How To Make a Visual Marketing Plan For Your Etsy Shop And Have Fun Doing It

I needed help with my Internet marketing plan.  I read and studied about how to market myself on the internet, but it was still confusing to my little dyslectic mind. So, I came up with my own visual aid which I am sharing with you here because I am sure it can help you too. The plan was easy to make and doing it like this made it fun too.So, I came up with my own visual aid which I am sharing with you here because I am sure it can help you too. The plan was easy to make and doing it like this made it fun too. This was because of two reasons. One was that I was pretty sure of the idea of my activity and what I was expecting out of it. The second reason was that I could get all the technological and innovative support I want from Fintech LTD, the most trusted marketing partner in the business.

Visual marketing

Visual marketing
Etsy.com: In the center I drew my main marketing goal.  Of course, my main goal is the same one that many of you have: to drive traffic to my Etsy Store. Then, just like spokes on a wheel, I drew the sites that I have set up to drive traffic to my Etsy store around the perimeter. Let me list some of these for you and explain why I choose these sites:

Brendasalzano.com: 
This is my web site.  My son told me I needed a site as a headquarters” to bring together all my other sites.  I think he was getting tired of seeing my emails with this long list of sites under my signature every day and I figured he may not be the only one. So I purchased the domain name brendasalzano.com and set the site up thru Yahoo Small Business. Yahoo Small Business hosting costs $35 dollars every 6 months. I understand that there are other choices (see below!), but this was and an easy way to get started.  It is my contact site and the main page has links to every site I am on. NOTE: this site shows arrows going out to all the other sites.  Some show a pointer back to it also.  A good link is to eventually have pointers on both ends of each line, showing that I link to and from each site.

Cafe Press: 
Cafe press is a site where you can upload your own photo’s and the company puts them on all kinds of products.  Clothing, cups, dog shirts, computer pads, etc. If Cafe Press sells something with your content on it, they send you a commission. I have set up my marketing plan so that Cafe Press links to my Etsy store, but my Etsy store does not link to Cafe Press. I’m happy to make commissions from Cafe Press but my main goal is to encourage people to buy from me at Etsy.
Visual marketing
JAVA the MUTT a design by Tirzah Bauer My daughter

Image Kind:
 Image Kind is a marketplace that is run by Cafe Press.  Whereas Cafe Press sells products, Image Kind sells framed artwork. They do all the work, and you get a percentage of each sale.  As you’ve probably guessed, I have set up a link from my Image Kind site to my Etsy store, but not from my Etsy store to Image Kind.  It does link to brendasalzano.com though, and back.  I hope you see what I am doing on my visual marketing plan now?

Salzono’s Creative Art Blog
 and Adapting Today: I have two blogs.  A blog about Handmade Fashion and New Artists, and a blog about saving money in today’s up and down economy.  These two blogs have become great places for me to express myself and are places where customers can get to know me. I have gotten a lot out of writing them!  As you look over my marketing plan, you will see a lot of arrows to and from these blogs.

Facebook:
 Facebook has two types of pages you can make good use of, your regular Facebook page and the Facebook Fan Page. In my diagram I put these as one. When you go to Facebook page there is a link that connects right to my Facebook Fan Page.  Having a Fan Page enables you to separate your personal content from your business content. Again, notice my arrows from Facebook to other sites, especially to Etsy.
Visual marketing
Twitter: So far not anyone else on my Etsy Street Team are as “into” tweets, as I am.  It does not fit every lifestyle or person.  I love it.  Go to Tiwtter, say your peace, and leave.  Some who like to have a two way conversation are not that pleased with it.  I do occasionally strike up a small conversation, but it is normally one or two posts at most.  I read the news, make some comments of things of interest, and am off.  I do this a couple times a day.  The main link here is to my Etsy store.  You get only one, unless you put a back ground on your profile page with other links.  I like just the one link.  Otherwise links to other sites are updated when I comment on things.  I use twitter to tell everyone when a new blog post is up or Squidoo post, or a new listing is up over on Etsy.  Twitter has led me to have some regular customers!  I just hit 1,000 plus followers this year!

