Still oblivious to everything and everyone. I tried feeding him. He didn't even sniff the food. I tried putting it in his mouth. It dropped. He hadn't even budged.
I let him sit on the couch, and from time to time I'd stop and pet him and gently talk to him.


After two hours, he finally moved. He slowly started exploring the house. Then found the bedroom. And under the bed he went.
I didn't try to get him out. I placed a dish of food and another one of water under the bed (I had a very tall bed). Then, after some thought, I also took a stuffed teddy bear someone had brought me as a gift, and placed it on the floor, with one paw under the bed skirt. The teddy bear slowly disappeared under the bed. It was Whisper's friend and companion he took everywhere with him for the next month. But that was later.
Anyway. That evening I went to bed, and as usual, Maya jumped in bed and laid at my feet. About 10 minutes after I had turned off the light, I felt Whisper jumping in bed too. After a bit of sniffing around, he went under the covers, wormed his way up my body until his little head rested on my shoulder and there he gave a big sigh, and he fell asleep.
And that is how Whisper came into my life. A little dog who was so dejected and had been so abused. It took him 3 months before he barked for the first time - I thought at one point they had de-barked him. He would communicate only by putting his head near mine and sighing loudly - that's why I named him Whisper.
It took him 6 months before he wagged his tail for the first time. Even now, after so many years, when I see his little white-tipped tail wagging, my heart swells with joy.
He made friends with Maya instantly. Well, he became real fast the leader of the pack. Maya was so gentle and good-natured she would let him do anything he wanted.

They slept together


Played together



Discovered things together



Ate carrots together



And overall, loved each other very much



And so the years have passed. My fearful little deer after a while was even able to go out for walks - in the beginning he would freak out every time I tried to take him out of the house.
But after years and years, he conquered his fear and enjoyed going with Maya on walks in the neighborhood.

Then back in November 2013, in the first day of freezing of that winter, I heard little desperate meows at the entrance door. Two kittens, cuddling in the cold, scrawny and covered in fleas.
And that is how Conor and Seamus joined the family.

On the way to the vet for their first check-up


Then in 2015 Maya started going downhill. She became senile. Then started having problems walking. Then in January 2016, one day, her read end fell to the floor. She had paralyzed. I had to put her to sleep. She joined her friends Betsy and Thor at the Rainbow Bridge.

Then it was just Whisper and the Twins (I call them the Twins but they're not even brothers, Conor is about 2 months older than Seamus). Whisper is more bonded with Conor. Seamus was more bonded with Maya, he cried for her for weeks when she passed. Amazingly their furs matched too - Whisper and Conor's and Maya and Seamus's.


Now it seems it's time for Whisper to leave me. In October he was diagnosed with liver cancer and was given 2 months to live.

I've switched him to a special diet and he's still alive, and his liver enzyme levels went down, almost to normal. 

Why did I write all this?

Because two days ago he started having digestive issues again. That can be the sign of liver failure. Maybe I just wanted to reminisce all these years past.

Maybe because I wanted you to know why Whisper is such a special dog. And so important to me.

My little deer.




Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The whole drama and the alarm bell




Warning: this is a very long post. Grab your coffee or your popcorn and make yourself comfortable.

Essentially, what we need to take into consideration when talking East European mentality as it pertains to this situation at hand is:

  • -          The elderly and the ill are third-class human beings and you can treat them any way you want; and
  • -          It’s ok to swindle, lie and cheat, if that makes you money: that means you’re a “smart one” and you know how to make your road into the world.
  • -          How a person is appreciated depends on the amount of expensive things they own, and you always must show off what you have so people can look up to you
  • -          People are only as important as the amount of money you can make off of them.


I know, sounds horrible eh. Well, it is the truth. Check the post right before this one, I tried to explain it in more detail without making THIS post longer than it needs to (and it's LONG)

Now, let’s start our story.

I will skip over and not bore you again on how I decided to start my youtube channel and make tutorials, and my health issues, and won’t tug at your heartstrings, will go straight to the facts.

Now what I am going to tell you is about an attempt to intimidation campaign. I have seen it done many times in my life, I know exactly where I made the mistake, but it’s not really just East Europe, it’s generally business thing.
It’s used when you perceive someone starting to be a threat for your business because their stuff might be better quality and some of your customers might move to them.

