Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September 30 Day Blog Challenge


I love blogging. Or at least love the idea of blogging. I gather my laptop, get comfy at my desk, go to blogger, click new post... and nothing. When this happens I go searching the internet for motivation. I end up killing hours of my time looking at pictures, shopping or just stumbling!

I decided its time to get focused and blog more consistently. My biggest obstacle is deciding on a topic. So I spent some time compiling a long list of random topics. Some are personal and some are business related - either way they are a way to break writer's block and get use to writing.

I thought it would be fun to share this challenge with you! At the end of this blog I will post the first 30 topics/questions. While some of them seem as if they could be answered in one or two words this is where you can be creative, tell a story, post a picture or video. Now I know life gets in the way so we won't beat ourselves up if we don't make it everyday but the goal is to try! If you are interested sign up below and leave a comment.

Be sure to come back and see my daily post. I will include a place for you to submit your daily blog entries to share with me and my readers!

SEPTEMBER 30 DAY CHALLENGE TOPICS

1 A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was
2 How many languages can you speak?
3 Top 5 favorite Board Games
4 Do you believe in soul mates?
5 What is the best piece of advice you've received?
6 Were you ever a boy/girl scout?
7 Summer or Winter?
8 Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees?
9 What would you do if you only had 24 hours left to live?
10 What is the first thing you notice about people?
11 Top 5 favorite bloggers you like to read
12 What is your favorite food?
13 Tattoos. If you have one, post it and it’s story. If not, what do you want?
14 What type of music do you like to listen to?
15 Top 5 favorite Sports players (male or female)
16 What is the first think you notice about a guy or girl?
17 What was the last movie you've seen?
18 What was your most recent trip of more than 50 miles?
19 What is your favorite pizza topping?
20 What is the worst thing that happened to you during the past week?
21 What's your favorite Broadway musical?
22 If you only had 24 hours to live, what would you want to do?
23 Who's your favorite Care Bear?
24 What do your parents do for a living?
25 Computer or television?
26 If you could go to Disney World with any celebrity alive today, who would it be?
27 Post one confession/secret
28 Mountain hideaway or beach house?
29 What is on your mouse pad?
30 Hugs or Kisses?




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Interview with FrozenTimePhoto @ Etsy


Tell us a little bit about yourself:

My name is Brandon Addis, and I am a native to a small town in northeast Georgia, named Tiger. My town has a four-way stop and around 1800 inhabitants. Growing up in a small town, I learned a lot about knowing those around you and building strong and meaningful relationships. After college I relocated an hour south to Gainesville, Georgia. I reside in the downtown area with my partner and enjoy in partaking in locally held events in the downtown area and learning my local area with its history.

What made you get into photography?

Early on, really even before I realized what I was getting into, I thoroughly enjoyed capturing prints of beautiful structures, as architecture has always fascinated me. I started capturing prints for ideas of my dream home, and then it spread into the joy of appreciating the beauty that mankind has created with their own hands. I began capturing shots of historic districts in the downtown area of Augusta, Georgia. The intrinsic and awe inspiring detail of the arts and crafts era amazed me, and I felt a sense of recording and archiving our beautiful history with my own camera, saving it for future generations to come. It later evolved into capturing the beauty in which we all at times miss with the busy hustle and bustle of life.


Where does your passion for art come from?

Growing up in a small town, I remember the members of my community that took the time to speak and educate the public on who’s who of the community, and how we arrived to who we are today. Those individuals inspired me to preserve our present and our past through photography. In any town or city you travel through, one can observe the past being erased for a new big-box store or the next “big thing”. It saddens and scares me that future generations may not know what made their home town what it is today. Capturing a print freezes time in a way that one can visualize and reflect where they came from.

What made you decide to sell your photographs?

Over the years my friends have told me that my work was great, but the moment that I wanted to share my work came from a different source. I was visiting my partner’s family, and his mother started discussing my work and the amazing talent that I had. She told me that it would be sad to see my work not to reach others and be an inspiration to them. She also mentioned how rewarding it would be to have my work available to others for inspiration and to reflect on positive memories. One of my major drivers in life is to know that I have impacted others, in a positive way. I want to know that when I am long gone that I have left a positive mark on other’s lives. One of my recent sales is to an individual that recalled spending time with a friend on the very location that I captured a shot. The fulfillment that I received from being able to send a print to that customer was very amazing and empowering. That opportunity drives me to have my work available.

What’s your favorite piece of work that you have created? Why?

