Sunday, October 31, 2010

Yummy Treats; No Tricks! And A Creative Way To Find Great Gifts!

On Halloween seemed the perfect time to blog about this delicious fudge I recently received from a wonderful candy seller;

It came wrapped in this pretty black and orange ribbon, and when I opened the box there lay three dark, dense, and rich bars of heaven just waiting to be unwrapped and eaten!

I took one out and sliced several pieces off.

The texture is creamy and smooth, and believe me, you won't be disappointed!
She's added some new items since I ordered from her, so be sure to take a look at the other yummies in her store. I'm looking forward to trying her giant peanut butter cups!
Want to know how I found her?

It was through last week's Buy and Replace Treasury; Strawberry Wine 'N Chocolate through the Promotional Fenzy thread on the Etsy forum!

Things are off to a fantastic start with the thread, people are starting to see an increase in sales, and we are preparing a new BNR treasury for tomorrow;

Carmel 'N Chocolate BNR
Opens Monday, November 1st
10:00 AM EST

(Link will be visible at opening!)

Come out, click. comment, and buy in! It's a fun way to start your holiday shopping, and get some promotion for your shop!


There are some things you simply can't resist in these shops! Bookmark the link and join us!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Strategic Choice of Color and Theme in Artists' Work;
Use Your Inspiration To Inspire Your Customer To Buy
Little did I know when I photographed this unique sunset tonight that it contained key colors from the Pantone Fashion Color Report for Fall 2010!

You need not look any further than your back yard to find out where these pundits get their inspiration. The Top Ten colors expected to be in this season are;

* Endive - Pantene 13-0632
* Golden Glow - Pantone 5-1050
* Living Coral - Pantone 16-1546
* Lipstick Red - Pantone 19-1764
* Purple Orchid - Pantone 18-3027
* Chocolate Truffle - Pantone 19-1526
* Lagoon - Pantone 16-5418
* Woodbine - Pantone 18-0538
* Oyster Gray - Pantone 14-1107
* Rose Dust - Pantone 14-1307

Images and colors reminiscent of autumn leaves like these beads create a mood of contentment.

In addion to nature, color trends are also influenced by what's going on sociologically; In a time when the future is unsure and the economy is strained, buyers are likely to be looking for security, sustainability, making old methods new or reinterpreting retro styles. At the same time they will be looking for items in colors that evoke feelings of comfort and make them feel nurtured.

Give your items personal and sentimental value!

Rich antique golds, coppers, bronzes, metallic oranges, ambers, silvers, and iris colors that remind us of celebration, warmth, love, and abundance represent more than the object made with them and give the potential buyer a virtual "hug" in a form they can carry around with them through whatever hardships may come into their lives. They are little pieces of sunshine your customer invests in to squirrel away for a rainy day.

"Warm fuzzies" like these should be right at home with Fall and Winter shoppers if these predictions are correct;

The Lenzing Textile & Color Trends Autumn/Winter 2010/11; a system of 5 color schemes created for fabrics:

* Puritan; Elegant but weightless and meant for everyday wear

* Reflection; Light-changing fabrics, optical illusion, and other special effects

* Rugged; Merging the duality of urban and nature

* Exotic; Color, artistic with meticulous drawings and textures

* Identikit; Newest, high-tech material derived from building and military industries

These materials coming out on the market are not only important for the textile artist and clothing designer to be aware of but for jewelry designers/makers as well so that such accessories can be worn with clothing that buyers will be wearing this Fall and Winter.

The same eco trend paralleled in fabrics is present in jewelry, as well as Boho and Hippie Chic styles.  Flirty dangley chain earrings, crystal with posh-looking metalized finishes, and floral shapes are in. Mixing less expensive materials such as wood, shell, and glass with more expensive ones such as semi-precious gemstones and beads is predicted to be hot.  Also, lovely hand-forged metalwork is likely to be valued in lieu of bling.

Texture is predicted to be valued over big, bold color. Bracelets with one large charm, and oversized hearts are expected to come back into style. Interesting chains, cords, and ribbons will also gain popularity.

How Are These Trends Decided and Who's The Judge?

According to an article written by  By Hedda Schupak, Senior Editor, and Nancy Pier Sindt, Contributing Editor of The Jeweler's Circular Keystone Newsletter,  all these forecasts are decided 2 years in advance, and much like juried art shows what's hot and what's not is decided by small groups who meet and compare samples that they like. The fashion and accessories industries then follow that lead for fear or making a mistake and promoting the wrong color/styles. In otherwords, it appears that the market is less customer-driven than customers are product-driven to develop a taste for certain particular attributes.

