Monday, April 25, 2011

Interesting Facts

Because its Monday and it's too early to think! Here are some interesting and weird facts for you. Don't know how many are true but at least they are interesting.

  • It is not possible to fold a piece of paper in half more than seven times.
  • The presidents on Mount Rushmore are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.
  • Beavers front teeth have a tough orange coating that protects them from being broken or chipped while cutting wood.
  • The Yo-Yo was invented in ancient Greece over 3,000 years ago.
  • America's first minimum wage began at 25 cents an hour back in 1938.
  • Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii and Maine are the only states in the U.S. that do not allow billboards.
  • New York was the last state to put photographs on driver's licenses in 1984.
  • The Empire State Building has 6,400 windows.
  • It is considered an insult to tip at a restaurant in Iceland.

Know any interesting or weird facts? Feel free to share them with us.

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Moving Beyond the Moment

Moving Beyond the Moment
by Rev. James C. Matthews

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)


Sometimes the things that hinder us from moving forward in our journey aren't always bad things. It is possible to become hostage to our past by trying to relive something that has come and gone. This can take the form of trying to relive past achievements, relationships, or defining moments in our lives. We've all met people like this. In their wallet or purse they carry pictures or newspaper clippings of a past relationship or climactic moment in their lives. They speak of the past in the present tense, as if these events happened yesterday. It is healthy to celebrate our past moments in life, but it is unhealthy to become stuck in a moment and miss the rest of life. Life is a motion picture not a snapshot. It is always moving and stands still for no one.

Those who have a snapshot perspective of life can be easily identified by their conversation. They always talk about the past and how things used to be, or they dwell on what someone did to them years ago. It's almost as if they stopped living once that moment transpired. Although they can easily recall in detail a particular moment in time that occurred years ago, they cannot clearly articulate their plans for the future.

Often, people who develop a snapshot perspective of life lose their identity in the event or situation. They define who they are by that moment in time instead of who they are as a person. I can remember meeting a man who was in his late 40s. When introducing me to this person, my friend first let me know that this man once played for a well-known professional sports team. It was only after this introduction that his name was communicated to me. In the eyes of his associates, this man was defined by a moment that had come and gone. When I asked the gentlemen what he was doing now, he appeared ashamed of his station in life. He had a respectable job, but in his eyes and those he associated with, it was not comparable to his former moment of glory.


In another instance, my wife and I met a young woman at a ministry event who was a survivor of Hurricane Katrina and had settled down in Dallas. When she introduced herself, she told me her name but had preceded this by commenting, "I'm from Katrina." When my wife and I were driving home from the engagement, she commented that every time this woman introduced herself to someone, she commented that she was "from Katrina." I've seen the same thing happen to people who have physical handicaps, been abused, divorced, incarcerated, or homeless. They've allowed their circumstances or an event to define and prescribe what their expectations in life can or should be.


You are more than a moment! You are a motion picture that is not defined by a snapshot or one frame of the picture. If you refuse to allow your past to define your future, you will discover that life has much more to offer you than a memory.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Bunny That Lays Eggs

I never started the Easter basket and Easter bunny tradition with my kids. I didn’t want to take away from the true meaning of Easter. I also never really understood the whole Easter eggs - baskets thing and it was really hard for me to get into it with my kids. For Easter we kept it simple, we attended church as a family and spend a relaxing day together.

Several years ago my kids where asking questions about the bunny, the eggs, and the purpose behind the non-christian part of this holiday. So I did a little research so I could give them intelligent answers to their questions. Here is what I found out:


The Easter Bunny is a mythological rabbit who brings gifts and candy to children on the Easter holiday, most likely based on pre-Christian customs honoring the fertility goddess Eostre.


Eostre once saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a rabbit. Because the rabbit had once been a bird, it could still lay eggs, and that rabbit became the modern Easter Bunny.


As with the Easter Bunny and the holiday itself, the Easter Egg predates the Christian holiday of Easter. The exchange of eggs in the springtime is a custom that was centuries old when Easter was first celebrated by Christians.


From the earliest times, the egg was a symbol of rebirth in most cultures. Eggs were often wrapped in gold leaf or, if you were a peasant, colored brightly by boiling them with the leaves or petals of certain flowers.


Today, children hunt colored eggs and place them in Easter baskets along with the modern version of real Easter eggs -- those made of plastic or chocolate candy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Creations

Today is Earth Day. Its one day that inspires many people worldwide to demonstrate their commitment to reduce their environmental footprint.

Many of us artists look for unique way to reuse our scraps and left overs. My mom uses a lot of crochet thread and saves the wooden tubing. She gave me a huge shopping bag of these tubing and scrap fabric. At the time I wasn't sure what to make with them. They just sat in my workshop until I could come up with something creative.



After some brainstorming along with some trial and error I finally got one of my ideas to work. I turned these cardboard tubing into bracelets! I covered a few with some of the beautiful scrap fabrics my mother gave me. I also use some left over yarn for a few bracelets. I really love the way they came out. They are a lot softer than they look.






We can all make a difference on a daily basis to "go green". What are some things that you have done around your house or with your artwork to reduce and/ or reuse?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Autism Awareness


April is Autism Awareness month. Autism is a development disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills. Autism affects 1 in110 children. 

 Here are a few items that are for sale on Etsy to raise awareness.

LazaFlair

TamanthaJewellry

BackroomTreasures

AlwaysTinaJo


Monday, April 18, 2011

Unique Crochet

I am fascinated with all things crochet. There are so many talented people with extraordinary creativity. If you search the internet you will find thousands of these people. Here are a few of my favorites.