Flickr
Flickr is a great place to keep your favorite photos.  Soon, I needed to upgrade!  The basic account is free.  But I found I wanted more categories, and the ability to put all the photos I wanted up.  I was able to get a photo on a major publication when Portland’s tourist agency saw a photo of mine they wanted to use.  No payment, but I received my name and link on every brochure published in 2008!  The key to networking here is to join lots of “groups”.  I have about 20 groups that I can upload a photo of what is new for me, and this gets more traffic to my Flickr profile which in turn leads to my link to Etsy or my domain site.  Interlinking arrows!
Squidoo: Squidoo is a great site for writing articles.  They call them “lenses” at Squidoo.  Every “lens” is a article about anything you want.  It can be a how to do something, or just a interesting story.  You are able to put up photos, and links.  Then,  by linking from Amazon books, you can receive small percentage of income from any sales.  If you wrote about homesteading in Alaska, then you link to Amazon books about that subject.  I did.  I made $5.00 in February from sale of those books on Amazon.  You can see my arrows from and too Squidoo.  Linking each article I have made, back to Etsy.
To see my old marketing plan and updated article of how far I have come visit http://www.squidoo.com/Working-at-Home-11
I will not go into all the area’s on my marketing plan but just wanted you to see how much this mapping could help you keep on track and keep learning.  I see how I need to link back on some of my destinations, and keep networking.
What’s my payoff been for all this effort?  I am up 400% in traffic to my Etsy store from 2 yrs ago!  I am not up to where I need to be in  sales yet, but I know I will be! We can always keep learning and growing.  We never know it all, or have no room for improving.  And, networking with others, and other sites, is the key to a quality growth as long as we keep honesty, hard work, quality and kindness to others at the top of our lists.
If you have any questions about my map and doing one for yourself, please email me!  I would love to help you if I can.

Blog Spark : Kind Over Matter

Tell us a little about the both of you!

Amanda:  Well, I’m one half of the Kind Over Matter team & I live in western Pennsylvania, where I am a mama to my 2.5 year old son Zenin & we have another little light soon to make his appearance. I am a crafter, poet, lover & run Pretty Messes & verve bath press , a micro-press that publishes handmade chapbooks. I am the author of several of poetry chapbooks including love notes & bloodlines. You can connect with me through other social media outlets here but Facebook is the best place to find me.

Well, there would be enough explanations and experiences that you would get to hear from many traders about their trading journey. But for you it would be your first trial that would make you realise and understand all these because it is this trading with the crypto code that would give you the real hand on trading.

Jenn: I’m the other half of our dynamic duo, I live in northern Virginia & work for a non-profit in DC doing all things social media & multimedia related. I’m a photographer & writer, alternating between telling stories with photographs & words, I like help people find the positive in the neutral or negative. Yoga, chai lattes & sunshine make my heart go pitty-pat & I think snuggles from my kitten make the world go ‘round. The best places to find me are Facebook or Flickr .

How did you become interested in the handmade scene?

Amanda:  For as long as I can remember there has always been handmade goodness surrounding me, be it by my mom or grandmothers.  All of them have been involved in crocheting, cake decorating, ceramics, jewelry-making, sewing, knitting, gardening, so I guess it was the next natural step for me.  When I joined Etsy in 2006 I never looked back.  I love everything about the handmade scene, the community, the quality of goods, all of it.

Jenn: I found Etsy…. I think through Amanda & I just fell in love with it. I really like supporting independent artists, I like that pretty much everything on Etsy is handmade, everything is so unique.

Why did you start blogging?

Amanda:  I’ve been blogging for years, via Livejournal & then blogger as a personal outlet, a way to express myself & connect with like-minded individuals.  Kind Over Matter was something that Jenn & I hardly planned out.  I had made some printable cards for Card Drops to put in my shop, passed them along to Jenn & she suggested we started a Flickr Pool — & then that blossomed into a blog very quickly.  The response has been so totally amazing & we are so grateful for our readers, their comments & encouragement!   Working with Jenn has been so, so awesome too, I can’t think of anyone else that I’d rather work with on Kind Over Matter – we just click so well, very fluid & lax, we are very lucky!!!  Blogging is all about connection & finding & providing inspiration for me.

Jenn: Hahahaha. All of my friends had blogs in college & I started blogging because it looked like so much fun! One thing led to another and I started a journal on Livejournal, had one for years, & then moved to Blogger not that long ago. I really like using blogs because it lets me connect with people that I would never have met otherwise, I like sharing parts of my story to let people know that they aren’t alone in this wonderful messy life.

Where does your inspiration come from when writing articles?

Other artists, creatives & bloggers.  Kind Over Matter is very image heavy & we often feature artwork that is positive & uplifting, blogs, projects, products that we come across that push us to live better or make us Feel Good.

Who taught you or how did you learn the technical (design, setup, etc) side to blogging?

Amanda:  I’m a self-taught blogger.  My dad does web design on the side & I’ve had a few friends that have tinkered in it, so I’ve had some influence from them but mostly I’ve taught myself how to maneuver html, etc.  Same goes for graphic design, many hours spent learning Photoshop, which I adore!  I am by no means an expert though & I am learning new things all the time.