Even so, one has to wonder where these small committees get their likes and dislikes. It is one of those chicken-or-the-egg type questions that is not so easily answered, and in the age of the internet where artists' work is so easily viewed by the masses there is no way of knowing when these elements of design first seeped into the collective unconscious (subconscious). This is exciting in some respects, because it means that any one of us at one time or another might have (or have had) an impact on what people like and want.

Read the Pantone Fall 2010 Fashion Report here;

Lenzing Textile and Color Trends Autumn/Winter 2010/11

Cousin Innovative JewelryComponents, Programs, and Accessories

Jeweler's Circular Keystone

Monday, October 25, 2010

Update on the Strawberry Wine 'N Chocolate BNR Round 2!
Why Not Have Your Cake and Eat It Too!

Alot has changed in our BNR since 10:00 AM this morning! Come click, comment, tweet, stumble and promote and tell all your friends!

Do you like brownies? baby sweaters? Personalized Thank You Stickers for your customers?
Well these are only a few of the things you can find. Come on out while we're still open and nab that something special for yourself or start your holiday shopping now!

Buy in for just a minimum of $3.00 purchase and get YOUR shop featured!

Today has been a series of starts and stops, but we're getting there! Traffic has started to pick up again n there are people in there looking at things, so if you want something you should act now before somebody gets it first.

Last week was a record 22 sales in one day!

Let's break that record!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

How To Add A List of Participating Etsy Shops in Your Sidebar - Why It's Important

Adding shop/weblinks in your sidebar to participating members of a group will help create a network around the internet through which all members of the group can be located more easily and more often by people searching for items you have to offer potential buyers.

If you have not done this yet you should  do this as soon as possible and update it periodically as the numbers of members change + or - and you will find that if everybody has this in their blog it will result in more traffic to everyone in the group.

It works much like a webring sending traffic around to look at the various shops. This way everyone gets more exposure, and there will be many places where potential customers can hear about you, go take a look, and hopefully buy!

Each of us has followers. Some of them might be the same ones, but some of them are different, which means that is another person who sees your link and may decide to go looking to see what you might have for them.

There are also people looking at your blog who do not comment and might not follow, but rest assured they are reading! One of those just might go to your Etsy shop and buy something from you! They may or may not tell you that's how they found you.

Don't underestimate the power of links in your blog and in all the blogs that mention you and your work.

Leaving out this step creates a weakness in the chain which hurts your chances of being seen by the right buyers and hurts the chances for other group members as well.

Just because you have outgoing links in your blog don't assume this is going to send traffic elsewhere and it will not come back the other way. If everyone in  the group does this people will come to look at yours from other blogs as well, so it balances out!

OK, now that we understand Why building this infrastructure is vital here is how you do it if you are not familiar with blogspot's process;

To add shop links in your sidebar;

*First go to your dashboard and click on "Design"

*Then select a blank page element (one of the rectangles on the side that says add gadget") and open it

*When it opens select "Link List"

*Then Label the Title something like "Promotional Frenzy"

*Below that type in or copy and paste the URL from each shop one at a time

*If you don't want the whole URL shown you can paste into the line below also and take out the http:// and in that line that says "New Site Name".

*Then save, and these should show up when you view your blog.

And Voila! It's done!

Remember to blog and leave comments in other members' blogs regularly and make references to the group often. This will help remind the search engines crawling your site to bring these back up!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

********** UPCOMING SOLO PROMO **********

Crystal Gayle Photography
Thursday, October 21st @ 9 pm EST

Come help promote her shop!
Great sale is planned! Tell all your friends.
You don't want to miss it!

On the Promotional Frenzy Etsy Forum Thread;


 Keep in mind that the more items in your shop the more visible you become on Etsy.
It's like a reminder to your hugely crowded category that you're still there.
This can be a renewed item if you don't have a new one just made to list. 
Happy Sales All!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

First Promotional Frenzy BNR Treasury A Huge Success!

Here's a picture of what it looked like before any of the shops got bought off, but we moved it after we had 300 comments and 17 sales to its new location where by 12:00 midnight we closed it with 22 sales (which included 18 bought out!);

If you enjoy buying into these BNR treasuries, and/or you want more sales, these are the ones to get into! Stay tuned for the next one. All those still in at end will be carried over. If you would, please stay and promote at least a litte even after you've been bought off to help those who haven't had a sale yet. We'd like to see all slots turn over if possible.

