Friday, November 20, 2009

As Promised: The Recording of the Webinar from Handmadeology

If you are running a business on the internet and have yet to figure out how Twitter and Facebook  help to market your products, this webinar will help you to further understand how to use it for viral marketing. It will be available for only a limited amount of time so don't wait to view and listen. It's from Handmadeology University. Enjoy!

11/10 Webinar

Okay, back to resting and recuperating :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sale For You -- SALE -- Save When Using Google Checkout

Surgery yesterday went very well. This morning, I'm feeling sore but not too bad at all!!

Here's something specificlly for my Google Checkout customers. If you purchase using another source (PayPal or Amazon Payments), contact me by email (or convo on Etsy) to receive the same discount in the form of a refund.

Get $5.00 (discount) off purchases of $30.00 (cart minimum) or more before shipping and tax with Google Checkout. Limit 1 per person. Offer available November 24, 2009 -- December 17, 2009).

To use Google Checkout, visit my shop at: eCrater.

Diane  xoxoxo
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Miscellany -- Taking some time off

I'm having surgery this week so will not be blogging for a week or three.

Until then,

Diane  xoxoxo
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vintage on Thursday -- My Grandmother's Jewelry

These aren't precious, in stones anyway, but certainly are to me. Among my most kitschy items from my maternal grandmother over the years are two sets of the same beaded earrings: one in hot pink and the other in hot aqua. Both are clip on and still have the original backing. Even though these were most probably bought sometime in the late 50s, I thought they were very cool in the late 60s and wore them with my self-made shift of many colors a la Twiggy.

Then there were pins! Oh yes, what was a sweater without a pin on the lapel?? For some, the glitzier the better!

Even though this pin was a bit glitzy, it also has cream or vanilla enamel and a goldtone tree. I'm surprised that I didn't wear the gold off but then plating used to be plating and today it's like new.

Last, but truly one of my favorites -- so much so, I rarely wear it. I enjoy taking it out and looking at it. I should most probably put this in a small shadow box, but I enjoy touching it too much. That's the tactile me....

Yes, it's a pin that becomes earrings in total pave crystals. My pictures do not do these pieces justice but I hope you can see and appreciate their beauty if you're a vintage lover.

More tomorrow,

Diane  xoxoxo
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What is New Wednesday? Holiday Season Forecast for Etsy, etc.

Today's article is going to be a bit short. It does look like there's some good news out there for Etsians. Today's "e-Marketing News" carries an article entitled "eBay and Etsy Will Be Popular Destinations This Holiday Shopping Season". The final paragraph is particularly hopeful:
Etsy, a source for handmade items, will also attract affluent shoppers. “Some of the better items on Etsy are really high quality and speak to the same values of craftsmanship and creativity that people usually look for in a luxury good,” Hader said. Etsy, founded in 2005, has more than doubled the value of goods sold on its site to $17.7 million in October 2009, up from $8.4 million a year earlier.
KenziePoo, a very adorable blog about "everything baby", is having a giveaway. To see what is required to enter, check yesterday's article out, "Etsy Giveaway: Bird in Flight".

More tomorrow,

Diane  xoxoxo
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Tools -- Great HMU Webinar & A "Breaking Down Your Costs" Worksheet

I attended Tim Adam's webinar this evening sponsored by Handmadeology University. The webinar focused on the changes occurring on Facebook and Twitter and how each can be applied to help focus on marketing. I believe the transcript should be available to us in the next few days. If it is free, I will share the link when it is ready.

Facebook's interface has changed in the past couple of weeks and for some (including me at first) it seems like it's more confusing than ever to figure out. There's now a "Live Feed" feature which I've found needs to be selected to see your friends' latest postings. What is exciting is the new Lists feature. Select "More" under the list of "stuff" on the lefthand side of the screen and one of the links is the ability to make a new list. One can separate out family from friends from fan pages and set up multiple lists from the "friends" list organized just the way that works for you. Depending on how large your friends' list is, it can take a bit to set up each list but I believe it is worth it.

