Tuesday, December 27, 2011

On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan: Caty Ann's Creations



This week's Featured Artisan is Cathy - Caty Ann's Creations. Beautiful creations by a beautiful lady! You can find Caty Ann'e Creations on:


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan: Creations with Heart

This week's Featured Artisan is Julie - Creations with Heart. Beautiful Creations made by a beautiful lady! Julie not only creates jewelry she features her fellow artisans on her wonderful blogs! You can find Creations with Heart on:



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Series: The Handmade Community and Google +

What is Google +?  This post is general in nature and serves as an education to future posts.  I will go into detail in future posts about a variety of Google + topics.  My goal in this post is to help connect some dots as to why you should consider joining the Google + bandwagon for marketing your business.

In a nutshell Google + (G+) is Google's way of going social - again (Google Profiles and Google Buzz were first attempts).  Yes, it's one more thing to add to your list to keep on top of. But it's different, I promise!   It is brand new.  It launched by invitation only in June 2011.  I was lucky enough to get an invitation and started playing around with it and still haven't played with all the features it can do.  Due to overwhelming demand, the entire social network was opened up in September.  G+ has much more privacy control than any other social media. You control what is seen by who.  There's no adding you to some group, no tagging you in photos you don't want to be seen in, all those annoying things that Facebook does.  You see what you choose to see.  If you tag someone on G+, only that person sees your post.  How cool is that?  You're in control. 

I bore you with these details to preface anything G+ you see or read about is all new and we're all learning together.  Even us marketers are learning as we go.  From what some of us can tell, this could ultimately aid in SEO.  I say this because having a Google + account whether personal or a page and +1 button all over the Internet, it would be hard pressed not to show a connection.  The more +1 something gets, the more it tells the Google Gods, Wow, this must be important, we better rank this higher. But again, it's still new and theories are just beginning.   But it is Google, and from what I've learned, it's best to see what they're doing whether it becomes a dud or success. 

I need to start out by defining some of the main features that Google + has to offer so as I explain some processes, and it will make sense.

#1 Profile -You'll need a Google Account if you haven't already.  It is the easiest thing to set up. It's very intuitive.  If you use gmail, you already have an account.  You will see in your Google toolbar in the upper left corner "+ You"  click that and it will get you started on your G+ profile.  Click here if you need to set up a Google Account.

#2 Page - Very similar to your G+ profile, but is about your business. Now you can add a Business page under your profile.  You will find a Create Page green button on your Profile Home page. After you create your page, you will see a carrot that drops down your page, click and you're on your business page.  You can have multiple pages as well.  I won't go into this too much as this time unless there is demand.   There are some functions that don't happen on a page that I hope will change as the program develops.  Pages has only been released a matter of weeks.  

A FEW DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PROFILES AND PAGES
  • Pages can’t add people to circles until the page is added first or mentioned.  Profiles add people to circles.
  • Pages can be made for a variety of different entities (more than one G+ page) whereas profiles can only be made for people.
  • Pages default privacy setting is public.  Profiles choose get to choose privacy settings.
  • Pages have the +1 button.  Be sure once you have a Profile and Page set up to +1 others.  Here's a post of mine to tell you how to add the + 1 button to your blog
  • Pages can’t +1 other pages, nor can they +1 stuff on the Web.  Profiles do!  + 1 a way
  • Pages can’t hangout on a mobile device.  I hope this will change in the future.  It's vital to mobile marketing.  I'm sure it's the mobile technology and not Google.

#3 Circles - this is critical and what differentiates itself from other social networking sites. You can create a variety of circles or groups of people (network).  I have many circles all segmented by Jewelry Makers, Knitters, Marketing Tips, Food, etc... So as someone adds me to their circle of choice, I'm notified (how I set my settings), I can then choose to ignore or add them to one of my circles - they won't know!  It's done in one click.  Easy peasy.  This is a marketers dream for market segmentation.  You do not want to blanket your audience with the same message.  