Jenn:  I’ve taken some classes here & there — HTML, Photoshop, things like that, but mostly, I taught myself how to do things. There were (so!) many happy accidents along the way with layouts & such, I poured over HTML tutorials & when all else failed, I peppered my friends with questions, & because they love me, they helped me tidy stuff up. Oh, how they love me.

How did you build a community around your blog?

It’s challenging to build a community, it’s hard when you’re just starting out. We spent a lot of time basically putting ourselves, this blog, this concept, out there – through Twitter, Facebook, Etsy, connecting with other bloggers, doing collab projects. When people e-mailed us, we e-mailed them back, if they left comments, we’d respond, we put our faces & names so readers would see that we’re real. We made things personal & intimate, I think, & that’s really the only way I know how to make a community. You have to be open & be willing to be open.

Any specific tips you have for newbie handmade bloggers who want to use their blog to grow their handmade business?

I think updating daily, maybe even numerous times a day is something that helps a lot.  Find blogs/bloggers that are focusing on the same thing you are & connect with them, you can do that by joining an Etsy Team too.  Read & comment on other blogs.  Offer tutorials, freebies, giveaways, make it FUN! Just be you, you can’t go wrong when you do that. Oh, Oh!  Patience is key, don’t give up & don’t be afraid to change or go in a different direction when something isn’t working for you.

Name three websites you couldn’t live without.

Facebook, Flickr & Etsy

What are your three favorite Etsy shops and why?

Amanda:  What a TOUGH question, I have so many!!!  Jessica Swift’s Shop – her artwork is such a huge inspiration to me.  |  Toadstool Soaps Cheryl has been my soap dealer for years, you must try her Pink Candy & Sugar Cookie soaps, YUM!   |   Hydra Heart – I’ve been dying for a pair of her Keyhole Flats for ages, someday!

Jenn: Ooooh, so hard to choose. Definitely vol25 – I love Jess’ art, it’s so pretty. Lunasa Designs – Rebekah’s jewelry is simply amazing! & Jennifer Morris Photo – her photographs are so whimsical & light, they all make me swoon!

Where do you see your blog in ten years?

Ummm, well, we know it will still be on the internet?! Hahaha!! No, really, hopefully blogs will still be around & inspiring people.  A decade is a really long time in blog years though, so we’ll see what becomes of Kind Over Matter, hopefully it will grow over the years, it could morph into some completely different, who knows!  We really haven’t thought that far ahead but we like to Dream Big – so watch out!

Etsy Vintage Shop Owner Interview : Dear Golden

I came across ‘Dear Golden’ when she were featured in a Treasury on the front page of Etsy.  I am always looking for vintage shop owners due to my endless search for vintage embellishments for Amelie Jo.  ‘Dear Golden’ is a revelation in the world of vintage clothing. Shop owner, Lauren’s choices are unique and pristine, and oh, so chic – definitely not your average thrift store finds.

golden vintage

Tell the world something about your self and what you do in life?

Vintage shop owner.

What current entrepreneurial efforts consume your time?

Acquiring great vintage and all the selling it entails, which is more than I ever would have anticipated.

Running my vintage shop, Dear Golden pretty much consumes all of my time. It’s the hardest I have ever worked but it’s the happiest hard work working for oneself!.

One of the best characteristics of The BitCoin Code is that it doesn’t require any download. It works on any operating system such as Mac, Windows, Android and iOS. Investors can use the software on any device as long as it is connected to the internet.

 

This guarantees the most important personal benefits of trading which are termed as the privacy of a trader. With the feature mentioned here, one can freely choose to work from home and possibly earn a monthly income. Moreover, this is a chance to teach the mature new generation how to make maximum out of your leisure time.

How To Get Started?

There is a 3 step procedure that investors must follow in order to get started with The BitCoin Code. Traders must first complete the free sign up form that is available on the official webpage of the developer. They will then be assigned a broker with whom they will have to create a trading account. The initial amount that must be deposited is $250. But it is up to the trader how much they want to invest. Basically, the more they deposit, the more they will be able to earn.

Why do you do what you do? What inspires you? When do you get most excited?

I have always loved vintage clothing, ever since I was in high school, studying them historically always inspires me and I get the most excited walking into an estate sale that has a lot of vintage, it’s such a rush.

What is the last thing that made you belly laugh?

Some episode of 30 Rock I am sure.

Have you ever been in business before?

No.

At what point do you consider yourself successful?