1.       For this one you don’t have to be a big name or be established, all you need is a bit of money to afford to do it.
The idea is: every time you hear someone wanting to do something, you hurry and do it first, to make them disheartened and make them not do it. I.e. if it were a business making shoes, they talk about thinking of launching a line of white sandals for next spring, you hurry and come up with a line of white sandals BEFORE them, so by the time they get theirs out, yours will be known. With the appearance of the internet it’s even easier – a couple hundred bucks put into a smart worded google adwords campaign and hiring some Indian guys for a few bucks to keep googling your name (or company name) hitting your website and your materials and soon in google and all over the world, the term “white sandals” will be forever associated with your name/company name and make you the inventor and best ever creator of white sandals.

See, I actually AM a SEO specialist. I do know a lot of things. I really do, and I do know how these things are done. I’ll show you in a bit exactly how you can figure out if that is what was done, just a bit of patience.

2.       For this one, you need to be at least semi-established as a known name.
Because you’re well known, you start making exactly what they’re making – it doesn’t matter if you do it worse, and no matter if the smaller company/individual complains, because you already have a big crowd of followers and money to employ the strategy I explained in the previous paragraph (the whole google and how to manipulate it), it will be again YOUR name associated with that specific product/idea/whatever.

Now, let’s get to it.

Back in June 2017, I had started to actually get subscribers. So I guess I started to get noticed by sweetcheeks. Especially because I had already done a couple gemstone imitation techniques in which she absolutely needs to be told that she’s the best.

I first started talking about making a faux malachite tutorial on June 24 2017, in my first ever “talk about my plans” that was not a live at that time, because I was right before hitting 1,000 subscribers, and didn’t want to have a live until I would be able to have live chat.
https://youtu.be/m6iPYwZy3nQ?t=1024

Now keep this in mind until I talk about the next one.

At the end of June, I started actually having a lot of fatigue issues, and could barely keep up and doing anything, so I had to skip over a few of the things I had planned and leave them for later.

Then, in July I started reaching out to various manufacturers so I could do more interesting tutorials.

I first talked  about testing enamel in my live “chat with you” on August 5 2017. I had already gotten the material, was preparing the final video to upload it for review by the manufacturer (the link will start the video at the exact time I’m talking about it).
https://youtu.be/R0Q1vuqxkWY?t=1173

On August 8 I uploaded (unlisted) my video for review. You will be able to watch it as I am posting the link, otherwise it can’t be found on searches.

Then guess what? Surprise surprise, sweetcheeks posted later that day a tutorial on… using enamel on polymer clay. Then another one on August 11.

Now here I did the mistake. When I saw that she had posted tutorials on using enamel on polymer clay (at the time I didn’t really dwell on it, it seemed like a coincidence, things like this happen) so I thought  "there's no use now, I’ll post something on it later".

Now THAT was the turning point. THAT was when she thought that she can easily intimidate me and she will have no problem intimidating me in the future on not making the things I had announced I would make.

My health kept being bad for the following months, and then my pets had issues, so I didn’t to much in terms of tutorials, not like I used to do in the beginning. You all know that.

Now, let’s get back to the malachite, because that’s another story, and a little uglier.

So finally I started being able to work on the faux malachite at the end of August.
I had a good friend (or so I thought) who was half Russian, and she had been my friend for a long time, we’ve known each other from college. I had actually invited her as a honorary member in my secret group on facebook.  At that time, as I wasn’t feeling good, honestly, I made the mistake of not checking the “only administrator can invite members” setting.

Anyway, fast forward, I had posted some photos of what I was working on, and said I wasn’t too happy about them and I was going to re-do the whole thing.

Then, the next day, I even don’t remember for what reason, I was checking in the membership on the group, when I realized that I had more members in the group than I thought I had (this was my secret group for my sponsors, and I was always posting what I was working on).

So I went and checked, and sure enough, there were some names I had no idea who they were. One of them a Russian name. I go check the history of the group and sure enough, my “good friend” had invited them to the group. Right away I kicked them out and banned them – including my friend. I won’t go into details on the online message exchange that followed (she still lives in Romania), suffice to say that we’re not friends anymore.

So, these were the photos I had posted. Do they look familiar in any way?



I thought so.

Anyway, I continued working on my tutorial, through the fatigue and pain, posted later more photos on the (now) final tutorial, and released it on my secret group on August 28. 



Then moved on and didn’t think about it.