Meet with us to group promote on Tuesday nights at 9:00 PM EST and bring your friends!
Hope to see you tonight for the weekly social network blitz!

Come see the sales people are already reporting!
The group will work for you if you'll work for the group!
There is strength in numbers!

See you tonight!

Monday, October 18, 2010

BNR Treasury has moved; come buy in at this new link;

Some new items you don't want to miss!
Promotional Frenzy BNR Treasury Open Monday, October 18th
10:00 AM EST-At least 10:00 PM EST

Join us for the best one ever! You're likely to want everything.

Get your holiday shopping done early and if you're a seller on Etsy a $3.00 minimum puchase (not counting shipping) will get your shop a slot in place of the one you bought from!

It's easy, and it's lots of fun!

If you'd like to know further details about our forum thread please read about it here to find out more;

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Thread Started for Promotional Frenzy

Do you sell on Etsy?

Why leave it to chance?

Be the master of your fate.

Making more (and better) sales of your work really depends on increasing the odds.

If you want to know ways to do that check out this article by Janet Galla;

From time to time all of us need a re-think about how we run our art-based business and some new strategies to get the results we want.

This is not for those who expect to get rich quick or are looking for someone else to do it for them but if you want to steadily build your business, using the methods we're using can work.

Patience, perseverence, and consistancy are key.

If you're ready to take the steps to a better future come join us for serious promotion, networking, and fun!

Stay positive and keep improving!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

An Artist's Work Ethic

In the Promotional Frenzy thread overnight there was some controversy over what some called "drama" (referring to a list/schedule of suggested things to do to create more links around the web to increase the odds of increased sales).  There need not be drama if people don't make it into that. It seemed to me it was more the reaction to the semantics than any real drama which then created drama.

If you remember one important point please remember this;

Words are only words. They have no more meaning than we ourselves give them.

This situation I'm writing about is a working example of how fear can become a self-fullfilling prophecy. Reading more into a given interaction than is there causes unecessary stress and wastes valuable time and energy that could be put to better use.

It is important to be able to tell the difference between a challenge and a threat. Some see a challenge and mistake it for a threat.

A challenge is merely a call to action, whereas a threat is some real danger. When you find yourself reacting (over-reacting) to something said in-person or online ask yourself;

1) What other possible meanings might this have besides the one that comes accompanied by this intense fear (or anger)?

2) Is this person really a danger to me?

In such a sudden visceral reaction the "enemy" so to speak is generated within; not coming from without.

In this instance there were some who said they weren't having enough fun and seemed to hyperfocus on the wording of the tasks, that they do them, or that they do them on certain days, and suddenly became myopic as to the  BNR treasuries we recently had, the other treasuries, prizes, other enjoyable activities, and all the late night chatting that had been going on.

This sort of black and white (all or nothing) thinking can keep you stuck and the fear that drives it skews your perception of real events.

It's great to have fun but I really believe we make our own fun and none of us would be artists if we didn't enjoy what we're doing. That same energy can be channeled into creating the lives we want despite external circumstances. That does not happen in one day nor does it happen without our share of headaches.

Realistically I know that unless I only want this art to be a hobby I have to do some things I don't want to do (at least sometimes) to make things blossom, and although as a sole proprietor I have a more flexible schedule than those who work for a company, sometimes I do have to do things at times I don't want to do them also. I discipline myself to do some aspects of my business that are not only "the fun part" so that I can get to the fun part.

There are aspects of my jewelry making I don't always feel like doing and sometimes a custom order might come at an inopportune time when I am least in the mood, but I do it anyway because I know that if I don't then I will not make the money I need due to my own stubbornness and inflexibility. I want to try everything I can to increase my sales so that I can have more and more fun and the freedom that more money provides! If that means biting a few bullets, I'm willing to do that.

When I was a teenager, just as most teens do I didn't want anyone to tell me anything and I wanted to do what I wanted only when I wanted to do it.

But age has made me wiser now. As I matured I began to see things in a different way. Rather than viewing these pieces of advice as just designed to control me I began to look at them from the perspective of "Will this help get me where I want to go?" Then it made sense to me why I was given this or that advice and even if I still didn't want to do certain things I realized at some point that I am responsible for my own actions and lack of actions. I can't reasonably blame somebody else if I decided one day "I don't feel like doing this particular thing" and as a result I didn't reach my goal.