Twitter now has lists too. Do you find it confusing to use the interface and figure out what you are ready and from whom? Don't feel alone! At times I'm bewildered too. In Twitter, I'm still working out an understanding of the Lists feature. I've used it to set up a couple of lists but until I figure out what it does for me, I won't bore you with how to set it up. What is really cool in Twitter is that there is currently a beta going on to add Retweet to the Reply and Trash selections next to each tweet. I'm fortunate to have been selected to use this beta and if you have,  I hope you experiment with it and send feedback on what you find.

There is more but I'm a bit tired this evening. I will tell you there's something terrific being developed by Tim that should be announced within the next few days. I will announce it on Twitter and my Facebook Fan Page. So if you're not following me or would rather subscribe as a fan, please do so you don't miss the news!

Finally the really super tool I found this week so far is an excel worksheet provided free by NoadiArt who writes "The Handmade Business Blog". Her article today, "Breaking Down the Costs", includes all the math to figure these important numbers out. Don't let that scare you away, however, because she includes a very cool spreadsheet template and if you don't own excel or know any spreadsheet programs, you can still use it. It is available on Google Docs which is available free to everyone. If you don't have a Google account, set one up. There are some really good tools for everyone. Use what you find to work for you and disregard the rest.

Have you found a tool you can't live without that helps you in your personal and/or  business life? If so, please share it with me in the comments below. If you've developed a tool you believe others should know about, write me too. I may feature you in a future Tuesday Tools article.

More tomorrow,

Diane xoxoxo
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Miscellany -- Update & Pix of My GrandBaby

He is just about 6 weeks old and a handsome boy (I'm not partial or anything...) so I thought I would share a couple of photos with you:

This sure looks like a smile!

My DIL's kitty seems to want to have a diaper change too!!

Luv dem sweet feets!!!

Last week, a DVD I reserved arrived at my library. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Season 1, is very enjoyable. It is a series on HBO starring Jill Scott (the poet, singer -- love both and own books and CDs) and is located in Botswana, a small country in the southern part of Africa. If you have not viewed this series, I recommend it.

With the economy still struggling to recover, if you don't already use your local library facilities to check out books, music, videos, etc., I also suggest you check into it. A library card is still free as are the checkouts -- the very best value that I know of for quality entertainment. Many may already know but if you live outside of a city and can only check out in a county or parish library, check other close community libraries and the availability of a library card free from them also. Many local libraries have reciprocal agreements between them. For example, I live in Pierce County and have a card for this system here but I also have a free card from the King County library system which allows me to check out material at any of their libraries as well.

That way if I find something of interest not available here, I can search it, reserve it and check it out from the neighboring system. Hope this helps someone save some money and still have an almost unlimited entertainment budget for movies, music, television shows and reading.

Hope this note finds you having a marvelous Monday!

Diane xoxoxo
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Fab Friday -- SewZanne's Fabrics

I was visiting Jo-Ann Fabrics yesterday looking at the flannel on sale, thinking of a gift to make for my daughter-in-law for Christmas. I found the cutest, ugliest, most perfect fabric to make her a custom quillow (I shared the tutorial for these in a previous article). Because I'm teaching myself to digitize embroidery patterns and don't own an embroidery machine, I wandered over to the sewing machine area and began browsing. As I looked at the prices, I realized for me and my budget, owning any one of these beauties is currently a mere dream. Ahh, if there were only layaway at Jo-Ann!! It is probably a good thing for most of us that there isn't .

The manager of that area of the store was in and we introduced ourselves and began talking. I still have and use my now vintage Singer Futura I purchased new in the early 1970s (pictures to be shared on a Vintage Thursday article soon). My serger is a Singer. I learned on a Singer. So throughout the past 40 or so years, I have become very partial to Singer machines. The manager, Diane (like me), showed me the CE150 which is very reasonably priced and exactly what I wish I could buy at the moment.

I shared that I design cross stitch, quilt and other types of patterns and have shops on both Etsy and eCrater, as well as that I'm learning to digitize. It lead to sharing our websites, blogs and the like. I explored the samples Diane had on hand and she showed me a very cute Japanese Origami style tissue holder she made. The pattern came from SewZanne's Fabrics website. It can be made with a mere fat quarter and I know I will try it soon.