Surprise surprise again, sweetcheeks posted a faux malachite tutorial on September 2nd. If you look at that tutorial and at the photos I had posted in my secret group before the whole "who the heck are these people" thing blew over, you'll see they look like a very convenience "coincidence".

That was when the whole thing with the unknown people in the group suddenly made sense.

I decided then (and talked about it in my next live chat) to not announce anymore what I will be doing.

Things seemed to be ok for a while. I mean, yes, little things here and there, I did dragonflies, she had to do dragonflies, I did faux metal patina, she had to do it too (with expensive stuff that needed to be shown off, because the fact that I was showing you how to do it cheap went straight over her head)

Even if that was when I started seeing that there was a bit more to it. And I started doing a bit of snooping (I am by nature a very suspicious person), especially after I had just watched one of sweetcheeks tutorials that was showing something that was eerily similar to a tutorial that was a few years old that I had just read on a French artist’s blog.
I’ll post some links at the end of this.

Then sometime – I think it was the beginning of October – sweetcheeks posted a tutorial on how to sand and buff. And as usual it involved a lot of showing off.

To be honest, by that time – and this is just me and my personal feeling – I was not really watching much of her stuff, even if I was still subscribing to her channel, because – the whole showing off was really starting to be very annoying, I would just skip through the video in a “ok, ok, I saw, you got a lot of stuff, now get we get down to business” thing, and the other thing was that really put me off, to see her saying on her “discussions” tab (you can’t see that anymore, as a youtuber with over 10k subscribers she replaced that with the “community” tab) that she will from now on reply only to people who are her patrons on patreon as her time is too valuable – that pretty much made me want to puke.
And that not even once was she giving any credit - anytime someone thanked her for sharing "her" techniques, she never once said they weren't hers - so many beginners are still going on believing fervently that she is the one who invented the watercolor technique, the Sutton slice, the hidden magic, etc. And I am not kidding here. I got many messages from people after they either watched my tutorials where I presented the history of these decades-old techniques or read the "history of polymer clay" page on here or the links I had posted.
I don't know. I have this thing about giving respect to the pioneers of this art. And generally, respecting people for what they did for the rest of us.
But I digress.


So, anyway, we had a little bit of a bump in on that tutorial of hers as I had asked a honest question, as in what exactly are the buffing wheels that should be purchased for the foredom machine. She replied very haughtily that she just gives general information. 
I replied that well, a tutorial is supposed to be a tutorial as in teaching people exactly what they need to know, and not all of us have to money to spend on several buffing wheels to figure out which are good, and if she doesn’t give an information like this, what was the exact use of the tutorial?
Again, haughtily, she tried to lecture me about how the process of teaching should be (as a funny fact, she’s a high school graduate – if that – while one of my majors at the University was Pedagogy – the science of teaching – I thought that was really funny) and ended up telling me to “work harder” to make the money.
Now sorry but that really riled me up. I didn’t even want to mention the fact that at that time, after 7 or 8 months, I already had almost double the amount of video tutorials posted than she had in over 4 years. I just told her that it’s really rude and uncalled for to tell a disabled cancer survivor to “work harder” and that she showed to her followers a nasty facet of her personality. A few other people joined in the discussion – including one of her patrons who since left her and yes, became my sponsor; funny piece of info, she's hounded that former sponsor of hers on Patreon, saw that said sponsor was also sponsoring Gayle Thompson, and started messaging her asking "what is Gayle Thompson offer you better than I?". Don’t look for that video anymore, it isn’t visible. Dunno, maybe too many negative feedback to all that showing off and rudeness? Or even if she made it visible again, you won't see the comments as she banned me from her channel. But here are the screenshots. Interesting that long after this happened, it finally dawned on her that maybe she should be nicer and actually give full information to the people who asked about it - just check WHEN she replied to them with information.
Edit: the video is not taken down. It can be found here. And I guess she even un-blocked me so you can see my comments.