My absolute and all-time favorite is “Connector”. I made a trip to beautiful Chattanooga, Tennessee and was in awe by the amazing historical pedestrian bridge connecting the downtown area of Chattanooga. I was dealing with a few things in my life, and the moment that I saw the bridged it signified a sense of connection and strength for me. Capturing that shot has impacted my life in more ways than one. It came to me at a crossroad in my life, and gazing into the print drove me the way that I needed to go to do better for myself and others. Seeing that print, which is hanging in my workspace, is always a reminder of strength, prosperity, and a reminder that patience always makes the ride of life worthwhile and promising a reality in my life. The bridge was doomed for demolition and abandonment for quite a while and simply hung on until someone saw the potential behind it, and now it’s a treasure to the community.


Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

When I first registered with Etsy, I put a few prints in my shop, and wasn’t really taking it seriously. After a couple of weeks, a customer contacted me in regards to a piece that I had available. Her best friend was moving, and that very print captured their special place to hang out and spend time together. She was thrilled to have found it, and needed the print very quickly... her friend was leaving the state in less than a week. It was a very emotional time for her, and I was able to upsize the print for her and have the print delivered to her in enough time for her to give it to her best friend. The process touched my heart and I know that my piece is one that will forever be treasured with them. From that moment on, I was inspired and driven to get my work “out there” in hopes of enriching other’s lives.

What are your goals for the future, both work wise and life?

My vision is to be available for others and provide meaningful works of art that enriches lives. As far as work, I want to find a job one day that is a little less demanding and frees up time for my art, family, and friends. I envision an old farmhouse with a garden with plenty of space to invite friends and family to wind down and enjoy the simple things in life, which are most important.


Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others?

Be patient. It is simply the hardest thing to do, but the most rewarding in the end. I know that when the right customer comes along, the print that they select has a meaning to it for them, and that alone is the most rewarding accomplishment for me. Simply knowing that someone found a treasure with yourself is one of life’s greatest blessings.

Do you admire and artists/Photographers? (famous or not!)

I am inspired by the local artists. I believe that some of the most beautiful work created comes from everyday people, even someone down the street.

What is your favorite...

Color: Blue

Animal: Freshwater Angelfish

Season: Spring

Movie: Working Girl

Book: Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People

Visit Brandon
Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/FrozenTimePhoto
**Readers use coupon code - 30offsale - for 30% off of anything in the shop


Friday, August 19, 2011

Revamping an Old Design

About a year ago I decided to make beanies for my shop. I loved the way they came out and how warm they were. Since I listed them I sold about a hand full. Not bad but not nearly as well as I wanted them to sell.

So here I am looking through my inventory and I have these beanies that have not found a home. What to do with them?

**This is where I would insert a before picture, but I have misplaced my memory stick so just use your imagination.** :-)

After brainstorming. I came to the conclusion that I over analyze things way too much and just need to learn to keep things simple and stick with what I know!! So I decided to change the design up a little by making the bottom of the hat look like it has a band.


Then I thought it might be nice to be able to accessories the hat in case your feeling a little flirty! So I made flower pins. Customers can pick whatever color combination they want. Wear it with the hat or as a brooch.


I haven't listed the flower pins yet but its on my to do list. What do you think?




Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Interview with ArtByKristin @ Etsy


Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I currently live in Austin, Texas. I have been married for almost 11 years, and we have two little girls, ages 4 and 5. I was a Social Worker in Child Protective Services before I had my kids. I can't imagine doing that type of work again and I am hoping my art leads me somewhere.

How did you get started with your craft?
I started painting as a release from my work. I did not pick up a paint brush until 10 years ago. But, I started making my vases after my husband bought me flowers for our 10th anniversary last year, and this non-descript vase I was left with, after the flowers had died, inspired me to make it into something beautiful.

What are your favorite materials to work with?
Stucco and acrylic paint. They lend themselves to many possibilities.


What inspires you?
Inspiration is found in many places. The colors found in nature; the sky, the beach, the mountains, and trees, all inspire me. My kids, books, and even sleep inspired me. I love to wake up to new ideas that I can't wait to try out.

How do you get out of creative ruts?
Take a break. I need to take breaks. Get out and do something. Go for a drive. I need to be away from my cell phone, from my computer, and I can usually find my way out of a rut.

Which of your items is your favorite? Tell us why?
Oh goodness... hmmm... probably any vase in my Inside Out Series. I particularly love this vase: www.etsy.com/listing/76185330/inside-outside-series-1-glass-and-stucco I thought of painting the outside of the vase before I added the stucco, so the inside looks painted, and I am loving this new line!