Every market is different and should be messaged differently. Two instances:  
  1. Take Twitter...as business owners, you should not mix business and personal.  But in order to do that on Twitter you have to have 2 different accounts to maintain that.  What a pain.  Google +, because of the Circles, allows you to send a post out that only your family and friends can read for example, and no one else can because they're in a different circle.  Facebook doesn't like for you to have multiple personalities either. So this is hard to do as well without multiple accounts which again, is a pain to maintain. 
  2. Two, if you sell male and female segmented products, you don't necessarily want to send a general message out to males for long dangly feather earrings.  You'll want to send that to your customers you've added to your circles you know who will be interested, or other pertinent markets or Circles. It's all in the messaging.  I'll get into this much more in a future post. *Which by the way, the majority of G+ users at this time are male!  If you have a male dominated product, you need on G+ NOW!
I hope this is helps answer some questions about what Google + is and what it can do for your handmade business.  Next post I'll plan on explaining the use of Circles from a marketing standpoint especially.

Please let me know if you want to see something specific or have any questions. Such as detailed how to set up a profile, page, or whatever.  I'll answer them! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan: Cowgirl by Design


This week's Featured Artisan is Michele Blair - Cowgirl by Design. Beautiful
Creations that will make Wonderful Gifts! You can find Cowgirl by Design on:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan: Handmade Creations by Shelly

This weeks Featured Artisan is Shelly - Handmade Creations by Shelly.
Wonderful knit fashion accessories and more are found in her shop.
You can find Handmade Creations by Shelly on:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Google Friend Connect Disappearing March 2012

Bad news if you have a non-blogger website or blog that you have Google Friend Connect (GFC) added to.  On March 1, 2012, the GFC will disappear from NON- Blogger sites.  Don't panic.  With the addition of Google + pages, you have until March 1st to get your followers to "+" your page.  All you need to do is create a Google + Page for your business or site.  It's not difficult to do.  They have even made a Google + Badge for you to add to your blog.  Even Blogger blogs can use this.  You will see mine to the left.

Google + I think will be around awhile as it gains momentum and users figure out how best to utilize it.  Even I am still learning.  The feature I like best is the Circles.  Segmenting is just perfect for marketing.  You can choose what Circles to share certain information with.  

If you're interested in learning more about Google +, let me know and I'll be happy to write up a post about it.  Theory, explanations, and examples of how to use it.  

Keep your eyes open and start +1 as you come across the button. 

Read about all the other gadgets Blogger will be retiring.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan: Vintage Tags for Days

This weeks Featured Artisan is Debbie LaRue - Vintage Tags for Days! I was so happy to see my pal was this week's featured artist.  Vintage Tags for Days is her newest endeavor and I think it's super! Gorgeous tags in a vintage style to give a unique look to your gifts! You can find Vintage Tags for Days on:
Debbie also has a shop called Flower and Bud Jewelry on Etsy too!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines - 2011

Wanted to share the shipping deadlines for the Holidays and spare you the trip to USPS.com.  

Domestic Mail Deadlines

Domestic Mail Class Deadline
FIRST CLASS MAIL® DEC. 20
PRIORITY MAIL® DEC. 21
EXPRESS MAIL® DEC. 22 (Check your local Post Office)
PARCEL POST® DEC. 15

Related Holiday Dates:
  • First night of Hanukkah (Chanukah) - Dec. 20th at Sunset
  • Christmas Eve - Dec. 24th
  • Christmas Day - Dec. 25th
  • Kwanzaa - Dec. 26, 2011 - Jan. 1, 2012