I think I am constantly evaluating that. Some days I feel successful, some days I feel I am “in the weeds” and there are also days I worry about having to work a desk/office job again, blargh.

Where do you do your best thinking?

Probably right before I fall asleep. I am always getting up and jotting things/ideas down.

What does your average daily work / life balance look like? How much time do you work, play and sleep?

Admittingly, I work too much and am still trying to find a balance, it’s hard to stop working when you work for yourself and even more so when your work is in your home. I get enough sleep though, 7-8 hours! I also take at least one whole day off, which is sometimes quite hard to do, but then I look forward to the day after when I can work again!

If I could introduce you to anyone, who would it be?

Maybe Bjork, I’d just like to listen to her talk.

What stops you from giving up when you are frustrated?

Gotta work! Can’t not work!

The system provides all the help in terms of complex analysis and future trends.

People want to invest in such a way that their principle amount remains safe and the interest and income come back to them regularly. Usually people save for specific purposes, like kid’s education, medical emergencies and then retirement. There are many instances that people invest in only one scheme hoping for it to do well and that may not work out, losing all their money in the process.

Diversification is the name of the game. One must invest their precious hard earned money, in multiple possible avenues. These may include, bonds, deposits and retirement funds, or insurance and real estate and gold etc. Once these eggs are put in different baskets and are safe then you can start stock trading with some of your money. Start slowly and check every online trading portal for a safe program.

Bitcoin Loophole, is a trading program that is becoming popular for all the right reasons. This is one program that gives maximum advantage on minimum investment and keeps your money as secure as possible. Though the prices of Bitcoins keep fluctuating due to other factors and events in the world but with the sophisticated technology used by the robot it is possible to beat all the odds and inflation easily.

This uses the latest, cutting edge tools to ensure that profits keep accruing, every single day. Bitcoins and other currencies are anyway more coveted than gold and real estate now as their monetary value is continuously increasing. You can start trading even with the smallest amount of 250 Dollars. There is no upper limit however. There is only one limit in the program and that is how many people can be allotted the slot for trading every day. Once you register on the website then you may get the invitation to join, and if you miss that then you will have to wait till you get another chance to join it as a trader.

The system provides all the help in terms of complex analysis and future trends. It also has the automated system in place, that helps people to continue to trade even when they are not able to log into the account or have time to trade themselves. All this is done according to the choices made by you and the robot follows your parameters. We can see that this is a good opportunity very different from the other traditional saving methods. If you see the website and are comfortable with the process, then this can be a golden egg for you.

Blog Spark : Design For Mankind

Erin Loechner’s design blog Design For Mankind is honored as one of the top 50 design blogs in the world.   Take a look at what Erin has to say about her blog, how she got started, and tips for successful blogging.

Trading is not just the bookish knowledge that a person gets from the various read-outs and blogs. He also needs to be a little smart and use his common sense in planning his moves. A Review at top10binarysignals.com would explain this clearly. A trader also needs to use some simple tricks and tips in bringing success to his trades.

Tell us a little about yourself.
Let’s see. I’m originally from a small town in Indiana, then moved to Los Angeles shortly after graduating university. Six years later and I’m back in Indiana, living close to my family. I’m a family girl all the way!

Other than that, I love pickles, cheese and coffee (not necessarily together) and read anything I can get my hands on. Total bookworm.

How did you become interested in design/decorating?
I’ve always been verrrry into decorating, but never really surrounded myself with the right community to foster that sort of love. This sounds crazy, but I always considered home design to be more vanity than anything else — why does it matter how your home looks? But the more I study it, the more I realize that it makes a tremendous impact on your life –when your space is clean, organized and surrounded by items you love, you’re happier.

So, to answer your question, I’m sort of a self-taught design junkie. I know what I love (which is a LOT of different styles!), and simply like to share those things. I consider my love for design as less of a curator/writer and more of a design ambassador — shouting to the rooftops about good design, with plenty of enthusiasm!

Why did you start blogging?
I think the same reason most people started blogging — I needed the creative stimulation, a way to categorize my finds and an outlet in which to explore my community.

Where does your inspiration come from when writing articles?
Oh gracious, everywhere. I wrote an article last week about chalkboard paint b/c I ran into an old elementary school teacher of mine. I think as a writer, it’s key to keep your brain open and present at all times. You really never know what you’re going to fall into.

rita’s wooden living room

rita’s wooden living room

Who taught you or how did you learn the technical (design, setup, etc) side to blogging?
Oh, I’m fairly blogging illiterate. I taught myself Blogger in like 2003 or something (I’ve always kept a personal blog for as long as I can remember) and then sort of learned as I went. When it came time to change servers due to traffic issues, I switched to WordPress w/ the help of a fantastic programmer (Hi, Rob!).

