November 09, 2010

Hamster Control

 The room is full, chatting people eagerly awaiting their turn for getting the answer to their carefully submitted question.  The lab moderator posts the question.  It appears in large print...your excitement builds because it's finally your turn! 

Your fingers tremble as you type in your shop link so that the room can all go see what you are asking about..... then.... it happens!!!!
GRRRRRRR  you've been booted from the room!  It's YOUR question that is currently being answered and YOU are sitting outside glaring at the dreaded Hamster!

Ooops?? I'll give you OOPS!... you wicked rodent!  He is truly cute but this behavior has GOT to stop!!   What can you do? Well... now you now have a way to vent your frustration and to focus on the culprit instead of a nearby innocent. 

Introducing the Hamster Hammer!



Yes, you now can show that critter just how aggrivating he really is!   With the Hamster Hammer you have the ultimate hamster control!  All you need to do is whap him  into submission!  By the time you rejoin your class you are feeling much calmer and very satisfied!

Just whap your screen and show Mr. Hamster who is boss!  It may take several whaps but the Hamster Hammer is built for extended use.  It's handle is fortified with poly pellets and will not separate from the head.  A gorgeous bow supports the union of the handle and hammer head.  The hammer head gives just the right amount of "bonk-ability" so whap away, my friends!

This shameless promotion has been brought to you by Aunt Karen.  Have a wonderful day!

(You can find the Hamster Hammer at AuntKarensCreations on Etsy.)

October 28, 2010

Something to warm you.

Autumn is here, folks!  The beautiful colors are showing on the trees, pumpkins are transforming into Jack-O'-Lanterns, critters are stashing food for the long winter.  Last week I discovered a marvelous hearty soup!


My friend tore the recipe out of her own magazine and gave it to me.  Yep I promptly lost it!  A frantic call to her yielded this wonderful soup!




Hearty Hamburger and Cabbage Soup

Ingredients:
- 1/2 Head large green cabbage (or 1 small head) - sliced thinly.
- 1 -1/2 Quarts of Tomato Juice (or V8 juice) 
- 3/4 lb lean hamburger - browned
- 1 envelope onion soup mix
- 1 - 16 to 20 oz can of low sodium chicken broth
- 1 to 2 stalks celery cut into bite size pieces
optional - 2 medium potatoes cut into bite size pieces

Put all ingredients into a large cooking pot.  Cook on low simmering for at least 2 hours (to be sure the cabbage is completely cooked). 

Easy peasy, huh? 

This was a big hit with my soup "iffy" husband... he even took leftovers for his lunch at work!  The really odd part is that the kitchen smelled delicious! (Cabbage usually doesn't leave a pleasant smell).  The soup is thick and very filling.  It's even healthy!  Shhhhh don't tell the kids!

Add a loaf of your favorite soup dunking bread and you have a mouthwatering, hearty meal that will warm you right up!

Soups On!!

September 26, 2010

Conclusion to Giggle's and AuntKaren's Critiques

Gosh I didn't realize just how much work went into following the advice on the blog critiques!  I tip my hat to all of those before me who listened to and heeded the suggestions they were given.

 Giggles was asked to reword some of her description, select better tags and to add a picture of her brooch being worn.  She did a very nice job! 










  AuntKaren (me) had comments suggesting that the colors on the 5 pictures weren't truly the same as one another, to try to show a view that gave size perception, and to reword some of the description and materials.








We both thank each of you who left great critique comments!  It seems that the work on/in our shops is, indeed, continuous! 

For my part I want to thank all of you for your honest observations and for the suggestions on how to change this listing.  One day when I find a good model you can bet that I won't let them get away! 

Until the next time... Have a wonderful week!



September 05, 2010

It's time for another critique!

Let's "get started" again!
Wow I just saw that there hasn't been a new post for a month!  Well let's fix that, shall we? With the holidays rapidly advancing on us we need to start sprucing up our shops a bit.  Let's get back into looking closely at things going on in our shops.  We can use the critique of Giggles' item as a start for checking our own shops. 

Giggles would like the tags title and description critiqued. She likes the pics and knows what  needs to do be done to fix those.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/39801970/tiny-knitting-brooch



......Taking a deep breath..... Because so many of you have asked why I've not submitted one of my items .....
heavy sigh.... I've decided to put myself on the hotseat too.