Outbound International Mail Deadlines

International Mail Addressed To: Global Express Guaranteed® (GXG)4 Express Mail International® (EMS)5 Priority Mail International™ (PMI)6 First-Class Mail International™
AFRICA DEC. 20 DEC. 10 DEC. 2 DEC. 2
ASIA/PACIFIC RIM DEC. 19 DEC. 15 DEC. 9 DEC. 9
AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND DEC. 19 DEC. 15 DEC. 9 DEC. 9
CANADA DEC. 21 DEC. 16 DEC. 12 DEC. 9
CARIBBEAN DEC. 20 DEC. 15 DEC. 12 DEC. 9
CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA DEC. 20 DEC. 10 DEC. 2 DEC. 2
MEXICO DEC. 21 DEC. 15 DEC. 9 DEC. 9
EUROPE DEC. 20 DEC. 15 DEC. 12 DEC. 9
MIDDLE EAST DEC. 20 DEC. 15 DEC. 12 DEC. 9
 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

EtsyBloggers Featured Blogger: MagdaleneJewels

Time for November EtsyBloggers Featured Artisan and Blog Carnival.   Etsybloggers is the official Etsy team for those who love to blog about their craft, the creative process, and other Etsians. 

Magdalene Jewels is the featured blogger this month.  She has two Etsy shops, one a jewelry shop, the other a knit shop.  Magdalene uses a lot of Swarovski elements in her pieces.  All of her pieces are so different, you have to look at each page in her shop to make sure you don't miss anything.  I found this vintage Garbo inspired bracelet.

In Magdalene Knits, you'll find yourself indulging in soft billowy hand dyed and hand spun yarn creations.  They're perfect for baby.  I love this Irish Knit Sweater for Newborns Infants or Toddlers.  She'll custom make items for you too!  You can also find neck warmers, slippers, and gloves.


Magdalene also maintains two blogs in which her blog consists of stories and blogs about everyday life; her family, friends, and friends from Etsy.  She also posts Monthly Favorites, which will be found on both of her blogs.  
Magdalene Jewels and Magdalene Jewels' Blog

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan: Jardin de Lillian

This week's Featured Artisan is Kalyene Sue Bacon - Jardin de Lillian. Truly unique
jewelry designs! You can find Jardin de Lillian on:

Monday, November 21, 2011

EtsyBloggers November Blog Carnival - National Diabetes Month

EtsyBloggers November carnival is definitely a subject that hits close to home.  The question posed to members to blog about is:  November is National Diabetes Month. Do you have diabetes or has your life ever been touched by it? Please share any stories you have...

Diabetes has had a big effect on our family.  My grandfather was a brittle diabetic for nearly 40 years.  We never knew when he'd be high or low and often times, it was unpredictable making him "brittle".  My grandmother was obsessive about his care and probably the reason he lived as long as he did.  He died at 82.  He had no amputations which is a huge feat for someone with his type of condition.  The disease runs deep in his family.  Some managing it better than others.  Eventually, the disease did take his life - renal failure.  It was a long death and very hard to watch.  Thank goodness in the last year he was completely unaware of his bedridden state.  My family and I took care of him for over a year.  He was a large German man, not overweight, just a large man.  He required 2 people to assist him and amazingly enough, no facility could handle his diabetes.  We were left with no choice but to turn my mother's recently remodeled living room into a hospital room.   I grew up watching out for grandpa, making sure he wasn't glossy-eyed or not making sense when he talked.  Watching him collapse out of the blue or watching his constant finger pricks and shots, it was a disease I watched take the life away from a man I adored.

Now I'm afraid I'll be joining those in this growing epidemic.  I always said it would be the death of me if I came down with this disease, because I have a sweet tooth that is much stronger than me it seems.  Over the last couple of years, I've developed some health issues being severely iron deficient and now having pernicious anemia, which is when the body cannot absorb B-12.  My body isn't absorbing anything, nor breaking down foods properly.  This is now putting pressure on my other organs including my pancreas.  The last 2 blood draws I've had, I'm showing indications of pre-diabetes.  I only hope they get my conditions under control so that I have a fighting chance against this disease.  

I have an awareness bracelet I wear often that represents the causes that are close to me and that is diabetes, heart, and stroke.  It is grey, black, and red.   I wear it reminding me of those close to me that are affected by these diseases.  