How did you build a community around your blog ?
I really threw myself into my blog at the beginning — commenting, making friends, building content. I released a monthly magazine that turned out to be pretty successful, and I think a lot of my readers stuck around because of my dedication to sharing design.

I think it always helps to infuse personality into your blog. To this date, the posts that gain the most traffic are ones where I’m a bit more vulnerable and/or personal than the others. Sure, it’s a design blog, but essentially, readers are there to sneak a peek at someone else’s perspective. Never be afraid of your perspective.

Any specific tips you have for newbie bloggers who want to make it in the blogosphere?
I think blogging is such a saturated market these days that you really have to stand out to make it work. Spend some time thinking about what you’re bringing to the table, what you’ll do differently and perhaps even establish an editorial calendar that works for you. Of course, you can’t take blogging too seriously, but it does help to approach your work with some level of commitment.

Name three websites you couldn’t live without.
Oooh, I’ll always be a die-hard fan of flickr.com, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say gmail was my saving grace. Beyond that, I love my friend Jeff’s website, Booooooom.com (he’s got an eye for all things awesome) and I can’t live without KIOSK, my favorite New York shop’s site.

ana kras’ hive lamp

ana kras’ hive lamp

What are your three favorite Etsy shops and why?
Hmm, I don’t shop Etsy a lot (I’m not much of a spender!) but I do love visiting and seeing new work from my e-friends: The Small Object, Thief and Bandit and NinaInvorm.

Where do yo use your blog in ten years?
Oh, dear — I have no idea. Will blogging even be around in ten years? I hope so. Regardless, I always like to think of my blog as a catalyst for other opportunities. I’d love to finally publish my book, or perhaps re-release Mankind Mag in some form. I have a lot of various dreams, but the best part of them is that they sort of revolve around my blog in some fashion. I have so, so much to thank for Design For Mankind and the readers that support the site.

Finding your Spark : Product Photography – Making a Lightbox

*Photography by Nay of Moonangelnay on Etsy*

OK!  The big one that I know some of you have been waiting for!  “How to Make a Lightbox”.  It’s really not as tough as it may seem and literally only requires a few materials that I’m sure most of you can find in your recycling!

What exactly IS a Lightbox? – Well for those of you that have tried out the natural lighting route (see: http://handmadespark.com/blog/finding-your-spark-product-photography-lighting/) and have failed miserably, or maybe really struggling to go without a flash as there is no suitable indoor source of daylight for you, a lightbox may be the thing that solves all of your problems.  This handy contraption allows you to control all the elements of your pictures like lighting, heavy shadows, detailing etc with a reliable and CONSISTENT source of artificial light.  One that won’t change if you use the same placement every time!

You will need to have two or three lamps at hand as your light source! So make sure you have those to hand with good bright bulbs fitted, and they will shine through your box beautifully.

However, your light source will play an important role in the outcome from your lightbox. You can use flashes, photo lights, or regular desk/table lamps. Halogen bulbs are a cheap option and it allows easy correction with the white balance but your pictures will initially look yellow. Alternatively, you can choose LED or CFL bulbs but colour correction with white balance is not possible. Additionally, positioning of the light source, either on the top of the box or on the sides, will alter the overall lighting effect. Thus, remember to check it out once you have decided on your light source.

The box itself will lie on it’s side, with three thinly covered openings at the sides and top to allow the lamp light into the box from the outside, the coverings “diffusing the light” along the way (the coverings will takes away the harshness).  One lamp to each of the covered “diffusing” sections is what to aim for  but if you only have 2 lamps or even just the 1, then experiment with each opening to see which angle suits your items and camera best!

The device?  is a cardboard box… yes… a carboard box.  You can go and by a proper lightbox if you so wish, but there really isn’t any need and you could save yourself a  load of money by  just making one.

light box1*example photo by Upton on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/50972268@N00/813882311

You will need to have two or three lamps at hand as your light source!  So make sure you have those to hand with good bright bulbs fitted, and they will shine through your box beautifully.

The box itself will lie on it’s side, with three thinly covered openings at the sides and top to allow the lamp light into the box from the outside, the coverings “diffusing the light” along the way (the coverings will takes away the harshness).  One lamp to each of the covered “diffusing” sections is what to aim for  but if you only have 2 lamps or even just the 1, then experiment with each opening to see which angle suits your items and camera best!