AuntKaren:
This purse has been in my shop for a long time.  I'm having a hard time understanding why it's not gotten more views to say the least.  Is it the description? Tags? Pictures?

http://www.etsy.com/listing/42340160/upcycled-handmade-paisley-bucket-purse






Both Giggles and I are well supplied with bandaids so give it to us straight! 

Happy critiquing everyone!

August 05, 2010

Is it HOT enough for ya?

In my virtual "travels" around the globe I've noticed something that we all have in common....Summer is HOT!  The heat sometimes becomes oppressive, you just don't want to do anything but ache for cool.

I found something that cools you down and you can even eat it!  This is the first recipe that I've shared and hesitated to post because this isn't a food kinda blog but here it is anyway.  It's so easy, it tastes great and....it's just so pretty!

Fruity Chicken Salad
Ingredients:
40 - 50 seedless grapes - halved
One 6 - 8 oz chicken breast cubed - cooked
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c chopped bell pepper
3 - 4 tablespoons light (or fat-free) mayo
1 cantaloupe cut in 1/2 and seeded
 * In a bowl, mix the first 5 ingredients
 * Spoon half of the mixture into each cantaloupe half.
                                              * Serve

The reason I tried this recipe?  Because it was so pretty!  
This was such a delicious surprise!  I serve it to my friends and they all just love it!  Men enjoy it, kids scarf it down, company is impressed.... what better way to stay cool?

So enjoy this cool summer meal with my compliments!


July 28, 2010

The Critique Experience - a repost.

Looking at what the world has to offer.
With each new season it seems that it is the time for change. Ole Ignatts Kitty must be contemplating his changes too....

Some of us will change habits we have acquired, some of us will change the way in which we maintain our health and others will change their business tactics.

I am going to change my business tactics. The place that I have decided to start is with a good, honest, constructive shop critique. Etsy offers several ways to obtain shop critiques.

Team SASSY is available to help any seller and they have seasoned, well experienced members who can help in any area of selling or maintaining an online store that a seller might possibly need. If you need their expertise you can contact them through this forum post: http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6236215 Their spokesperson is TheHouseOfMouse.

The Forums have a section dedicated to shop critiques, oddly enough this section is called Critiques... go figure huh? You can either read thru posts whose titles seem similar to your problem or post to the forum yourself. I suggest that you sort of skim down the other posts and look through, you can always find something that will make you go hmmmmm... so the effort is worth it.

I chose the one on one approach and signed up for a critique partner from the Virtual Lab. I have been selected to be in the "hot seat" for one of HeyMichelle's famous critiques and survived it well. But I still like ongoing input so I put my name in the hat for a critique partner last week.

I am not going to tell you where my problems lie, nor the solutions offered for the problems but I will tell you what you might want to ask for when you need an overhaul critique. My critique partner was truly helpful and a wonderful observer.

The following are questions that you might ask your critique partner to check on:

Start at the beginning: Your Introduction page

The first thing that anyone sees upon entering your store is your Banner - ask how your banner might be improved.

Check your Introduction Title - that is the first line located just under the left side of your banner. - Does it contain words that a Google search would pick up? Does it tell the viewer what you have to offer?

Your Shop Announcement - ask how it might be improved. Does it also have key words in the opening portion that Google might pick up? Is it a welcoming statement? Does it give a good overview of what you are offering? If you are having a sale, is that included here? Is it possibly too long? Short? Does it make the buyer want to see more?

Your Featured Photos - Do you have 3 items featured? Would something else be better served by being one of your features? This is your very own "Mini Showcase"

Your Shop Arrangement - How does it look in gallery form? (Let's discuss pictures at a later date but do know that your photos are one of the most important parts of your shop!) Do the pictures need to be rearranged?

Your Sections - Does each section title reflect clearly what is in there? Do the section titles contain words that Google will pick up? Are there any sections with no contents?

Your Photos - Someone is always gonna get you on this one so just grit your teeth and listen. Are they too dark, are they fuzzy, are they interesting, are there 5 different photos for each item? We all struggle with our photos and even though we think they might be just perfect there just might be a better idea from your critique partner.

Your Item Descriptions - Does the item title contain descriptive words that Google will catch? Does the description accurately explain the item? Does it give enough description? Including dimensions for the UK/Canada/Austrailia? (These countries all use different measurement standards than the US... let's draw them in by talking their lingo!) Is the description too long? Too short?