What made you decide to sell your work? And why on Etsy?
I opened my shop to have a place to direct my customers to when I would do craft shows. I was doing glass mosaic art at the time. Although I never did end up doing too much with my shop at that time. And when I made my first vase, a fire was lit inside of me and I did not want to stop making the vases, so I knew I had to do something with them, so up they went in my Etsy Shop.

What is the most rewarding part of having your own business?
The fact that it is all mine. Regardless of success or failure; that will fall upon me and it is very motivating. I just want to keep getting better and growing as an artist and as a business person.


What do you enjoy doing in your off time?
I enjoy swimming, taking the kids to the zoo and the parks.
If you had to describe your art as a fruit, what fruit would you choose and why?
I would choose the classic red delicious apple...but my art would be a candy apple.... classic glass vases, dolled up with their candy coating (stucco and paint!).


Visit Kristin
Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/ArtByKristin
**Readers use coupon code - ThankYou10 - expiration date 12/31/2011
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ArtByKristinM
Blog: mysweetthree-kristin.blogspot.com

Monday, August 15, 2011

Blog Giveaway: Girl's Flower Clip by Flower Me Boutique


I am very excited to bring you this wonderful giveaway sponsored by Marija from FlowerMeBoutique.

A little bit about Marija:

My background is in interior design with client's home projects ranging from NYC, Telluride, San Francisco to Austin. After I had my daughter, my priorities changed and I opted for a more mellow, predictable schedule and not so creative job. Can't help myself, I yearn to make things and need to get the ideas out of my head.

What started out as a fun, simple project of making bows for my daughter to coordinate with her outfits, has evolved into a fresh concept for hair accessories. I've always been inspired by nature, and flowers appealed to the girlie, delicate side of me. After perfecting these hair clip constructions, I wanted to start sharing them with all the other "princesses" and their moms. They have been a big hit with my friends, family, and a local high end shop.

I donate part of my profit to a Christian organization that works worldwide to help raise families out of poverty. Helping the world one little pretty head at a time :)

About the giveaway item:
This is a winner’s choice giveaway! The winner will be able to pick their choice of ONE flower clip from this wonderful shop.

This giveaway is open to everyone. Will ship Internationally!!


Make sure to include your email address or a way to contact you if you win!
Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

MANDATORY ENTRY
Visit Marija's shop at FlowerMeBoutique, browse around, and leave a comment here telling us what your favorite item is!

BONUS ENTRIES
Make sure to include your email address or a way to contact you if you win!
Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

1 entry: Heart Marija's shop at FlowerMeBoutique and leave a comment here with your Etsy username.

1 entry: Follow FlowerMeBoutique on Facebook.

1 entry: If you purchase an item from FlowerMeBoutique please leave a link here.
Be sure to use Coupon Code: FLOWER15 for 15% off your purchase.

1 entry: Pin one of FlowerMeBoutique’s items on Pinterest. Post the link here.

1 entry: Post one of FlowerMeBoutique’s items on your Facebook fanpage. Post the link here.

1 entry: Follow this blog publicly using Google Friend Connect (located on the ride sidebar).
Already a follower? No problem, just let me know!

1 entry: Submit this giveaway to a linky or link-up list and leave the link here.

1 entry: Blog about this giveaway and leave a link here.

1 entry: Follow myhobbyshop on Twitter and leave a comment here with your Twitter user name.

1 entry: Tweet about this giveaway and leave a link here. You can tweet once per day and each tweet will count as another entry, just make sure you leave a separate comment for each tweet.
Win #handmade flower clip for your little princess. 
http://bit.ly/qY4MF3 #blog #giveaway Ends 8/26! RT @myhobbyshop


GUIDELINES/RULES:
Please make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry.

This giveaway will end at midnight EST on Friday, August 26th

The winner will be chosen by Random.org. I will have the winner announced by August 29th and he/she will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address. If a winner cannot be contacted, another winner will be randomly chosen.

*** If you would like me to host your next giveaway please feel free to email at myhobbyshop.etsy@gmail.com or convo me on Etsy ***

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

DIY Tutorial - Doily Pendant Lamp

Guest blog tutorial provided by Bonnie from Bonnbonn on Etsy.

This is an easy, affordable and beautiful lighting solution that was inspired by Shannon South’s gorgeous upcycled Doily Lamp.

Supplies you need:
Glue (you can also use wallpaper glue, but I found regular school glue worked fine)
Cornstarch
Doilies (10-20 depending on the size of your balloon and dollies)
Balloon or ball
Scissors
Bowl
Light fitting

Let’s get started:
First blow up a huge balloon or get your ball. Remember if you are using a ball it will be popped at the end.