She's hounded people she saw replying on my facebook page (can't ban her on that one, you can only ban people who have "liked" or replied or interacted with the page somehow) especially when those people happened to be working on anything remotely connected with gemstone imitation, including people who were participants in the "Imagine" contest I held together with Polyclayplay to encourage beginner. She went and looked through their photo albums, and where she saw anything remotely resembling any of her tutorials, she started commenting and berating them why didn't they mention her as their mentor? - because, of course, sweetcheeks is the only one allowed to do gemstone imitation techniques. 
And if you didn't know yet, on ANY of the pieces you might make from her tutorials, you MUST mention her as your mentor. You don't believe me? Check this out (it's on all her latest videos)

 I don't know, I somehow failed to see mentioned din any of her videos, facebook page, "Art page" or anything, names like Victoria (Tory) Hughes, Jennifer Patterson, Nan Roche, Maggie Maggio, Lindly Haunani, Anne Sophie, Page McNall, Linda Geer, Lisa Pavelka, Sindee Holt, and so many others that she used the techniques from in her videos, and as I said, never bothering to mention who are the authors, on the contrary, allowing people to believe she's the one who came up with this - and of course, beginners and people who know nothing of the history of polymer clay, believe that!
Oh, and also, don't forget, if you use any of the "tricks" she uses, you must give her credit! So, using your pasta machine, rollers, cutters, textures, etc... don't forget to mention it's all from her! 
Probably on the textures and cabochon molds, if you purchase them, you MUST mention everywhere she is the mentor! 

Anyway.

Fast forward to January 7 2018.

I posted my very first quiz game on my Kalyana facebook page that involved showing some cabochons that were mostly blue, and asking the viewers to identify which faux stones I was working on.

But my page had an unexpected follower, eh?

Followed a flurry of activity that involved lots of making “blue faux labradorite” (because see, the cabochons I had shown all had a blue base) “violet faux labradorite” and other invented types of “faux labradorite” that were fed to her patrons for the usual cha-ching. She got tricked on that one as the most important gemstone imitation that was in those cabochons was the faux pietersite. But if you take the time to watch my facebook video and her "blue labradorite" video on youtube, you might find some interesting "coincidences"

As a side note, she went ahead and contacted the people I had taken just seconds of videos from to tell them about my "intro" video. One of them, she befriended and are now "sisters" - that one threatened me to get my channel closed if I don't take down the intro video with a few seconds of her presentation of a gemstone. I did, as I did not have time to waste, the "fair use act" allows using seconds of materials when it's about teaching something - commercial use or not. I can give you screenshots of those emails.

Then she went after my faux black opal. She figured out that something is glittering in there, so she started playing with glitter and made lots of blue, red, violet, etc … “black opals”. I can’t even tell you how much hilarity ensued in certain discussions following all that frenzy of activity.

It was actually pathetic. Then she invented “carved labradorite”. 

Then she heard me talking about landscape agate. Guess what she did next?

Then she started to actually get totally brazen. 

I had uploaded a mock-up "faux rhodochrosite" tutorial using the scraps from the "blazing heart" cane and announced I will be doing a real faux rhodochrosite both in Premo and in Pardo.

She hurried up to do the “faux rhodochrosite” being all secretive about the clays she used. My friends, that was no “premo translucent red”. She tried to work Pardo, has  no idea about Pardo, made her mixes with Pardo translucent red and of course it looked pink when she mixed it but coral red after she baked it and it cooled.

Now let me tell you another little thing. See, the faux malachite tutorial I had on Amazon sold just once. Right after I had posted the Premo faux rhodochrosite and I had announced I was going to do the Pardo one. Remember I had said that rhodochrosite forms like the malachite, botryoidal? Well, guess what? There were two things she used in that failed faux rhodochrosite that were from my faux malachite, that had a reason to be in a faux malachite tutorial but no reason to be in a faux rhodochrosite tutorial – the flattening of a skinner blend and the use of “lines”. It was essentially my faux malachite tutorial, applied to “making rhodochrosite” using tinted Pardo translucent.
That is why I made the regular faux malachite public and announced that whomever purchased it, they should contact me with proof of purchase and I’ll give them access to another tutorial of the same value.
How many people do you think came forward to claim their due? *chuckle*

One of the funniest parts was that I was making posts on my Kalyana facebook page directed at her and she was answering them on her personal facebook page!

Yes, I did block her after a while

After which she just got more and more brazen. 
See, I had started to ring the alarm bell on what she was up to and for a while she lost quite a number of patrons.
So she got to work.   
I had made the faux druzy Valentine Day's hearts.
She made druzy – including pink hearts. 
She made my faux pink quartz in Pardo (messed up the colors again, Pardo requires some expertise in colors). Applied that one to making “faux calcite” too.   
How do I know the technique she used? Experience, my friends.  Ask my sponsors and my friends. I have yet to find the thing that I can’t figure out how it was made. No, I naver purchased tutorials. I never needed to. As conceited as it may sound, I will figure out how something was done, sooner or later. And trust me, I can definitely recognize my own techniques.

