Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New shoes!

 I know this blog doesn't have anything to do with shoes.  But I have been looking for a new pair of shoes since fall and I wasn't  having much luck.  I fell in love the pair of Pr!vo (Privo) shoes I got almost 2 years ago.  They were almost exactly like these.  I later went on to buy a pair of black ballet type flats by them that are actually like wearing slippers!  I swear.  And I don't think the pictures do them justice.  Privo is made by Clarks shoes and while they are a little pricey it's totally worth it for the level of comfort they give.  I love that they have spunk and flare and are just slightly athletic.  I'm a casual kinda girl and I don't like getting too dressy.  But I like to look as nice as the next person.  So once again I have fallen for a pair of Privo's.  They are fun and funky and practical all in one.  And check out the cool color!   

 I've never done a paid blog, so I don't know if this sounds like one, but it's not.  I'm just the kind of girl who likes to share the things I love with others.  My friends all think I'd be a good salesman.  LOL  Anyway, my 2 year old was also very excited about my new shoes and unpacked them for me when we got home and made me wear them all night.  She cried when I took them off, so they went right back on!  Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Featured Artist - Risky Beads

I recently made a purchase from Lori at Risky Beads.  With the Artfire buzz growing, I set up shop and wanted to go through the buying process myself.  I looked around a little while and quickly found Risky Beads.   I was surprise that I hadn't run across her shop on Etsy, but we all know how crowded Etsy is!!  Lori sells on etsy at RiskyBeads.etsy.com and has a destash bead shop there as well RiskyStash.etsy.com  , also on artfire RiskyBeads.artfire.com  and at 1000 Markets 1000markets.com/users/riskybeads

She has been selling on etsy for nearly 18 months and has a fantastic shop with stellar photos. She has even written about her experience in a little book you can find in her shop.  I look forward to reading it soon.  It's full of helpful tips and her great personality.   She's a true artist all the way around.  From intreaging write ups for her work to creative photo set up.  She is what I hoped to be when I started putting my etsy shop together, slowly, last spring.  

I purchased a couple pair of earrings ( here and here ) from her and was extremely pleased with my experience.  We had good communication and my package arrived quickly.  The contents were cutely wrapped, it was fun to open each little item.  The package was full of goodies, business cards, suggested sellers, a calendar magnet, and some other surprises!  I think Lori at Risky Beads has got it going on!  If you are a seller of handmade goods on line, you can learn something from her.  And if you are a buyer of handmade goods, you are going to love your experience.  If you are both, like me, you really can't go wrong!   I am really enjoying my new earrings, there are exactly what I was looking for.  Thank you Lori!

Lori has a very cool blog (included on my bloglist on the side) which you can find at riskybeads.blogspot.com  in addition to her other artistic abilities she's a fantastic writer.  I highly suggest popping over there for a while!  She is currently running a huge Artfire giveaway.  You won't want to miss it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Cutest Blog on the Block


   Today, I'd like you to meet 'The Cutest Blog on the Block'!  I was on the Etsy forums the other day and someone was asking about blog style.  This site was suggested and I figured if more than a few pages of people on Etsy found it helpful, than you might too!  If you're looking for help designing your blog, this site is tons of help.  They have everything from free blog layouts to how-to's.  This cure all site for a boring blog has a total of 350 FREE layouts.   I couldn't believe it!  You're sure to find at least one that you love.  You can scroll through the pages from one to the next, or use the navigation tool on the right side of their page to look through different categories.  The Cutest Blog on the Block also has an assortment of other accessories for you as well.  Cute little buttons ranging in topic from Twilight to Humor.  For those interested they have several digital scrapbooking pages available for download and photo card design for purchase.  Check out their 'blog secrets' section for helpful how-to info on a variety of topics, like adding a signature and getting a 3 column template.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Little Background

Grab a cup of coffee and snuggle under an afghan, here's a bit about my journey so far.  I am pretty new to this business - indie craft.  I have long been a crafter and creator, but turning it into a business is a whole new world.  It's been exciting and daunting at times.  I am constantly amazed at the wealth of information to be found and read on the web.  Most of the time since I first opened my shop on Etsy   has been spent timidly dipping my toes in the water hoping not to take a wrong turn and end up in over my head.  I have taken it slow, and with two rowdy little ones at home, that has worked well for me.  