Now, mix 5 oz of the school glue with 4 tbsp of the cornstarch and ¼ cup of warm water together until it’s not lumpy.

Dip one of your doilies into your bowl of glue. Squeeze out excess and lay your doily onto your balloon. Repeat with the remaining doilies, making sure to overlap each other so they will stick together.


Wait 24 hours until the glue has dried. Then pop your balloon/ball. Cut out a small area for your light fitting, unless you strategically left a small opening. Insert your light fitting and TADA! You have a lovely doily lamp that your grandma would be proud of!



Visit Bonnbonn
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bonnbonn
Blog: http://bonnbonnblog.wordpress.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/bonnbonnvintage
FB: http://www.facebook.com/bonnbonnvintage
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/bonnbonn/


*** If you would like me to publish your tutorial please feel free to email at myhobbyshop.etsy@gmail.com or convo me on Etsy. ***

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday's Favorites

Summer is almost over. Why not take a last minute trip? This is a great vintage suitcase.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/thehouseofoliver


Is her birthday in August? These are absolutely beautiful delicate earrings.


http://www.etsy.com/shop/AnnalisJewelry


Happy Shopping! Have a blessed day ♥

Monday, August 8, 2011

Top 10 Reasons You're Not Selling

Today's post is by Diana from Knotworkshop
She has a wonderful sense of humor and I just love her forum post. Hope you enjoy!




1) Etsy. It's all Etsy's fault. Yes, even though they are the reason you were ever selling, they're also the reason you're not selling now.

2) All the changes on the site. I mean come on, how are sellers, let alone buyers going to be able to keep up with all the changes? Things used to be on the left that are now on the right; pictures are now better quality; coupons codes- the list goes on. It should all just go away. When people only had three channels on tv they all watched the same shows. All this newfangled stuff... get off my lawn!

3) The weather. It's so fricking hot. Who wants to be inside in the cool air shopping on one of their ten devices from which they can access the internet? No way! They want to be outside sweating their balls off instead. Especially since Etsy keeps changing everything. It's less effort to dehydrate oneself and get heat stroke and die on the tennis court.


4) Resellers. The problem's just getting worse, eh? I know, there aren't any resellers flogging anything even remotely close to what you're selling. But still, they're taking away your business! Maybe if buyers hadn't spent their $20 on a clearly hand carved metal pocket watch, they would've spent it on your hand sewn sleeping mask! Bastards!

5) The FP and Etsy Finds repetition! God, I loathe this issue with a passion. But it needs to be addressed. All of the Etsy shoppers are buying what's on the FP every single day. Yes, the same people who would buy the set of nesting dolls would be interested in your cock rings, but because they saw those in the Finds, well, they're not interested in your shop anymore.

6) Admin. Yup, they hate your guts. Which admin? All of them. From the "admin" who change the color of the font on the pages, to the "admin" who organize the lunchroom in Brooklyn, they all know you and HATE YOU! They've all banded together to make sure no one ever sees your shop again. Even you. What you see is like the Matrix. It's a loop of your shop being shown over and over again, but not your actual shop. Your real shop is sitting in a pool full of goo, hooked up to some weird ass machines that make it think it's a real live shop on Etsy.


7) The economy. Yeah, I got nothing. The economy really does suck.

8) The new forums. All your sales used to come from people who saw you in the forum. Now that the forum is boring, you don't visit and many others don't as well. So now they don't see you and you don't see them and nobody sees each other. And then nobody buys from each other. Which is odd when you think about it, because you're here reading this thread right now. So...

9) Your photos really do suck. It's not just a rumor. When you read this don't assume, 'Oh, she doesn't mean me.' Yes. Yes I do.


10) You're not on the right treasury team. Guess what? Lots of these people still don't sell anything. So no worries there. But if you want to work your arse off making treasuries and still not sell much, oh, do be my guest. You can meet lots of great people who can give you lots of advice on how to not sell much too! Yeah, I guess this isn't really a reason you're not selling. More of a, yeah, don't bother. You aren't selling now, and you won't be selling afterwards either.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mud Volleyball 2011

Its not very often my hubby and I get to spend adult time together. This year I decided to tag along to watch him play mud volleyball along with some of his co-workers. The event was hosted by The Epilepsy Foundation of Central Ohio at Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio benefitting the programs and services of the Epilepsy Foundation.


The day started out cloudy but soon turned out to be sunny and hot. A great day to take a swim in the nice cool muddy water. Even if it was by accident!


