Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blog Feature

Hey guys! Just thought I'd drop a line and let you know that Sharrie from StorybookStitches wrote a little feature about me on her blog. Also, if you mention her blog when you purchase something from my shop you'll get free shipping! While you're checking out her blog you should also head over to her shop. She sells some wonderful products for relaxation, which we will all need more of with the holiday season coming up!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Great Uplifting Blog

So I HAVE to share this blog with you guys. It's called Project: Lemon. Super inspiring, this blog is filled with goodness and joy, and I am all about it. The idea behind Project: Lemon is doing random act of kindness, but not just any random act of kindness. Here's how Heather describes it.

"Project Lemon is not for any ordinary random acts of kindness. It's for whimsical, strange, and unexpected acts of kindness. We want to fill strangers not just with joy, but a curious childlike wonder. It's about inspiring each other, sharing our ideas, and having a blog you can visit whenever you want to be filled with glee."

She does cute little things such as writing inspiring messages on lemons and leaving them around her city. Some of the posts even have pictures that she's taken of people finding the lemons. Her readers can also write in with stories of their own kind adventures to be posted, such as a fellow Etsian who wrote notes of encouragement and left them in her gym on a snowy day when most people wouldn't dream of going out to exercise.

I absolutely love this blog. I think as adults we forget to have fun, but Project: Lemon is like a fun little hide and seek game for grown-ups where the rewards are joy and excitement. And who doesn't want more of that in their life?

Monday, October 19, 2009

First Semi-Custom Sale!

So, as the title says, I just recently had my first semi-custom sale! I say “semi-custom” because they didn’t ask me to do something from scratch. They saw a current listing I had and just asked if they could get it in a different color.

The first pic is the original listing and the second is the custom listing. I liked the color combination so much that I decided to carry it in my shop.

Also, ran into a snag and had to use a smaller gauge wire. Instead of doing just a simple loop, I had to do a loop and a wrap for it to be secure. I LOVE how it turned out. What do you guys think? And for those of you who don’t make jewelry, do you even notice the wire wrapping?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

SEO and My Style

So if you’re on Etsy, chances are you’ve been hearing a lot about SEO (search engine optimization) lately. I know it’s something that I need to do if I want to get more traffic to my site. So I started reading some forum threads about it and I think I’ve hit a bit of a snag.

The thing is, you’re supposed to pick a few key words that accurately describe your product and use them in your shop title, your item names and their descriptions. So, my issue is, I don’t know what key words are best for my shop. Yeah there’s the typical “handmade jewelry” but from what I’ve read, you should add other words that better describe what you’re selling.

The problem I’m having is that I have a few different styles. And my style has definitely changed since I opened my shop. I have simple feminine items, and some that are more funky and some yet that have a more dark or goth flair. Now I’m trying to figure what my best move would be.

Should I try to use umbrella key words that all my items fit? I think that would prove rather difficult. Or should I ditch the different styles and try to focus on a more cohesive feel? The pics I’ve posted in this entry are my favorite pieces in my shop and I‘d kind of like to go more in that direction. But I’m not sure if they are too different to be sold in the same shop. Or maybe I should keep them all together, it would give my buyers more options. But then my shop feel might feel a bit confusing and hectic.

See, this is where being an indecisive person becomes a pain. Darn you indecisiveness!! *shakes fist*

Monday, October 12, 2009

Editing Wedding Pics

Hey, guys. So the wedding came and went and I took some pics. And I just want to thank all you guys for the supportive and encouraging comments. You all are so sweet and it was much appreciated. The wedding was great. Taking pics at the venue was rather difficult though. As I said before, it was done at the Justice of the Peace which is downtown. Apparently, some festival was going on and there were booths and people everywhere. So, it was kind of tricky to get pics without people in the background. I did what I could but there are some good pics with other people in them. I wanted to try and edit the people out but I don’t have any photo editing software so I downloaded GIMP today. I am totally new to this program so I don’t know how to do much. I messed around a bit and here’s what I came up with. The first pic is the original. You can see the people in between the pillars, those are what I want to get rid of.

So, I started off by erasing them. I didn’t think it looked horrible since some of the pic is already rather white. But I knew there had to be a better alternative.
So I then discovered the tool to lighten specific areas. So I just lightened the area with the people. Which I don’t think looks too bad. It made them not so noticeable. I think it’s an acceptable way of doing things, but I’m not sure what else to do since I am so new to this program.

I figured I could try something with the layers, which I’ve messed around with a bit but wasn’t happy with the results. I also want to figure out how to darken the bright areas so they aren’t so blinding. So, which one do you guys think looks best? Also, if you guys know of any other techniques to help me with this, PLEASE let me know. I need all the help I can get! I’ll keep messing around with some stuff and maybe I’ll do some subsequent posts so you all can go through the learning process with me. :-P

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Where'd My Mojo Go?

So my brother -in-law Deric is getting married tomorrow. The wedding is to be a small affair. Ceremony at the Justice of the Peace and then a dinner celebration at their apartment. Only like 20-30 people. I've been asked to take pics. Which makes me excited and nervous at the same time. I love photography. Deric and I were going to take a digital photography class this semester but things happened and we aren't. So, I'm nervous because I've been put in charge to capture their big day, but I'm also excited because I'm interested to see what I'm capable of. Aside from that, I'm making little wedding favors. Real simple, just tying up some MM's in tulle and ribbon. Then I'm printing up some little name cards with their names and tying them to the little bundle. Here's my supplies.

But, I'm being lazy. I should be doing that, or clearing out my memory card, or making some jewelry, or cleaning my place. But, it's kind of one of those days. Anyways, my cat ventured outside while I was snapping pics so I figured I'd put up a pic of him. So everyone, here's Dude.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Love Netflix!

So Zeb and I have had Netflix for a few weeks now and we absolutely love it! We got the plan that is $13.99 a month and after the fees it comes out to be something like $15.12. With this plan we get two DVD's out at a time and UNLIMITED instant movies that we watch on our Xbox 360 or computer.

So, while our movies are in the mail we get to chose from, I think it's 17,000 movies to watch instantly. They also have a lot of seasons of Tv shows to watch too. All in all, it is well worth the money we spend on it. There are only a few drawbacks and they aren't even that major. One is that in order to get blu-rays, we would have to upgrade our account for an extra $3 a month.

Also, it would be sweet if their whole collection of movies was available to watch instantly, but I know that's asking for a bit much. So, really, I can't complain. We have watched some great movies that we've been meaning to see and never gotten around to. Also, once you watch a movie, you can rate it. By doing that, the system learns what you like and suggests movies for you that you wouldn't have otherwise considered.

So do any of you have Netflix or subscriptions to other movie services? I'd love to hear about your experiences.