But this fall as my oldest went to preschool and I have a little more time on my hands, I decided I really wanted to figure out what I was doing with this little handmade business of mine.  I was having computer issues and that makes online business a bit rough!  So I started with creating more inventory.  Sounds easy since this is why I opened a shop in the first place.  But,  do I make totally OOAK (one of a kind) items?  Do I find several items of interest and make many?  I am stuck somewhere in the middle.  I wanted my shop to have a uniform look, and I love to make things over and over - but I want to explore my options as well.  And I have more than one craft that I'd like to share.  I don't really want to manage more than one shop, so I guess it'll all have to go in the same place.  I decided I'll just have to figure out how to make it mesh.  

Photo's are a whole topic of their own.  I knew starting out that I'd need great photos, but I didn't realize how hard that was going to be!  Photographing blankets seems nearly impossible to me.  I will continue to work hard to get better photos of my items.  

Once I had more inventory and had taken pictures I got them all loaded up into my shop and felt like my little corner of Etsy was more of a store than a hole in the wall.  Yay!  Now I needed to get people to it.  Yikes.  I was still intimidated by that idea.  With the weather in Minnesota often being below freezing and even subzero temps, getting out and leaving business cards around isn't something I'm up for!  But I have a few stacks around town at coffee shops from the pre-frozen days.  The idea of craft fairs has crossed my mind more than a few times.  I would really like to get into a few, but am worried that I am not organized enough!

So I started reading.  Reading and reading and more reading.  I would not have believed that there are days and days worth of information out there on running, and promoting your indie online business, but there are!  I swear since Christmas I have spent more time on my new (hooray!) laptop than I have ever spent on a computer before.   Reading about handmade venues, Artfire  and Etsy   and Shophandmade   reading about social networking on Facebook  and Twitter  and reading lots and lots of blogs like TimothyAdamDesigns that I introduced you to earlier.  And I've spent hours looking at Project Wonderful   finding blogs to put cute little ads on.  Ads that I bought from Etsy at ThompsonDesigns.   It's enough to make your head spin around!!  LOL  But as a stay at home mom, I find the head spinning to be exciting.  I normally read things on the Dr. Seuss level - which I love, but reading all of this indie business info is making me feel a part of the world again.  Oh geese, how could I forget trying to read html code and Google Analytics etc...  I swear I can actually FEEL the synapses firing in my brain.  It's like someone plugged my brain in to an electric socket.  

That pretty much catches us up to now.  I had several sales over the holiday season and that was very exciting.  I hope that all my hours of reading and networking online are going to help keep them coming in the new year.  But, as you can see if you've looked at my shops, I am going to need a brainstorming session for products to sell during the warmer months.  So far my things are very, winter related!  I think that'll be my goal after Valentine's Day.  Thanks for coming by and getting to know me a little better.  I'd love to get to know you better too.  Leave a comment!  I hope you enjoyed your coffee and that you'll be back soon.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Handbag Giveaway!

I came across a very cool blog doing a super giveaway the other day and wanted to let you all have the chance to score this sweet bag too!  I have loved this fabric for quite some time now and have been teetering on the brink of buying myself some.  Imagine my excitement to find out you can win a bag made out of it!!  The bag to be given away is from GirlyGirlBags  .  The giveaway is running on Designs by Vanessa, which is another cool artist blog.  Take a minute and check it out.  Good luck to you!!  (and me....)

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Blog Links

I have added a new list on the side of the blog.  Some of my favorite blogs!  Some of them are inspirational, some are indie business helpful, some are just great artists I love.  I hope you'll find something you like over there too!

Another featured artist coming later this week.  Check back soon!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Something new for Monday morning.


This is a fun idea I found on 1 stop mom    Meet my friends Monday is an introduction to other blogs you like.  Which equals, 'meeting my friends'.  It is Nap Time   came up with this fun idea.  Today I'd like you to meet  Timothy Adam Designs    I swear, if there is anything you need to know about running an indie business, he can help!  There is so much helpful info, it will blow your mind.  I really don't know how any of us would get along without Mr. Adam.  If you are selling your handmade goods, this is a blog you can't live without.  

Happy Monday to all!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Crazy helpful!

As I have been wandering through blogland reading many, many amazing things, I came upon this fantastic post written by Infektia.  She gives a straight forward how-to for getting stats from Google about your blog!  Hallelujah.  I am certain that if I had not found her post, I would never have been able to figure this out on my own.  With her directions it was easy.  THANK YOU Infektia!  You can click here     or go here -->   http://www.infektia.net/how-to-track-your-blogger-statistics-with-google/  to read her helpful directions for Google Analytics.  You won't be sorry.  

Happy New Year Blogland!  2009 is going to be a GREAT year.