Here is a link to a forum post that is excellent to refer to when doing your item descriptions: http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6236215

Your Item Tags - Yes, the dreaded tags! Do they accurately describe your item so that every search in the universe can pick you out? ARE YOU USING ALL 14 TAGS on every item? Each tag is an opportunity for someone to find you.

Your Profile - Do you allow the reader an insight as to who runs the shop? Do they know why you make your items? Do they know how you create what your offer? Do they realize that you truly know what you are doing in your shop? Did you make them want to look further?

Your Policies - Are you clear about what you will and will not do? Are you firm but kind in your demeanor? Can there be exceptions to the policy? Did you cover custom orders? Is your shipping policy clear?

Is your head spinning yet? Yes there are a lot of questions but this is your store and you are proud of what you offer. Why not be proud of the way in which you offer it?

I humbly suggest that you use this guideline to provide a critique for your critique partner, just remember word it kindly, be respectful, and show some humor - it takes the sting out of being criticized no matter how kindly the words are presented. When you are the one doing the critique for someone else try to offer a suggestion about what needs improvement it shows that you aren't being harsh but that you are being caring. When you are recieving a critique don't take the criticizm personally... yes it's your hard work that is being discussed but you are getting a different person's perspective.... it just might be the perspective of the buyers who didn't buy from you - and now you might know why.

You never know, the one who gives you that critique might just become a great friend! With all that said...........Have a wonderful new season!!

I would love it if you left a comment or suggestion!

Warmest Regards

Karen

July 27, 2010

Conclusion of Double Critique #8

This is one critique that is concluding with fantastic results!

What a difference!  MaineLadyBug has taken your comments to heart and truly made her changes count!

Before
After
This is what she had to say about her critique experience:
Hello All ~

I have updated my listing and posted it. I appreciate all your wonderfully helpful comments.

I took more pictures using a white background. I took several that show the ladybug charm in detail. I am working on making sure I have all 5 pictures slots filled with each of my listings. I don't have someone at the moment to model my jewelry, although that is a good point.

I updated the description of the bracelet and used all 14 tags. :-) I raised the price a bit. I'm still struggling with pricing across the board.

jswrites: I appreciate your proof reading! I corrected my errors. :-) As to the "gold" question. I have struggled with that. I do use good quality gold plated chain and findings. I'm not trying to be deceptive, but I feel that if I use plated in the title or the initial description buyers won't even look. I would like them to view the pieces and then decide on whether they would like quality fashion jewelry or real gold jewelry. I also feel that most people realize how much real gold and gold filled jewelry costs. The price of gold is over $1,000 per ounce. I always say exactly what type of materials I use in the materials section. I hope this answers your question. I appreciate your feelings on this topic.

As I reread all the comments most everyone suggests using a live model. I will definitely try to find someone that is willing to wear my creations and pose for pictures.

Thank you, thank you everyone! This has been a great experience. Thank you Karen for hosting this blog and for setting up the critiques. Thank you also for working on my avatar. Take a look at the one I have up now. I found her on the beach the other day. :-)

Happy Day! Happy Creating!
Gini

Gini, thank you!  It is so inspiring to see how hard a shop owner works to keep the store fresh and new!  Love the newe avatar, too!

Thank you - all who have viewed and all who have commented.  It's you who keep this feature going!

Oh...as a side note... I've installed a measurement converter on the sideber for all of you to use when you need to change to/from metric and inches.  Just a little gift from me to you!

Enjoy!



July 21, 2010

Double Critique #8 MaineLadyBug and JadedHopeChest

Today we have two shop owners that won the comment quick contest.  I selected the items from both shops.  They are older listings that have had more than a few views but have not sold.  Let's help them sell their wares!  Don't forget to check out their descriptions and tags.


MaineLadyBug-  beautiful bracelet!
MaineLadyBug joined Etsy in July of 2008.

She lives in beautiful Maine near the shore.  It looks like the shore is her inspiration for this bracelet!



JadedHopeChest -  what a fun critter!
JadedHopeChest joined Etsy last March

Two sisters run this shop and upcycle odds and ends to create imaginative wonders!