To learn more about diabetes please visit the Diabetes Association Website.  Give a gift of hope into diabetes research. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Calling all Crafty Repurposers and Recyclers

I have some vintage accessories that I wanted to share with fellow crafters that like to create art with vintage and useful accessories.  We are cleaning out my grandmother's estate and came across some ties, scarves, and a vintage sequin corsage.  I know my crafting friends may find a use for them.  If you are interested in any of them, please let me know and I'll send you a PayPal invoice.  Prices include shipping.







Corsage $20
Men's Ties $15
Scarves $15

Friday, November 18, 2011

Complimentary Download - Guide to Online News Release Writing

I subscribe to PRWeb.  I received this email recently and it was so timely as a pal on Facebook, Hide A Heart, asked a question on Facebook to all her friends for help writing a good press release for her business.  I thought maybe I'd share some information for all that might be helpful.

Create Better Releases and Drive Sales Through the Roof

Download our free, expert guide to online news release writing.   Find out how the experts do it with PRWeb's whitepaper "Writing Great Online News Releases" – it's packed with tips and tricks for getting the most out of your story. Plus, it's completely free!

You'll find out how to:
  • Score a higher search ranking with keywords and SEO tools
  • Create a compelling message that resonates with your customers
  • Target your market with global, national and local distribution
  • Create online buzz through bloggers and social media sites
Create a free PRWeb account and download the free guide today!

Copied portions from the PR Web email I received 11/3/2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

101 Reasons to Buy Handmade

I learned of 101 Reasons to Buy Handmade from a MadCapHeiress Stumble. Here are just a few of the 101 Reasons to Buy Handmade to get you started, then hop on over and read the rest!  What a great series to start - 101 days of Handmade.  Or even print up little cards to include in your packages to customers.  It's important to remember why we are a part of the handmade movement and why we should keep it going.  

1. To help contribute to establishing a new economic model.

2.  With the exception of postage cost - contribute to decrease in fossil fuel erosion (purchasing mass produced products generally come overseas - barging it all over, production costs etc, sweatshops, fair labour et al.)

3. This new wave of craftspeople are using recycled materials. This is CRUCIAL. There is too much ‘stuff’ in the world already.

4. Purchase from artisans/craftspeople who ENJOY creating their wares. The object holds that positive energy and it spreads.

5. Support the artisan directly. The artisan needs more support for their vocation - more than most.

6. Support and building the local community.

7. Buying from craftspeople is a conscious decision. People need to be more conscious of spending of where their hard-earned money is going, changing hands etc. This contributes to the bigger picture.

8. My favorite reason to buy handmade is just that - it’s handmade, which means quality, and a whole lot of love!

On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan: Breitwerk Accessories & Gifts

This weeks Featured Artisan is Deni - Breitwerk Accessories & Gifts.
Deni has delightful creations in her shop. There is something for everyone!
You can find Breitwerk on:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Treasuries and Collections of the Week

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted some treasuries and collections I've been featured in.  Great opportunities to start some holiday shopping!

Etsy

Caramel by my Twitter friends by DigitalCS 

 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan: I Knit Quit Sew


This week's Featured Artisan is Sandi Levy - I Knit Quilt Sew!
Sandy has delightful creations in here shop. Something for everyone!
You can find I Knit Quilt Sew on:

You can grab the code for your blog and join Share the Love - Bloggers Unite!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Need Help from a Vintage Collector or Vintage Seller

My family and I recently held my grandma's estate sale.  She was a minimalist and didn't have much, but I'm trying to get as much as I can from what she did have.  We came across an old nativity that my mother says predates her, which would be before 1956.  I've looked all over to find something similar or just like it all over the Internet and have found nothing. So I thought, ask my readers!

I'm usually very good at finding anything, but can't find this.  There are no markings on it.  The ceramic or porcelain pieces do not move, they are attached to the wood.  The closest thing I found similar was a Sears Roebuck cardboard diecut (on Etsy), but this is neither diecut nor cardboard, but very similar is design with the 5 pieces and minimal look.  