And every freaking time she fed her patrons her “experiments” as rewards because now, of course, why not call fails “experiments’ because they’d swallow anything just to be my patron”, right, sweetcheeks?

And now she created “Petoskey stone” using EXACTLY my tutorial but just replacing the scrap clay by making those colors with raw clay. I’m amazed she didn’t try to sell it to you as she did with so many things you can find for free (or for cheaper) in other places. Could I file a copyright infringement claim with youtube? Certainly. The Fair Use Act states "changed in a way that would be determined to have modified the original beyond reasonable doubt". Which is not the case.

That tutorial is already added to her marketing campaign. Because, of course, the cha-ching is there, so she can keep up her “I’m the best” so more subscribers can fuel the ad revenue on the youtube channel and more patrons can be attracted on Patreon. It’s not about you. It was never about you. Yes, you can’t see any more rude comments she made left and right, she deleted them.
 

So, now I decided, why not join the game myself? I will get each and every one of HER tutorials and do it MY way. I don’t need to copy. I am an artist. I can come up with several ways of doing something, always.
So I’ll take each and every one of them – the free as well as the paid ones, and make free tutorials for them, with MY techniques. Because, see, that’s the deal. I CAN do everything she does. Well, sometimes I might have to budget to buy a more expensive thing, because I don’t come in your face 4 times a video and 10 times a day to tell you how awesome I am and how you must become my patron because I make such great tutorials – as long as I have pretty much what I need to make my tutorials, I’m good. But she CAN'T do everything I can. Because she doesn't have the knowledge and experience. Bummer.

And you know what's the funny part? I had absolutely no intention of doing all that. I had my own plan of tutorial schedule (because from my former teaching profession, I have the habit of actually planning that). And it didn't include any of her stuff. At least not for a loooong while. On top of it, most of it I wasn't even going to make public. because generally I don't post public tutorials on what most artists have paid tutorials out. But now if that's how she wants to play the game, let's play it.

Let's see, if you got the time - go count how many videos she has posted in 4 1/2 years teaching you new things and how many videos she has posted teaching you basic techniques. And how many of those were free.
Now go count how many videos I have posted in 10 1/2 MONTHS teaching you new things. how many teaching basic techniques and how many of those were free.
And hopefully you'll have the whole picture. Why the greed for "cha-ching" felt treatened by my channel.


Two more things and I’ll try to be short. 

The whole internet marketing campaign, use of advertising and buying likes, views and subscribers.

There are several websites where you can observe a youtube channel’s growth. It stands to reason and logic, that when a channel presents interesting stuff, it will have an organic growth.

When it uses “marketing campaigns” (including those ones where you can buy all kinds of subscribers and views and likes) you have a sharp increase In the number of views or subscribers that do not correlate to any new activity on their channel. As in , all of a sudden, several thousand people got an email “go subscribe to this channel because”.
Let’s take, for example, socialblade.com

10 months from her start – she had 14 videos, under 2k subscribers and under 100k views. (“work harder”, eh?)



Yes, I have scribbled out the name even if it’s public information. You can go check this for yourself, http:/www.socialblade.com. put in her name in the search bar, then scroll down and click on the “view full monthly report”. Notice how the “total views” starts suddenly growing? If you go check, none of those growths correspond to new activity until much, much later after the marketing campaign started having the result of legitimate views and subscribers and all that.

Compare to mine. Mine shows just the organic growth of a normal channel without advertising – and the dips in views I had when either I was ill or my pets were. I never had the money to do any kind of advertising, and honestly, even if I did, I wouldn’t do it. For the simple reason that with my health, I can barely keep up as it is, can you imagine being able to keep up with a large volume of subscribers and demands?


Second, look at the views. See how sometimes there are some that are in minus? Youtube does audits to channels. There may be a few hundreds here and there that may be chopped off, just a server error. But when there are thousands,  that means that youtube found them illegitimate. You know, those companies who tell you “for $5 we will bring you 2,000 views and 500 subscribers!”. Yea, those.

Also – you can’t do it on this image, but if you just want to have fun, go to the actual socialblade site, hover with your mouse over those highs in the “no. of subscribers” and “no of views” to find the date, and then see if there’s any activity on sweetcheeks’ channel to warrant those spikes.