It was great to see so many people come out for such a great cause. They had over thirty five courts of volleyball games going at one time.


Although I didn't play mud volleyball, I had a wonderful time hanging out with my husband and cheering on his team the "Mudder Fockers"!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blog Giveaway: Back to School Giveaway by aLittleCard

I am very excited to bring you this wonderful giveaway sponsored by Kristin from aLittleCard.

A little bit about Kristin:
I've always been in love with those tiny, one-of-a-kind shops where you would find little art pieces that you couldn't anywhere else. Now, I believe it should be much easier to find handmade treasures, which is why I love Etsy.
I am drawn to clean, simple styles with bold and beautiful colors, and creating a modern twist on classic patterns. I hope that my handcrafted items can bring as much cheer to you, as it does for me to create them.

Inspiration - Portland, California, NYC, hip hop, graffiti, the 70's, 80's and even the 90's, my beautiful multi-cultural family, and of course the vibrant colors that exist in nature.

About the giveaway item
I picked the following categories for the winner to choose from in my shop, as a way to say Hello to Back-To-School time.

This is a winners choice giveaway! The winner will be able to pick their choice of ONE item from any of the categories listed below:

Hair

Magnets
Cards
Party
Die-Cuts
Garland


This giveaway is open to everyone. Will ship Internationally!!






Make sure to include your email address or a way to contact you if you win!
Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

MANDATORY ENTRY
Visit Kristin's shop at aLittleCard, browse around, and leave a comment here telling us what your favorite item is!

BONUS ENTRIES
Make sure to include your email address or a way to contact you if you win!
Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

1 entry: Heart Kristin's shop at aLittleCard and leave a comment here with your Etsy username.

1 entry: Follow Kristin's blog publicly using Google Friend Connect (located on the ride sidebar) and leave a comment.

1 entry: If you purchase an item from aLittleCard please leave a link here.

1 entry: Pin one of aLittleCard’s items on Pinterest. Post the link here.

1 entry: Post one of aLittleCard’s items on your Facebook fanpage. Post the link here.

1 entry: Follow this blog publicly using Google Friend Connect (located on the ride sidebar).
Already a follower? No problem, just let me know!

1 entry: Submit this giveaway to a linky or link-up list and leave the link here.

1 entry: Blog about this giveaway and leave a link here.

1 entry: Follow myhobbyshop on Twitter and leave a comment here with your Twitter user name.

1 entry: Tweet about this giveaway and leave a link here. You can tweet once per day and each tweet will count as another entry, just make sure you leave a separate comment for each tweet.
Win #handmade items just in time for back to school!
#blog #giveaway Ends 8/12! RT @myhobbyshop http://bit.ly/okvNIj


GUIDELINES/RULES:
Please make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry.

This giveaway will end at midnight EST on Friday, August 12th

The winner will be chosen by Random.org. I will have the winner announced by August 15th and he/she will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address. If a winner cannot be contacted, another winner will be randomly chosen.


*** If you would like me to host your next giveaway please feel free to email at myhobbyshop.etsy@gmail.com or convo me on Etsy ***

Interview with AnnieDees @Etsy


Tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a mom of two children, my daughter is 10 and my son is 3. I work full time, but love to craft and have lots of different projects going on at a time. When I see something interesting, I want to make it - I think that's half the fun for me. Trying to figure out how something is made and doing it my way :)

Who or what has been most influential in your craft?
I think fashion and colors are the most influential tool I use in creating my flowers. What's hot at the moment and the colors for the seasons.


When did you know you were an artist?
I've always been this way! I took art lessons growing up and drew ever since I can remember. It's my first love. My mom sewed a lot of my clothes and we always crafted together.

How would you describe your creative process?
I throw all of my fabric out and see what jumps out at me. I research great color combos and start going at it. Some of my flowers never make it... I have bad days. My crochet creations are inspired my patterns I find and alter :)


What made you decide to start selling on etsy?
I would make things and people would always want whatever I made, so I'd make them one. Usually for free, so when I stumbled across Etsy I was thrilled! I never knew such a site existed.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
The drawings and painting I did when I was in art school. My first "real" ones when I was around the age of 10 that my mom matted and framed.


What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
Oh, no! I just moved, so it's highly minimalistic. A huge jar of pickles, half a watermelon, and a crap ton of condiments.

Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?
In my 3 year old's sandbox :)


Visit AnnieDees
Etsy: anniedees.etsy.com
**Readers use coupon code - FREESHIP - for free shipping!!
Blog: anniedees.com
Facebook: facebook.com/anniedees
Twitter: twitter.com/anniedee83
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