Now we get to do the fun stuff - Shop Peeking!  Let's give these ladies our best, shall we?


July 19, 2010

Critique # 8 Candidates

I'll be posting two more shops this week.
JadedHopeChest and MaineLadyBug.
Get ready ladies!




July 15, 2010

Signs of the times?

You know how you are driving along starting to get a bit bored - and then a road sign appears that makes you do a double take?  I've found a couple of them to share with you.
Does the song "Gotta Go Gotta Go Gotta Go Right Now" come to your mind?

Must be a rough convention!

The last one doesn't have a picture - I wish I'd had a camera though when I saw it.  We were driving down the highway from Kansas City going to Branson, MO.  There had been construction going on sporadically but the views were so beautiful you barely noticed the construction. 

After a good amount of time there was a construction warning sign. You know the kind the black square with lit up words in red warning you about the hazards ahead?  Well whoever authored this sign had a sense of irony.  The sign read:

The first screen flashed - Road construction next 26 miles
The second screen flashed -Prepare to be annoyed!

We laughed for 26 miles on that one!

July 13, 2010

Results from the critiques of LauriesCustomCreate and MyLittleGirlsCloset

These two ladies really paid attention to the critique comments! The comments left for these two items were very helpful and honest. It looks like everyone was spot-on! Nice job everyone!

Laurie will be re-shooting all of her nature based backgrounds to blur the background and pull her earrings forward in her pics.  She improved these earrings by shooting them on a textured white background.  She reworded her description and she includeded "earrings" in her item title. She also fixed her link to and from her matching items.

Nice job, Laurie!


Kathy has temporarily shifted her pictures around to better show the gingham in her photo. She's been a victim of weather and hasn't been able to re-shoot her items.

She has rewritten her description to include the washing instructions and is in the process of doing the same for all of her clothing listed.

Kathy you had a few roadblocks but you've improved this dress listing very nicely!

Thank you to everyone! It is you who volunteer and who comment that make this feature successful! And I thank those of you who have voted in my Poll (on the sidebar) Your telling me what you would like to see more of makes it easier for me to give you what you want!
Next week... Critique # 8!

July 05, 2010

Double Critique # 6

Let the fun begin!  We have two terriffic shops looking for a critique on one of their items. Laurie from LauriesCustomCreate and Kathy from MyLittleGirlsCloset.  We've seen them appearing in the Virtual Labs and they each have an item that they would love help with. 

I selected the items from each shop.  Let's see how you would improve these wonderful selections.  Go to each store and check out the item's title, the item description and the tags too.  Leave your critique in the comment section of this post.

Laurie's Ruby and Hematite Crystal Dangle Earrings
Look at the item title, description and tags as well as the picture.

Kathy's Pink Gingham Floral Shirred Dress Size 18M -3T
Again, look at the item's description and tags as well as the picture.

You can click on each picture and be directed to the item's shop.  If you have further comments about any other thing in the shop don't be afraid to comment on that too!   Remember to be thoughtful in your words but don't be afraid to state your suggestions!

At the end of this week (Saturday) I will have each seller adjust their items to reflect what they feel needs changes.  Be sure you check back and comment on the listings' new look! 

There is still room for one more volunteer on the previous post.   If you want your shop looked at be sure to comment!..... you don't have to beg!

Alright.... let's go peeking!


June 28, 2010

Looking for 2 victi......Volunteers!

This is just a pretty starfish
I've seen by the poll that I posted that you lovelies want more critiques.  I took a couple of weeks off from offering critiques and now it's time to start again.  Y'all amaze me with your insights and your helpful suggestions in these posts.  I hope that you are learning as much as I am! 

So....since it's time to start the mini critiques again... the only fair way that I can see is... the first two who comment will be using the "hotseat".  Hmmmm I'm going to make it easy on myself here... the next two will get the next critique's spot, and the next two the following critique spot. 

It is summertime so I'm going to say that each set of critiques will be up for 10 days to two weeks.  I know that this slows down the critiques but it's Summer and so many people back off their computer use and I want the volunteers to get as many comments as possible.  When Summer ends I will pick up the pace again.

Ready?    Set?     GO!!!