And if you still wonder how can she get all that – well, simple. 1. How many ads you see on her tutorials? Look at the projected daily, monthly and yearly revenue from that – I know, that would make any subscriber important, not just her patrons, because those bring money too. Add to that the Patreon. 

And the last thing.

I will just throw in here a few links. Check them. See if you find anything familiar.


I know,  I know, "coincidences", "so what if she got inspired" "that proves nothing". tehehe.
I could give you even more links. 
But at this point, especially with what has been going on in the past two months, I don’t think I need to. One thing is clear: copying= good result; own experimentation = fail that the patrons will eat as “experiments”. Big name will go on due to association with those specific techniques she copies because money spent in advertising. Result: more cha-ching from the ignorant.

Did she use this type of intimidation before? Yes, but she didn’t have to go this long, those people caved in right away or she got such a backlash from the polymer clay communityt hat she had to back down.

Does any of you remember what she did when Samatha Burroughs DARED to come up with a faux labradorite tutorial that had NOTHING in common with Sweetcheeks' one?
No? Then you might ask around. Somehow, Sweetcheeks' firm belief is that she is the only one entitled to do gemstone imitation tutorials and goodness forbid that anyone else would try!

Why did I write all this? Because she’s been asking for it. Probably because finally she caught me in a day in which I was in more pain than usual and I finally said “enough is enough”.

Because I don’t like to see people being taken advantage of. Especially the beginners and people who are ignorant on certain areas. Because all she does is to take other people's techniques, copy them, then feed them to you for money. Including the different versions in blue, green, yellow, polka-dot, etc. Try and count with how many actual things, taken down to the basics, without counting the various variants in which she just changed the ink color, she taught you.

Because I really despise the fact that I am working hard - and for me working hard is way harder than for a normal person due to my disabilities - to share what I know for free - the same as did all the other artists she stole from (well except for Leggende Segrete, that labradorite tutorial is for sale on Etsy, she just changed the colors), and then she turns around and steals that and makes money from it just because people have no idea what she's doing.

Because I wanted to open your eyes – both on what is going on, on how it got here, on how is the mentality of an East European and why using intimidation tactics on a disabled cancer survivor elderly woman is perfectly justifiable in their eyes and not at all shameful or despicable.

 I wanted for you to be aware of what will follow.

I know, the cronies will be “she’s jealous that’s why she did this”. 

Well, let me get your priorities straight. 
For one, you mean “envious”. “Jealous” is when you’re afraid someone might take what is yours. “Envious” is when you’re coveting what someone else has. The only thing I would covet to ANYONE would be their health.

By the time I was her age, I had already won several beauty pageants, traveled half of Europe, had more education time under my belt (8 years of Art School, University, 2 Masters of Science and 4 BA)  than she’ll ever be able to have, was a financially independent woman (from business, not art). Right now, I still know more than she will ever do, I am more talented than she is (maybe not always as good as a technician as my hands don’t work that good anymore), there is NOTHING she has that I would covet.You can call me conceited all you want, it's just the plain truth, and I've never had self-image or self-confidence issues, or tried to avoid showing that yes, I know a lot of things, just for people to like me better.

I didn’t open the channel for fame, or for money (doh, I am not monetizing, dur dur) and if you noticed, in most of my video tutorials I forget to mention even “omg come be my sponsor I got so much cool stuff to give you gimme yo money). I’ve put information in the description by default, so it would be there automatically when I upload something because otherwise I forget. In 10 months only, I've shown you 10 times more things (for free!) than she has shown you in over 4 years.In fact, if you had a brain, you'd realize I am trying to do something for YOUR good. But if the sweetness of being a groupie feels better, by all means, go ahead.

So now you know exactly what you’re dealing with. And most importantly WHO you’re dealing with.

I didn’t start this game. I tried to stop it. But now I’m in.

Because, after all, YOU will be the ones who will win the most. You’ll get so many free tutorials, eh?
*chuckle*

And me, I’ll be able to teach you even more of what I know or can come up with before my time comes and I can’t do it anymore.

Because after all that is all I wanted to do. Be left alone, so I can struggle through my daily health issues and pain and bring you what I know, at my own, slow pace. Until my hands completely stop working or the spots on my bones that the oncologist is "actively watching" start growing and I'll have to go back in the cancer treatment journey to Hell, and I won't be able to do this anymore.