This hand-crochet covered crab by Joana Vasconcelos


The crochet chair by Marcel Wanders



President Obama Blanket by Todd Paschall

Monday, April 11, 2011

Captured Moments

Pictures are a great way to capture special moments & events in your life. I don't go anywhere without my camera! I love taking pictures. I can see myself as a grandma going through my photo albums telling my grandkids of the good ol' days. But that's years and years and years and years away! So for right now I will share them with you. Enjoy :-)


I took this photo while visiting San Francisco. A beautiful sunset.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Kept Woman

I Am a ' Kept ' Woman
You see, there were a few times when I thought I would lose my mind,
but GOD kept me sane. (Isa. 26:3)

There were times when I thought I could go no longer,
but the LORD kept me moving. (Gen 28:15)

At times, I've wanted to lash out at those whom I felt had done me wrong,
but the LORD kept my mouth shut. (Psa. 13)

Sometimes, I think the money just isn't enough,
but GOD has helped me to keep the lights on, the water on, the car paid, the house paid, etc. (Matt. 6:25 -34)

When I thought I would fall, HE kept me up.
When I thought I was weak, HE kept me strong! (I Pet. 5:7, Matt. 11:28-30)

I could go on and on and on, but I'm sure you hear me!

I'm blessed to be ' kept '

I'm "Kept" by the Love and Grace of God

God doesn't give you the people you want, He gives you the people you NEED,

To help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make you into the
Person you were meant to be.


Peace Be With You Throughout Your Day!


TRUST IN GOD!


~Author Unknown

Friday, April 8, 2011

EtsyBot Tips

I read on the forums (yesterday) that Etsybot is no longer going to be on Twitter retweeting Etsy shops. Its a good thing that there are other tweet peeps who are willing to step in and fill the need to help Etsy shop owners network on Twitter. Here are a few: #etsyguy #handmadebot & #madebyhandbot. If you know of any others please share it with us.

One of the things that Etsybot did was tweet useful tips. I managed to collect a few of these tips so I can list them here for you to have. Since Etsybot deleted all their tweets I am missing a few. So if you have any of the ones I'm missing let me know and I will update the list.


Tip #1: Try not to place your links at end of tweets. When people RT you, your links may get cut off!

Tip #5: Try to create an attractive business card or unique item tag to place in orders. You will get repeat business!
Tip #6: Yes being in a ReTweeting team can be good! Just DON'T alienate yourself by only socializing with your team!

Tip #7: Create or have someone create a nice, unique avatar for your Twitter! These avatars help catch people's eye & makes them STOP 2 see!

Tip #8: Your Etsy banner reflects, in the mind of the customer, the quality of your merchandise! Find an Etsian 2 help U create 1 of u cant!

Tip #11: Stick to one specialty in your shop. Don't sell crochet with woodwork with digital graphics. Open up another shop or two!

Tip #12: Blogging is a great way to spread the word about your shop(s)! Create an informational blog with pictures and tweet about it!

Tip #13: You can use the "Share" button to create Twitter promos of your own shop and others! Select "Share" click on "Twitter" and modify!

Tip #14: Try to comment when you ReTweet other Etsian's promo tweets. Let's people know you actually viewed the item in the link!

Tip #15: Pick a Twitter username that is the name of your Etsy shop OR that reflects the name of your Etsy Shop!

Tip #16: In your twitter bio, don't just tell about yourself, tell people about your shop! You can even place a short link to your blog!

Tip #17: Create a unique Twitter background! If you can't, ask around or search Etsy for services related to Twitter, banners, avatars, etc!

Tip #18: wRiTiNg LiKe ThIs Is HaRd tO rEaD aNd CoNfUsInG... Keep it clean when you promote your shop!

Tip #19: Place the word "Etsy" in your Twitter bio/profile. This helps people, who search for other Etsians, find you more easily!

Tip #21: Make sure your Etsy shop's Title contains a few keywords that relate to your shop!
Tip #22: If you create a blog, do write-ups showing how to use/wear the items you are selling. People like to see the items in "action"!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fresh Finds

Everyday new shops open up on Etsy. It amazes me all the talent that is out there. Below are just a few of my favorites I found using Pounce. They are still waiting for their first sales. So show them some love ♥


Middlegray
 
GiddyHippo


FairytaleJubilee

SnowStitched

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

First Quarter 2011 Stats

Part of owning a business is knowing the numbers. With an online shop my numbers are particularly important. Its important to know how often my site is being viewed, by whom and how often. I also have to take into consideration if the number of Etsy Treasuries and Etsy Front Page I am featured in play a part in my views. I use Google Analytics and Craftopolis to help obtain the figures I need. I've decided to keep track of my numbers on a quarterly basis and analysis them to see what has been working and what changes I need to make.

JANUARY

16 Total New Listings
61 Total Renewed Listings
12,686 Pageviews
3,394 Unique Visitors
66 Hearts
140 Treasuries Featured IN
3 Front Page Appearances
9 Sales

FEBRUARY
10 Total New Listings
8 Total Renewed Listings
9,214 Pageviews
2,636 Unique Visitors
93 Hearts
195 Treasuries Featured IN
1 Front Page Appearances
4 Sales

MARCH
55 Total New Listings
8 Total Renewed Listings
12,195 Pageviews
3,135 Unique Visitors
90 Hearts
201 Treasuries Featured IN
1 Front Page Appearances
1 Sales

Overall I am happy with my stats. As long as I keep listing and renewing items my pageviews will continue to climb. I am however concerned with my 54% bounce rate!! More than half of my visitors look at one item and then leave my shop. I have my link placed in every single listing and in my profile. Apparently I have to do something different to keep visitors looking around my shop.

How have your stats been for this quarter? What do you do to keep your bounce rate low? I would love to get some ideas.
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