The coverings themselves can be white tissue paper, or thin white paper, parchment, tracing paper… maybe even mesh?  Whatever you have available that will let in and soften the light from your lamps will suffice.  And why let it be white?  If you’re not interested in having a squeaky clean lightbox, then why not experiment with other colored pieces of tissue paper?  Cover just one panel in this color and the others in white, and then see how the dynamics of the environment change!  It could make jewelry photos a lot more interesting!

The inside of your box will need a large piece of white paper or card, stuck to the back and at the bottom “without” a central fold so no “lines” show up, but will need to have a flat surface at the bottom so your items can sit there without sliding down the page!  This will make up the main background of your photographs.

Obviously the main opening is for you to view whatever you place inside.  The above picture is a great example of a lightbox and shows clearly how easy it is to create one without spending a fortune.  Or anything at all if you’re lucky!

Using Your Lightbox – With a bit of experimenting and also possibly making use of a photo program (not always but it can help if you are still struggling) you will eventually get exactly what you want to achieve with your product photography using this method, to help achieve the perfect photo.  Those without a DSLR may find “flash use” on their cameras helpful or another light source that brightens inside the box without targeting your item.  A flash would also need to be diffused (cover it with some spare tissue paper!) to minimise glare.  Those with DSLR’s will want to treat this setting like daylight (no flash) which means a low ISO (400 and below ideally), tripod/beanbag/book resting your camera to keep it still, and playing around with your aperture/Av(or Ev) settings to get the right “whiteness” to the background that you want.  Or you can use trial and error with your pop flash / speed lights to see what happens.  Once again it’s going to be different where ever you place your lightbox in your home due to the surrounding light, but with some patience in your trial and error you’ll get it right for you.

Best of luck!  Happy snapping:)

Cool Handmade Carrying Cases for Your New iPad

Geek Partol : handmade ipad cases

So you pay 500-800 bucks for your brand new iPad.   Protecting your investment is a must!

It is not about making an investment in one of the reliable sources but making it in a reliable and genuine one and this is not offered by all the investment opportunities. Take for  example trading; this is considered one of the best modes and windows for making worthy investments and taking them back immediately without much delay with decent and good returns. Now here too there are frauds and swindled platforms that try to gobble up the investments of the traders for nothing in return. In such situations, get help with trading online from sources backed by some reliable brokers and agents for they can help you with solutions and also help you get back your money in one or the other way.

 

Here are some cool handmade cases and bags that will help protect your new iPad and look good doing it at the same time.  There are many fabrics and materials to pick from like simple felt to designer fabrics.  There is a style and look for everyone!  Oh and you gotta love the  Lego decal… just for looks!

{1} You can pick up the  iPad Techee – Yellow Wave from ROGUE-THEORY for only $22.  This protective cover is made with a great designer fabric. It ha no snaps or buttons to prevent scratches, and stiffened interfacing to help keep it safe.

{2} The  PORTEL for iPad is a simple sleeve from PORTEL’s  iCASE collection is made of 3/16″ (5 mm) thick natural felt, which offers great protection for iPad.  This stylish case will only run you $39.

{3} The Thai art deco style flower and polkadot is a great case for your Kindle for only $21.49 .  Thitareemakes handmade fabric cases for the iPad, Kindle, and Nook.

{4} This Apple ipad Case from Jannie King Designs has a special foam core provides scratch & bump protection with minimal weight and bulk.  Jannie King Designs is the top seller on Etsy for bags and purses, and has been featured on the Martha Stewart Show

{5} For$7.99 this  Lego Apple iPad Original Vinyl Graphic Decal Sticker can be yours! All vinyl decals from Decalville are cut from high quality vinyl that will adhere to almost any smooth surface. Put them on your macbook, laptop, walls, wood, glass, tile, windows – Use your imagination.

{6} Small unisex iPad / netbook messenger bag made with black and ecru wool fabric with herringbone weave for $90.  Stash makes bags, wallets,  sleeves, and more!

Blog Spark – Scoutie Girl

Our next Blog Spark Interview is with Tara Gentile the editor of Scoutie Girl.

Follow this link for knowing the details of this interview with the most successful trader of last year who shares his trading secrets for the benefit of the other traders.  Go here to know what made him successful here. He gives some of his most valuable suggestions and advices here for the benefit of the other traders. Do not miss this.