June 18, 2010

A Scatterbrain's Method of Organizing Etsy Item Listing


My Procedure for Listing an Etsy Item


I love to write down a procedure for various things that seem complicated otherwise. Etsy item posts fall into the complicated category for me. Even just the act of writing down a step-by-step description helps me keep focus on my task. I'd like to share this with you. Maybe it will make listing our items a bit more palatable.

First, of course, I make the item. Then.... I admire it!  I look at it from all sorts of angles and look for small details that I may have overlooked - you know, like loose threads that I forgot to trim.. that sort of thing.

Next... take photos of the item. (NOT my favorite part at all!)  I try to shoot in the correct light, get lots of different angles, figure out what props I need to use. If the item has a coordinating mate, I shoot them together so that I can link them through their descriptions. I've been known to take 125 pictures of just 4 items.

Then.... process and crop the pictures. I use slideshow for all the unprocessed pictures to get an idea of which 5 pictures I plan to use in the store. (I generally pick 6 or 7 so that I have a backup pic "just in case".

When I have my pics selected I create a folder on my desktop (for easy access when actually posting the items) process, crop and then put the chosen pics into that folder. I name the folder whatever the title of the item is.  It's one folder for each item.

Now it's time to describe the item. I use notepad for this. I type up the description as though I was describing it to someone over the phone. (Try describing any shade of any color - geeze!) I go to my favorite metric site to include inches and centimeters in the description. This is a quick and easy task if you use this tool:
http://www.manuelsweb.com/in_cm.htm

I type the Item Title using as many google search words as possible without making the title look rediculous. I make the first two lines of my description as google friendly as I can - again avoiding making it rediculous. Then I get to add all the colorful flattering stuff. I save the document using the item title as the document title. This goes into the photo folder.

I've tried to pre determine the tags on a list just after the description but haven't figured out a way to easily put the tags into etsy without flipping back and forth between the document and the listing page. so... I wing it! If I am waaay off then I just edit the tags. THEN I copy the tags from etsy and paste them to my item description for future use.

It's time to post the item! I pull up the picture/description file and when the time comes I just copy and paste the description to the item description page. When it's time for the photos - they are all right there for you... you don't have to sort through allll those pictures!

Then... I file the folder in my Etsy Folder. Since the folder is titled using the item name it's not hard to find the folder if I need it again. I do kind of organize my items into group folders i.e. Knitting Needle Cases, Hats, Mini Clutches, etc.

Lastly I enter the newly posted item onto my Inventory sheet.

Item complete!

Maybe this will help some of you create your own routine for posting your gorgeous work! If you have any suggestions post them in comments - we all love a good way to do our work!


June 09, 2010

Conclusion of Double Critique #5

It's time to close the critique for ScrapHappieAz and LuvEweKnits.  They both read and appreciated every word y'all put in comments!

ScrapHappieAz (Shirley) wrote me this:

"I took some more photos showing how the potholders fit on the hand as was suggested. Since it was mentioned that some people did not know how they worked I changed a majority of them to have this photo as the first pic. I still want to take some pics using them such as holding a baking pan or casserole as some else suggested. I had so much fun reading all the comments and I continue to strive for better photos. I also like the idea that people want 2 potholders so I will add more sets of two."

She was thrilled with your great suggestions!  Here's the result of YOUR suggestions!

Nice Job!

LuvEweKnits has taken all of your comments into consideration.  Her life got suddenl SUPER busy and she has not been able to focus on her shops.  She's promised to let us know what she's done very soon!  I will just edit this post to include her changes.

It will be a couple of weeks before another critique is posted so if you would like to be profiled please convo me!  Thank you, each one of you, for helping make these posts a success!


May 26, 2010

Double Critique # 5

It's time for number Double Critique #5! 

I've selected two sellers who have been open over a year and  who have second shops too.  They frequent the labs and are asking for some tweaking help.  Let's wander around and see just how these two ladies manage 2 stores!  I'm sure they would be happy to answer your questions too.  ScrapHappieAZ and LuvEweKnits have asked for our help!

ScrapHappieAZ makes terriffic aprons and pot holders in her first shop.  (I've got some of her pot holders and they are great!) She'd like a better way to display these :


Her second shop is PeapodRay.  And she and her daughter have a website  named Apricot's Boutique which offers wonderful pampering things for everyone!


LuvEweKnits  creates beautiful knitted afghans, hats and more (I've coveted one of her hats for a long time now!) She would love a new way to display her lovely Strawberry Banana Afghan.  She wants to hear your ideas for showing off this absolutely lovely afghan!