Can anyone tell me who made these?  Or how much I could sell it for?  

My family thanks you! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan: Jewelry by Nala

This week's Featured Artisan is Jewelry by Nala! Nala has beautiful creations
in her shop! A Must have for everone's jewelry box! You can find
Jewelry by Nala on:

Need some blog content?  Feature an artisan, join Share the Love Bloggers Unite!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

EtsyBloggers: October Blog Carnival - What are your plans for Halloween?

I am part of a blogging group, EtsyBloggers.  Each month we have a Carnival and featured artisan. I/We've been out of commission over the summer and now I/we're back!  Each month a team member will present a question for the team to blog about.  This is a great way to generate blog topics - especially on those days you just can't think of anything to write.  So of course, the topic for October is fitting: What are your plans for Halloween? Have you made anything in your shop with Halloween colors/theme? Show it to us.

My Halloween plans are the same every year.  Halloween isn't the biggest holiday celebrated in our family.  Since it is a holiday, we still participate.  I head over to my parents house since I live in an apartment, no kids trick or treating here.  I wear one of two costumes depending on the weather.  It's usually a 101 Dalmations costume.  I'll wear that, hop in the back of my car and hand out candy.  I do that so the kiddos don't have to walk up the steep driveway and all the stairs to the front door.  We also have goulash and homemade sugar cookies with frosting spider webs painted on them for dinner.  

I have a couple of simple, not typical items in my shop for Halloween.  I have a Black and Orange Lanyard and Halloween Eyeglass Chain for those who want to be subtle for Halloween.










On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan: Watercolors by Barbara

 The week of putting together an estate sale, I missed one of my favorite featured artisan's and will be showing her this week.  The featured artisan is, Barbara Rosenzweig - Watercolors by Barbara.  Beautiful creations to add to your home! You can find Watercolors by Barbara on: 
 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Treasuries and Collections of the Week

Another fabulous week of festive and fun Artfire Collections and Etsy Treasuries.  Sure makes you feel good to get noticed and most importantly - found!

Etsy

Halloween 2011 by MarianDesigns 

By Candle Light by caliecristene

Hearts and Flowers by MyGemstoneDesigns

 

 

 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan: Elephant Beads

This weeks Featured Artisan is Molly Kimball - Elephant Beads!
Truly unique and one of a kind creations to accessorize your wardrobe with!
You can find Elephant Beads on:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Treasuries and Collections of the Week

Another couple of weeks of fabulous Collections and Treasuries I'm included in - and a front page on Etsy as well! Very exciting to get that email.  So much color and talent out there.

Etsy

Artfire

Hues of Blue by TheCraftyTurtle

For your ears only by MarquisCreations

 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Facebook Eliminating Discussions Tab

I just learned Facebook will be removing page owner's Discussion Tab October 31st.  Apparently, Facebook has started to notify page owners, but I have yet to be notified and found out from a Group I belong to.   I wanted to share this with my readers, as I know many of you have discussion tabs with valuable information.  I know I for one, have 5 discussions full of Link Love.  I haven't figured out what I'm going to do.  At the time of this posting, I cannot find any information about an export tool.  So all discussions have to be copied and pasted if you want to save this information. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan: Armored Hearts



This Weeks Featured Artisan is Frann Ramales - Armored Hearts!
Beautiful chainmail creations and more! You can find
Armored Hearts on:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On Fire for Handmade Feature Artist: Blue Highways



This week's Featured Artisan is Andrea Zimmerman Rogers - Blue Highways. Gorgeous Handbound books and journals. A work of art to keep your thoughts, pics, and more! You can find Blue Highways on:


Monday, September 26, 2011

Treasuries and Collections of the Week

Been a couple of weeks behind on sharing the Artfire Collections and Etsy Treasuries I've been featured in. Please take a moment to start thinking about holiday gifts....