If people get bent out of shape about a guideline then how will they manage when they have to do other things in life that are not negotiable or in which the natural consequences of their laxity will hurt them? ie exercise, lose weight, etc. If you have Diabetes for instance, your doctor might tell you you need to do the above. Or if you have Cancer, that you need to stop smoking. Sure; it is your choice, as there's no law making you do these things, but there's nothing to be gained in getting pissed at the doctor for giving you the advice because it is coming from a correct knowledge of the consequences; both positive and negative.

If an artist isn't open to feedback and for instance doesn't make art that people want to buy they might create pretty things in the abstract but it won't put food on the table. Taking suggestions and making adjustments in your business is not "selling out". It is possible to please your customers and be true to your artistic vision.

Many people start a business with the misconception that because they have no boss they are not accountable. Nothing could be further from the truth. One has to be extra conscientious and extra accountable when one has their own business. We are accountable to our customers, to what's marketable, to follow certain rules and regulations, and accountable to ourselves.

Here's an example; If one of us were to make two art objects and that's all and then said, "I don't feel like making more items because it's not fun" yet got upset because people weren't buying due to not enough choices, then it wouldn't be fair to be outraged that those two things are still sitting there, because we chose not to do what would get us to that next level.

I have met several business coaches and they've all told me that usually in the beginning their clients really hate and are resistant to their suggestions because they are being asked to do things outside their comfort zone. Sometimes they even get really surly. They are being asked to suspend judgment and give something a chance that they have not done that way before. However, in almost all cases when their clients hang in there and give it a chance they come out on the other side really grateful that they didn't say "F" it" when they felt like it when they'd initially felt that it was just too much work.

Any kind of work (if it is to be effective) is a cultivated habit whether you work for yourself or have a 9-5 job.

I realize artists are probably by nature less willing to tolerate following someone else's instructions/suggestions than the general population, but these things are not "laws" and of course we don't "have" to do them, but this isn't a dress rehearsal! We are out here for real; and I'm assuming most of us are here to make a living at our art.

I went out yesterday to take pictures for the suggested blog exercise which was one part of the thread activities. I could have moaned and groaned to myself and said, Oh God do I have to? But I told myself something else instead. It was more like "What can I do with this that's fun and creative? Something I'll enjoy and that others will enjoy." When I got out there and did was fun.

So I guess in a nutshell; the way we perceive what we hear people say or our own perception of a task/activity determines whether we have fun or not. We are all creative people, and creativity is really about thinking outside the box.

Some may see the suggestions that were posted in the forum as words to put them inside a box, but if they are suggestions you aren't used to doing, (or ones you aren't used to doing in that particular way), then to do them actually is outside the box for you.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Seeds of Inspiration

Seed pods from my backyard with their wonderful spikey geometric shape offer interesting design possibilities to artists.

Last night I noted that several people in the Promotional Frenzy thread in the Etsy forum

were talking about the need for refueling their inspiration and motivation, so I slept on it and woke up to the idea today to take pictures of all kinds of textures, lighting, shapes, perspectives, and colors that might jump-start creativity for my own and others' future works.

I found more than enough subject matter just within my front, back, and side yards!

This little wasp's nest was attatched to my screened porch and I placed it on a yellow leaf so that it would stand out better.
There is alot one can do based on this design (and I've seen some fascinating ceramics and jewelry created with this in mind).

For those of you who do steampink styles this drainpipe with its accordian design could pur some new, innovative work!

I've provided several different perspectives that could be incorporated into jewelry, papercraft, ceamic, sculpture, etc.

This folded puppy pen would also offer a unique subject for one's work;

It would make an interesting background for screen printing, as would this screen
Shadows can also offer numerous ideas to artists looking for effects to use in their work.
This is one I captured on my wooden security fence.

Shadows can be really lovely and can be used in all mediums from jewelry to sculpture, to watercolor, to mixed media art.

Here I captured myself taking the picture in the driveway scattered with acorns! Now how about that for perspective!

Jewelry artists and sculptors might especially like this chain link fence cap;

and this hinge might inspire hinges on jewelry or handmade boxes, for instance;

And my favorites are almost always patterns from nature like these!

I love the perspective you get when looking up a tree!

This tree in my backyard has an owl hole near the top where it broke off a few months ago during a storm.

