Friday, August 28, 2009

Tag, You're It Blog Award

My friend Sandie of ZaftigDelights was gifted with a blog award, and tagged me as one of the next 10 to receive it. Each person tagged is invited to give 10 facts about themselves and tag 10 other bloggers. I loved what Sandie wrote about herself in her blog and thought it would be fun to participate. So here goes:

1. I'm a second generation Italian American. My mom was born in the US, but dad was born in Italy. I grew up with Italian spoken all around me, but unfortunately only a few choice words stuck.

2. My husband and I met in a bar. Upon seeing me struggling with broken beads on my hat, his first words to me were, "May I be of some assistance?" He asked if he could follow me home, and it must have been fate that I didn't lose him after the red lights I ran to get rid of him. As they say, the rest is history.

3. I'm a founder and president of a 501c3 organization called the Natural Fibers Group. It's a specialized guild dedicated to preserving the tradition of collecting, processing and using natural plant fibers in basketry and art. We have members from all over the US and Canada who join to receive our newsletter and share information.

4. I was not raised with an appreciation for nature and the universe. I credit my husband for opening my eyes. Now we live on a secluded 75 acre property, surrounded by Weyerhaeuser forest land. Lots of wildlife around, including deer, bear, bobcat, coyote and fox.

5. In another life, long long ago, I worked at one time or another for the FBI as a fingerprint technician, the IRS in Internal Security, and ATF as a firearms tracer. Blaahhh.

6. As a kid, I drew very detailed pictures of pirate cats and dinosaur skeletons. I dreamed of going to Africa, finding buried treasure, and becoming a paleontologist.

7. My favorite film genre involves SUSPENSE! Dramas, mysteries, horror, adventures all qualify. Not to say that I don't appreciate other good movies.

8. At one time I owned my own landscape design business, specializing in blueprint design and consultation. It was a lot of fun working with clients, designing for them, and seeing the transformation when the work was completed by contractors. Working for myself was the best job I ever had-- loved my boss!

9. I used to be a 3-4 pack a day chain smoker. Happily, that habit stopped long ago.

10. When we lived in a suburban area, I used to play tennis every day. Back then I had a pretty powerful serve and a zinger of a forehand. What wonderful, fun exercise it was!

Well, there you go, 10 factual tidbits, for what they are worth. And now I'll pass this task, er, I mean award on to 10 other blog owners, to act upon or not, as they see fit!

Bahar Collection
Crazy Daisies Designs
Beautiful Bridget Designs
Kims Crafty Apple
Beadstylin's Random Musings
Sweet Surrender Blog
Mermaid Treasures
Amanda Yu Design
Lama Works

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Win These Earrings!

The Etsy Treasury Team is sponsoring a giveaway featuring these lovely sterling earrings from StrandsofLight! Go to the Treasury Team Blog and enter 5 times for 5 chances to win- it's easy!

Thanks to webmistress, Sandie, of ZaftigDelights and KnitzyBlonde, for doing such a great job with these monthly give-aways!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Won George!

Lucky me! I love give-aways, and this one was sponsored by the great Etsy team, HandmadeMN, through their blog. They have fabulous shops in their team, and great weekly give-aways!

I won this adorable little guy named George, artfully needle felted by Denise of the Eyes of Time blog! Do check out her blog for more great creations. She is one talented lady!

Hopefully soon she'll be adding her amazing fiber work to her Etsy shop, Stars Apon Thars, which features very cool repurposed goods.

Thank you so much Denise, and thanks to HandmadeMN too! Below are some wonderful items from Denise's shop.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Shop Critique Tips- Watermarks and 2D Wall Art

My intention was to leave in the middle of HeyMichelle's shop critique and grab a treasury, but it wasn't to be. Instead, I was once again transfixed on the savvy marketing advice that can be so crucial to Etsy selling success. Three points stood out enough that I wrote them down.

Between actual shop critiques, Michelle actually told one seller quite strongly: Take those watermarks out of your pictures! They lower your chance to be featured and it's a turn off to customers. Remove them all together or move them to the bottom where they can barely be seen.

The next point is related to the above. One of the critiqued shops had beautiful jewelry with her shop name displayed in almost every photo. Michelle said to take the shop name out, you don't need text in the photos.

In one of the last critiques a 2D artist was featured. Some of the work was shown framed. Michelle said she liked this because it gives a buyer an idea of what it will look like hanging on their wall. She added that personally, she likes framed work for the gift guides because it shows better and sells better. She qualified that by adding that it may not be as important in the searches.

I take these tips pretty seriously, as Etsy admin obviously has information/stats and insight that the average Etsy seller doesn't have. Sometimes it takes some ego adjustment and a willingness to try something different to change the way we do things. I know it did for me. Whether you agree or disagree with Etsy's ideal of how to present your work, the point is that those who take the advice and run with it have a better chance for more success.

Please visit the Etsy Virtual Labs for great discussion. They usually have shop critiques once a week. They are well worth the time!