Tara give her readers a look in to the handmade scene and believes that the power of independence and handmade can change the world.  I had the privilege of asking Tara a few questions about her blog.  In this interview Tara gives us just a glimpse of what it takes to run a successful blog. Be sure to click on the pictures you will find through out the interview. they will take you to some of my favorite articles from Soutie Girl.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I run Scoutie Girl (http://www.scoutiegirl.com), the blog with a penchant for the passionately handmade, as well as a boutique WordPress design business (http://taragentile.com). I’m a mom to a spunky little almost-two year old named Lola and wife to Michael. My formal education is in contemporary religious thought which I still love & use on a daily basis… if not overtly!


How did you become interested in design/decorating?

My mom is a professional seamstress (http://fabricshopperonline.com). She taught me the value of craft, working with your hands, and a beautiful home. I can distinctly remember rushing home from school to catch the very first decorating/diy shows on the Discovery Channel. I can also remember having very definite opinions on the types of design they showed!

Why did you start blogging?

I first started blogging in college as another outlet for writing. And boy, did I wish I would have stuck with it! But the “real world” caught up to me and I never caught up back up to blogging. After my daughter was born, I started helping my mom with the blogging & marketing side of her Etsy business and then started Handmade in PA (http://handmadeinpa.net) in January 2009. That site was extremely well-received and in July, when I had the opportunity to take over Scoutie Girl, I jumped at the chance!

I jumped into blogging whole hog and never really looked back! It comes very natural to me and I am so thankful everyday that this is how I get to make a living.

fresh & simple :: felt flower wall art

fresh & simple :: felt flower wall art


Where does your inspiration come from when writing articles?

No secrets here! And no crazy editorial calendars either (although I wish I was that organized…). I write about things that catch my eye, artists that I just HAVE to share, products that really resonate with me. I also write about my own life, the lessons I learn from it, and the needs that other people have.

I think part of blogging is just keeping your eyes & ears open – being keenly aware of the world around you and then communicating what you find to the masses. I’ll admit, that kind of mindset can be completely exhausting but, every time I see something that clicks with my readers, I get rejuvenated!


Who taught you or how did you learn the technical (design, setup, etc) side to blogging?

I’m all self-taught, actually. If you’ve been following my blogs for awhile, you’ve probably noticed a real progression in the style of my sites. Every single one has been a complete experiment and I learn something new every time I build a site! I started building sites for others last summer, starting out just tweaking themes to brand them to the business’ logo & design.

Now, I build all my sites completely from scratch so that I (or another designer) have ultimate control! It so fun to take a static image and a blank website and turn it into something extraordinary!

Not unlike our crafty creative community, the WordPress design community is extremely open to sharing what they know and how to do it. I’ve learned from online tutorials and community forums – all created by people who just like helping other people!

Outfitting your baskets

Outfitting Your Baskets

How did you build a community around your blog ? 

Well, I think like many design or craft bloggers, I initially struggled with involving my readers, getting comments, and generally building community. Over the last few months, I’ve let my writing take a drastically more personal tone. I tell stories about my life, share details from my day – just be more more free & easy in my blogging. And my readers responded! Now, instead of just a great place to find handmade or independently design goods, Scoutie Girl is a personal & inviting space. I think that many of us in this niche of the blogging world try to be “too professional” – we end up stripping the personality out of our web spaces.

Lighten up! Be yourself – you’ll get more rewards than you know!


Any specific tips you have for newbie bloggers who want to make it in the blogosphere?

Sure! Get specific – define your niche and give your blog a mission. Then, get personal. Don’t be afraid to share yourself with your readers (within your own limits, of course). Read a lot and do things that get your inspired! 

Name three websites you couldn’t live without.

Yikes!

Etsy.com
NPR.org
Twitter.com

What are your three favorite Etsy shops and why?

Oh man…. you ask hard questions!

Megan Auman – http://etsy.com/shop/meganauman
ArtMind – http://etsy.com/shop/artmind
Sofia Masri – http://etsy.com/shop/sofiamasri

Where do you see your blog in ten years?

Honestly, I can’t say I have a 10 year plan. I tend to make big goals with smaller time frames! If my new ecourse is successful, my plan is to develop a series of ecourses on different subjects that I’m passionate about because I love writing online and I love teaching – best of both worlds! I’m also hoping to finalize an book proposal by the end of the year and submit it to publishers.

I don’t think small.

heart to heat series

heart to heat series

Don’t Forget Your Coffee Shops

When you’re starting out your career as a fine artist, it’s easy to tell yourself there’s no way you can display your art in a gallery.  Whether it’s because you think it’s not good enough or you don’t have the patience to wait a year (which is the average time between commitment by a gallery and the actual show), in the end your work just keeps piling up, unseen, in your studio.  But there are dozens of other venues that you can use and all it takes a little footwork and some persuasive talking.