When I arrived home, after a rest, I found SewZanne's website and besides some really great craft tutorials, I found the most interesting and fun interlock I've seen in years and it is very reasonably priced. The graphics here are but a few of the samples.

I still have my original Stretch & Sew t-shirt pattern and can't wait until I can afford to buy a few of these and make some new shirts. At least I hope I can before they are sold out.

I couldn't resist sharing SewZanne's site with you. Aren't these fun? Just the right mix of cutesy with smart aleck/sarcasm to make me grin and chuckle. Have a great Friday evening. I sure hope I can equal or top these finds next Friday!!!

More on Monday,

Diane xoxoxo
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Vintage on Thursday -- My Custom Prom Dress (1967)

I was fortunate to have both a mother and grandmother who sewed. My grandmother could make anything from a drawing and loved to sew. So each early Spring while I was in high school, she would ask me what ball gown or prom dress I wanted. I drew up a picture of exactly what I wanted, told her the colors and a couple of weeks later, I had a custom made, fully lined gown for my special occasion. I wish I had kept copies of the drawings but I have no idea what happened to them and many of the gowns disappeared through the years. I had younger sisters -- enough said?

This dress is the only one I've kept and moved with me through each stage of life. My bust and waistlines are too big to wear it and even if I could reduce my waist enough to fit, the bust part would still be a problem. Here is a photo of me in 1967 wearing the formal:

 Don't you just love the short mod hairstyle and cat-eye glasses? Here is the dress today, in much the same condition as when I first wore it:

and here's the back view:

complete with  big bow and chiffon train. The peau de soie is a deep blue with emerald green threads running through. The embossing which is done in the weave is roses as you can see here.

The same chiffon used for the train embellishes the three-quarter sleeves.

The bow is large and snaps across the back to cover the zipper after it is closed.

As you can see at the neckline, the dress is lined. If you've been around as long as me, I hope this bring back good memories of the mid to late 1960s that you may have and I hope you share yours in the comments below.

A couple of times I thought I might sell this dress but each time I put it back into the closet. Maybe one day I will have a grand-daughter and the style will have returned. However, I won't hold my breath while waiting .

More of my vintage next Thursday (I seem to own more than I originally thought). When I love something and enjoy it, I take care and keep it for as long as possible.

More tomorrow,

Diane xoxoxo
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What is NEW Wednesday?

I found a new blog dedicated to Etsy sellers and products today and wondered how many more there are out there. Since Google is our friend, I decided to search "@etsy" to see what I could find. The blog that piqued my interest and curiosity is Eyes on Etsy. Each day Cameron features various products on Etsy according to theme, much like a Treasury (if you're familiar  -- if not, visit Etsy at the link above and select the "Treasury" link at the lower left hand part of the page).

Now to the "googly" results :)

Not so new but interesting and fun for those who are planning a unique, distinctive wedding or just love to browse and enjoy all the aspects of a well put together, non-kitschy celebration of commitment, Etsy Wedding, has taken the time to select some of the best of the real, funny and brazen pieces parts to make your or someone else's wedding as original as it should be.

Etsy-Love is another nice looking blog with the writer's favorites featured. Posts are indexed by subject matter so it is easy to find exactly those type of items you want to view. Contact is made easy with a fill in form.

Vegan Etsy features those items which fit the strict guidelines vegans look for when shopping. The blog is colorful and full of information to educate us non-vegans. The writers are all members of Team Etsy Vegan.

There are a lot of blogs dedicated to Etsy following one subject or another. I will feature a few more next Wednesday. If you visit any of these writers, please leave a comment letting them know you've visited and what you like best as well and, if you don't mind, let them know where you found the link to their blog.

Tomorrow I will begin a weekly sharing of some of my vintage which I love and maybe some vintage finds from Etsy and eCrater. Until then, have a great evening and sleep well.

Blessings & More,
Diane xoxoxo
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