Etsy

Black Is the New Black by VeronicaS 

Natural Inspirations by faerymoongoddess 

Artfire

Collection of Purple - what more is there to say? by RaigeCreations

 

 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Indie Biz Chicks Giveaway - The Virtual Indie Craft Fair Spot

The Virtual Indie Craft Fair will run from November 1 – 30, just in time to get you and your business in front of holiday shoppers.  Crissy Herron of Indie Biz Chicks is giving away a vendor spot for this year's show!  Here's what you will get:

  • Over $400 worth of advertising. 
  • 125×125 ad on the sidebars of IndieBizChicks and CleverChicks
  • Featured blog post on IndieBizChicks
  • Featured ad spot on IndiePublic
  • Press release that Crissy will write and distribute for you

  • More!

They will be doing a lot of activities to drive traffic to this event.  Hop on over to Indie Biz Chicks and enter for your chance to win!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

On Fire For Handmade Feature Artist: Flower & Bud



This weeks Featured Artisan is Debbi La Rue - Flower &  Bud Handcrafted Jewelry!  Debbie is a dear crafter friend of mine.  I was so happy to see her as this week's featured artisan.  She makes beautiful pieces that I admire, but I enjoy our friendship much more!   Please connect with Debbie.  She's an awesome gal that I can always count on for support craft wise, but also whenever you need an ear.
You can find Flower & Bud on:



Friday, September 16, 2011

I've Just Joined BlogLovin

I'm just signing up for BlogLovin, I see it in so many places, so why not? They're asking me to paste some code into a post to validate and claim my blog. So here it goes!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On Fire For Handmade Feature Artist: Moss and Mist



This weeks Featured Artisan is Sharri Powell - Moss and Mist! 
Gorgeous creations created with love.
You can find Moss and Mist on:

Want some active bloggers?  Join Share the Love, Bloggers Unite!



Monday, September 12, 2011

Treasuries and Collections of the Week

Another week to be grateful for being chosen out of so many talented handmade artisans out there to be featured in Etsy Treasuries and Artfire Collections.

Etsy

Saturday, September 10, 2011

How to add Google +1 Button to Your Blog

Hop on the Google Train.  Wonder how to add a Google Plus One button to your blog?  I found these instructions from BloggerSentral.

This tutorial will show you how to add a Google +1 button to every blog post in a Blogger blog. It allows your readers to recommend your posts to their Google friends and contacts right from your blog post.

This button will +1 the containing post, regardless the page you are at. It will work on both multi-post pages (home page, archive etc.) and individual/post page etc. You will have an option whether to include a counter or not.
(If you don’t want to add the button under blog posts, there is another method: Add it to a  floating social media sharing bar)
 1 Blogger below post
Let us proceed with the tutorial:
  1. Go to Dashboard; Design; Edit HTML.
  2. Back up your template.
  3. Tick the  Expand Widget Templates checkbox on top right of the code window.
  4. Find the following code in your HTML:


    <data:post.body/>
  5. Paste the +1 button code immediately below (after) it:

    <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType != "static_page"'>

    <p>p>

    <div style='float:left;padding:10px;'>

    <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js">script>

    <g:plusone expr:href="data:post.url" size="standard" count="true">g:plusone>

    div>

    b:if>


  6. Configure button 
    You can configure by changing the attributes in line 5. 
    • Select the size of button by replacing the value of  size attribute with a value from the table below.
      Button size (with count) Value
      google plus one small  small
      google plus one medium  medium
      google plus one standard  standard
      google plus one tall  tall
    • You can remove the count by changing the value of count attribute from true to false.
  7. Button repositioning
    The code above positions the button on bottom left of each post. You can change the positioning if you wish.
    • Position it on top of post
      Place the button code before (instead of after).
    • Position it on the right
      Change the float in line 4 from left to right.
  8. Displaying button on static pages
    The code above doesn't display the button on static pages. To make it appear on static pages as well, remove the conditional tag -code line 2 and 8.
  9. Preview before saving. 

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