These reviews suffer from the same issue that they accuse BitCoin Code of; not providing enough facts or overestimating the success rate.

The fact of the matter is that BitCoin Code provides you with a free facility although you will need to fund it with $250; this allows you to see the trades and monitor them; without needing to risk any funds.

You can really earn up to $13,500 on your account in just 24 hours. This is how it works: Clicking on order trade option provided on the software screen enables you to get connected with more than 26 people or long-term clients, providing them with an opportunity to trade.  Bitcoin Code is not a scam as it employs an autopilot mode which is 100% legal and 100% ethical and consistent trading software with assured positive results.

Their success rate appears to be genuine but there is always the risk of losing funds when you invest in any market.

This is why it is essential to only ever invest funds you can afford to lose; although the majority of trades will end successfully it is simply impossible for any firm to guarantee this.

Coffee shops see so many visitors every day, which makes them the perfect place to display your work.  Many coffee shops make it their goal to display local artwork on month-long rotations.  All you have to do is bring in a portfolio of your work to show the managing barista.  Another great thing about coffee shops is that people come there for a variety of reasons: to pick up their morning cup of energy, to meet with friends, or to study for big tests.  This means that people are constantly coming in and out and staying for long periods of time, which gives them a lot of time to admire your work.  One word to the wise: stay away from the national chains.  Many times they are already given the work they’re supposed to display.  Instead choose local chains, which thrive on repeat customers.

coffee shop art

coffee shop art

With the sustainable and local food culture coming back to the bigger cities, small-business restaurants are always eager to fill their walls with local artwork.  Pop into those vegetarian restaurants, mom and pop diners, or upscale eateries and show off your portfolio.  And don’t worry, they generally don’t require your work to be food related.  By showing your work at a restaurant, your opening can be a big event for the town.  Free wine or a cheese platter is a great way to mark the start of your show.  Plus, you can invite all of your friends and family to come out for dinner that night, which the restaurant owners will love.

art opening

If you want to sell more than your work, bookmarks or note cards are great things to leave at the counters.  Many baristas are more than happy to sell your stuff for you.  And how many times have you gone to the coffee shop and forgotten your bookmark?  Okay, maybe not that often but so many people who go to coffee shops love to read so you’ll be hitting the right market.

Funky Large Paper Clips or Bookmarks...Set of Three

So as the snow melts away, get your walking shoes on and travel your town.  Find those little establishments that are always a local favorite and see if you can get your work out of your studio and into the public!

DIY- Design Transfer for Acid Etched Brass, Silver and Copper Jewelry

Design Transfer for Acid Etched Brass, Silver and Copper Jewelry

Tutorial submitted by:  Esprit Mystique : Blog

What is your favorite design?  Wish you could transform it into a series of etched pendants? If drawing multiple designs by hand would take hours, here is speedy way to transfer complex designs to metal for acid etching.  Read More

Design Transfer for Acid Etched Brass, Silver and Copper Jewelry

In acid etching, the black design areas act as a resist to the acid, the white design areas will be etched deeper than the black design areas.

The only difference between trading stocks and futures is that you get leverage when trading futures.

When you go short on Bitcoin futures, here you first sell the Bitcoin to buy it at a lower price in the future. The difference between the sell and the buy price is the profit that you make.

Trading Bitcoin can be done using technical charts.  The price of Bitcoin keeps changing and you this is because the security is very volatile. However you need to understand that it is this volatility and price movement that will actually let you make money. The cryptocurrency market has matured a lot in the last few years and you can apply many trading techniques through a number of exchanges that let you trade in cryptocurrencies.

Candlestick charts are used to trade in Bitcoin and it lets you technically analyse the market as well as the price movement of Bitcoin. The chart is used commonly in many kinds of market like stocks and futures etc. candlestick charts gives you a clearer view as compared to a bar chart or a line chart. Get further information.

The candlestick chart marks the open, high, low and close of the candle on the chart and each candle represents a time period. So suppose you are on a 60 minute chart then each candle on the 60minute chart denotes 1 hour. The analysts use this chart to apply different techniques and predict how the price will move. Traders also use many day trading and swing trading strategies in cryptocurrencies using the candlestick charts.

Generally, the etched (white) part of the design can be thought of as the background.  Read More

Set your designs aside and prepare the metal for transfer (Bronze, Brass, Copper, or Silver).  The metal needs to be spotlessly clean.  Bar Keeper’s Friend is a powdered cleanser (with oxalic acid) that works well to clean off any oil from fingerprints and tarnish on the metal.  It also roughens the surface enough to help grab the dry toner.  Read More

Handmade Spark

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