For those of you who love leaves these photos should give you alot to think about!

And for you dog-lovers I've got these;

This dog recently moved into the house behind mine;
 I had to lean over the fence for this first one! Just look at that black tongue on this dog. He must have Chow in him!
And a regal headshot from behind the fence!

I haven't forgotten about all you Carmella fans!

So get out there and see all the beauty this world has to offer, then come back with a headfull of ideas...and create!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

First Solo Frenzy Coming Soon!
Galactic Diamond Ring by BearInk
Made from shrink plastic is scheduled to be the first in the Promotional Frenzy thread to have her own frenzy in which everyone promotes her work by Tweeting, Stumbling or using other Social Networks to reach beyond Etsy for target buyers!

Saturday, October 16th
9:00 PM EST

In the Etsy forum;

Frenzies for the whole group will be held every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM EST

If you have an Etsy store be sure to come by and check out our thread anytime if you would like to try something new to give your art-based business a boost!

We will have more events planned in the near future.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Latest BNR Treasury; Like Chocolate for the Soul

This BNR Treasury's only been open a few hours and already has 5 sales and counting!
You can buy in for just a $3.00 minimum purchase of anything fron the stores of these 16 featured sellers!

Some of the featured sellers are running special deals for today only so don't miss it!

And you can buy in more than once!

Come click, comment and shop!
Update: Closed at 7:00 PM EST
New Treasury will carry over everyone left next week!
Stay tuned!
My supply shop is featured and I haven't been bought out yet, hint, hint... I have some excellent buys everyday! No need for a special day to offer deals!

I've got my eye on these delicious treats by Michellesthisandthat;
Which item are you drooling over?

Monday, October 11, 2010

B&R Treasury and
"Promotional Frenzy"
Art of Amy started a new BNR (Buy and Replace) Treasury on Etsy;

It's open tonight and wil stay open until 2:00 AM!  It's hopping right now, so drop by, leave a comment, look into the featured shops, and who knows; maybe you'll find something you just have to have. If you have a shop on Etsy yourself let your purchase do double-duty and get you some more promotion for yours!

Note that there will be 3 rounds in this treasury and that it will open again at 6:00 PM tomorrow night after being moved to another link (to be announced).

Galla15 has posted a new thread that is a spin-off from 30 Minutes of Fame called Promotional Frenzy. It has a new twist, some new ideas, and some new participants as well as the regulars from the Fame thread!

Tomorrow night  (October 12th) will be the first of our Promotional Frenzies.
Be here at 9:00 PM EST ;

We hope to attract alot of Etsy sellers and would love to see a variety of different mediums represented. If you have a food shop, we'd love to see you too! The holidays are coming and that means lots of feasting on all kinds of goodies! This is a wonderful opportunity for cross-promotion, so come and tell your friends to be there too!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Next 30 Minutes of FAME! Saturday Oct. 10th @ 9pm EST

Birds and Swings Earrings
 (featured in the Etsy Treasury; Visual Comfort Food)

30 Minutes of FAME:
The best place to Promote, Buy & Sell-Bring your friends!
Saturday Oct. 10th @ 9pm EST
Then, next;
30 Minutes of FAME!
Sunday Oct. 10th @ 7:30 pm EST

Spider Applique Onesie Blue

Another Buy and Replace Treasury is coming up! Stay tuned for the time and date!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Next Buy and Replace Treasury of Members of 30 Minutes of Fame Etsy Forum Thread Reconvenes Soon!
Shop Till You Drop! Get Exposure for your handmade things! This will be Lots of Fun!

If you've never participated in a Buy and Replace Treasury you're in for a real treat!

Be There; Sunday, October 3rd
                 Monday, October 4th
                 8:00 AM - 1 AM
               Eastern Standard Time


We create a treasury (pictorial gallery of 16 items on Etsy) with a variety of sellers. Then you "announce" that you're buying from a specific seller in that treasury. Come back with your transaction link, and we'll put your shop in our treasury in place of the one from which you bought!


It's actually something that started in the forum threads. Fame is where we spend 30 minutes doing nothing but shopping, hearting, and promoting the "Famous Shop" hoping that it gets a least one sale. You can be the Famous Shop by posting a designated numbered post (for example the 5000th post) in the thread :) It's a lot of fun - we hang out, chat, promote, and make friends! Come join us!

Next Fame scheduled for
Sunday Oct. 3rd
6:00 PM EST