And horrors! I planned to do most of it, for free.

P.S. Now watch how she's going to come up with a "new" rainbow moonstone trying to figure out what I did to those cabochons in the "let's play a game" video. I posted that for this exact reason. You might see "pink rainbow moonstone", "blue rainbow moonstone", "violet rainbow moonstone" fed to you as your monthly perk if you're one of her Patreon patrons.
And also, she'll do new and improved "larimars" and who knows, even new "blue labradorites"

EDIT: I couldn't be more grateful to sweetcheek's little Romanian troll who came to rage and rave to me about how do I dare to talk like that about East Europeans, then, when I told her to go back to her idol, she did exactly that. And started a "happenstance" conversation with sweetcheeks in the comments of her Petoskey stone tutorial (oh, the irony) talking about this post. I guess the goal of that "happenstance" convo was to somehow paint me bad and paint sweetcheeks with awesome colors, but the result was that sweetcheeks did nothing else but confirm almost everything I've posted here,  including the fact that she's got her eyes like a hawk on both my channel and my facebook page.

I'm still a bit confused on how it would be possible to "copy her Navajo" and "treat her like an ignoramus" at the same time. Because, of course, she holds the monopoly on Navajo jewelry too and anyone who would try to educate people on how to actually do things right isn't allowed to. Honestly I'm half tempted to point the local Native American silversmiths to her channel.

And all ending with the opus of glory of the little Romanian troll who was so pissed that I was "talking trash about East Europeans"... insulting an elderly lady.

I rest my case.

Edit 2: is anyone amazed that now she's going for my faux Pietersite desperately trying to replicate the cabochons I've shown on my facebook page quiz HERE, the one that started her frenzy of "upping me up"? I'm not.

Edit 3 on June 4. 2018 - I guess that following me finally posting what I threatened for a while that I will post, if she doesn't stop - talking about a faux labradorite and faux rainbow moonstone tutorials - she got berserk and now is posing in the victim that is "bullied" and is trying desperately to have me shut down. Because, of course, if I get shut down she won't have to worry about someone who is a rival (in her mind) to the title of "queen of faux gemstones".
Well, guess what, Sweetcheeks? Even if you are able to manipulate so many people into believing your lies, it takes a bit more than that to bring me down. Because there are many who DO know the other side of the story, not just yours. You made people believe that someone who has posted more content in a year than you did in 4 1/2 years would have anything to covet from you. I am amazed though that there are such a high number of people who aren't able to put two and two together and figure out what you're up to.
And guess what? For every nasty message and comment your cronies posted (I got them all nicely screenshotted for potential legal action) I got double the amount of messages that congratulate me and compliment me. There. Gnaw on your liver that your campaign didn't have the desired result.
Also, I went ahead and copyrighted all the content on my website. That includes the videos that are embedded in articles.  Your move.

Edit June 11, 2018
Apparently Bakulina filed a copyright infringement on the live video where I showed you how to make yellow calcite using Pardo jewelry clay. With MY technique. That I had shown previously in my faux pink quartz, faux pink aquamarine and faux jade. That she copied, changed colors and posted on her Patreon and her Etsy. Yes, remember that faux pink quartz? The same that she submitted to Polymer Week Magazine, that, not being an electronic issue, I can't file a DMCA takedown.
Now you see that everything I have told you all along, especially desperately attempting to make me give up and to shut me down, is being proved by Bakulina herself?

Edit June 13 2018






Some East European mentality explained.

I decided to make this a separate post, because the whole story is so long that you might not want to read it all. And I sum it up at the beginning of the next post.

so there we go.

Some characteristics of East Europeans.



Let  me try to explain something to you. Something that, for a Westerner, is not very nice. You might skip it if you have a queasy stomach or are easily impressionable.

See, in most of Eastern European societies – I am not sure if that is how it was before communism, as I was born after communists came to power – and what influence on this type of behavior communism had – but the truth is. 

East European societies are horribly judgmental. Judgmentalism is not frowned upon, it’s part of life, you live with it. I know it sounds omgwtf to  a westerner, but that is the truth. It did soften just a tad in the last couple of decades (but that, again, depends on the country) due to the increasing influence of the West, but, generally speaking, it’s still there. 
Fat people will be openly laughed at on the street, people with infirmities (be them physical or mental) will be treated as if they weren’t worth it, even people who have an incurable disease may be considered third rate human beings. 
Most of the time the elderly are disrespected (if they are not your own) in a “grandpa, move out of the way, you’re a goner anyway, the grave is calling you, scoot”. It can be really really hurtful and bad, as in “haha, you idiot, your dad has cancer, is he bald yet? Did he throw up his breakfast for you to eat it?” and stuff like this.

Well, at least kids wearing spectacles aren’t that badly teased and bullied anymore, since Harry Potter launched the eyeglasses fad. I wish that was up when I was in school.

That is the society I grew up in. I was always the tiniest in my class, wearing eyeglasses, people always tried to make fun of me and bully me when I was a child, I learned early in life that a bonk over the head with your wooden penbox (or whatever is handy, yanno, backpack, chair, etc) stops bullying, even if it might land you in detention for a couple hours and your parents might be called to school to discuss with the principal. 
It made it so even now, when I remember my homeland, after the heartache that the thought of the mountains, the Black Sea, the beautiful places and memories and all that, it's so easy to stop feeling regrets or sadness: all I have to do is to think of the stink of the garbage chutes in the apartment buildings or the hundreds of times a day you'd hear the slang words for genitalia, all over the place - street, restaurants, public transportation, etc.

But let me not digress.

Of course, all this behavior also depended on the class (society-wise) you belonged to. During communism time society was differentiated in four distinct classes – the peasants (dirt-rakers), the workers (machine oil under the fingernails), the intelligentsia (teachers, professors, doctors, architects, etc, usually University or Post-grads) and of course, the high-rank Communists. And somewhere in between also there were the Gypsies as well. Yes, that's the truth - not a matter of racism or anything. History has shown exactly the facts.

During those times, you were appreciated if you were either part of the last two classes, or if you were a “smartie” (I am not even sure how I could translate how people like this were called), that is, you had a lot of acquaintances in “high places” (read – people who had relatives abroad who would send them Western stuff,  people who had access to the high-ranked commie stores, grocery store managers, butchers, customs agents, etc – in a word, when you had access to Western stuff, from American cigarettes and jeans and real coffee – yes that was quite a luxury).

But generally speaking, the judgmentalism and cruelty were encountered more in the “middle class”, the workers. The extremes – the peasants, close to the old traditions, and the educated people, were less prone to manifest those behaviors.

You can imagine that once communism fell, that didn’t mean that everything was wiped off, and people and mentalities changed overnight. That is the hardest thing to change.
The social strata changed once the capitalism came in. Now you were appreciated only if you had money. How you made those money, it didn’t matter – actually, if you managed to make them by swindling, cheating, stealing, failing to pay taxes, smuggling, black market, you name it, you were to be admired for being a “smart one” who always manages to make a good life for themselves, no matter if they ruin other peoples’ lives in the process.

I explained all this so you can get an idea of the mentality of that area of the world. Of course, it wasn’t the same in ALL the countries of the communist block. It seems that the higher the proximity to and influence of Mother Russia, the more paroxistical the behavior, the farther away and closer to Western Europe, the less it was manifested. As a general idea, countries like East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Poland, were less affected by this mentality and behavior, while countries like Russia (of course), the USSR member countries (Ukraine, Bessarabia/Moldova, etc), Romania, Bulgaria, were more affected.

How do I know this? Well, because for one, I went to the University of Bucharest, and was a student of the Filology (Foreign Languages and Literatures) Faculty, and we had quite a bunch of exchange students – one of the very few occasions when Romanians could actually have contact with foreigners – and I also worked for a while for the European Center for Higher Education of Unesco, right when the International Convention on Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees was being worked on, so I had a lot of material to study there too – and contact with many people from those countries. So I was able to get enough information to get a fairly (I hope) objective conclusion. as the people I came in contact with were from all over the place.

Now, don't understand from all this that everybody in or from an East European country will be like this. As I said, it depends a lot on the social strata they've been raised in, and - I don't know - character make-up of a person, if you want? I was blessed to grow up and then later in life be surrounded mostly by people who did NOT have this behavior and mentality - well as I got into adulthood of course I could choose who I wanted in my circle of friends. So even if I had to live in the society that was mostly driven by it, it doesn't mean that everything was horrible. But I wanted to be more explicit about this aspect, without making the next blog post even longer than it was.

Destash 1 June 2018

These are for now the packages for the first destash. Yes, there will be more. I have a whole load of things that need to go as the...