Her second shop is seen more in the labs with her showing up as ReincarKnits a fun ecological minded shop. 
Now comes the fun part!  Let's go look in their shops and give each some wonderful new ideas for these items!







May 21, 2010

Oh... what to do... what to do!

You know what goes through your mind when you drop something that you've been munching on?  It hits the floor and for that fleeting second, you wonder - should I??

Well now there is a decision tree you can use to decide! 

Now you ALL know that you've had to decide in the past... hope this makes that decision easier for the next time!

May 19, 2010

Conclusion to Double Critique # 4

 
It's time to close out our double critique.  Thanks to each one of you who commented.  Your comments are valued by these sellers and they both send their thanks to each one of you!

EvenAndy - Shelley has added new variations of her sign within the listing pictures. She also updated the description to include words that Google uses for search.  She also moved the links on her welcome page to her profile page.  Shelley, nicely done!

SatinAndBirch was in the midst of changing her shop and had submitted her lovely soaps for critique not remembering that they were going to be completely removed.  She appreciates all the comments we left and is keeping the information in mind for future posts.  Thanks Leslie we all needed the practice! LOL

Thank each one of you for commenting and I do hope that you continue!  It's fun seeing how a different view point wakes us up to what we are doing in/to our own shops.  Stay tuned for future critiques as there WILL be more!


Thank everyone again.

May 15, 2010

Double Critique #4 EvenAndy and SatinandBirch

It's time we got back to the critiques, don't you think?  This time there are two excellent, motivated sellers who would like some new tips.

While we all would rather be walking along a Hawaiian beach we need to get back to.... oh heck let's just walk the beach!  We can look for signs along the way and then take a refreshing shower with sweet smelling soaps!

The first shop in this critique is EvenAndy's Shop.  She would like comments on her newest listing:

I can't help but think of the "Here's Yer Sign" comedian when I go through EvenAndy's shop.  Any suggestions on different presentation for this item?  I'm sure Shelley would love any suggestions from other areas in her shop too if you feel so inclined.


And this is the item that SatinandBirch would like suggestions for:

Leslie tells me that this item doesn't sell as well as her others.  Any suggestions on how she can get these lovely soaps more attention?  Would her description be altered to draw in the buyer?  Different style on the pictures? 

It is so fun having different kinds of items to look at.  Let's go shop peeping and see what we can come up with for these two deserving sellers, shall we?  Tell your friends to come in and help.  The more the merrier!

May 05, 2010

Mother's Day preparations.

I'm not sure how many of you know that my first job and, for the most part, my career was working in flower shops.  I started when I was 15 and always kept going back to the floral industry.  I've been a floral designer for 35 years.

A pleasant past time!
One shop would always invite me back.  It was the very first shop that I worked in. Russell Florist in Shawnee was where I literally grew up!  Even when I was living far away from home, when I came back to visit - this shop would have me working with them.  I love this shop and will continue going back as long as they ask for me! 

So... what am I up to this week?  .... Well take a look!  I've been creating these gorgeous flower arrangements by the dozen!


I call working at the flower shop "poking posies" because we all spend hours and hours standing at our stations poking the flowers into the vases. 

Roses?... well they are beautiful for sure but their thorns eventually create perforated fingers!  It's worth every thorn prick because the roses are just SO beautiful! 

My favorites, though, are the mixed spring flower arrangements - these always say "Ooooooh it's Spring!"



So... this is what I will be doing the rest of this week, creating lovelies for the mom's who are lucky enough to receive a bouquet of fresh springtime!
Happy Mother's Day!

The Chalk It Up arrangement is  available through a TeleFlora florist.
These are available everywhere across the USA



April 30, 2010

The Results of Double Critique # 3

******************************************************
A lot of hard work went into these critiques and it looks like everyone will benefit from the efforts. It's time to conlcude the critiques of BananaMiranda and iKnitQuiltSew's items. Thank you for your participation - you have opened your shops to help others learn too.

     Before                                                                   After













Sandi eloquently explains her changes in her Teddy Bear listing:

"To everyone who took the time to consider the listing for my teddy bear - THANK YOU! None of us ever have enough time and I truly appreciate your investment in me.

A common thread in all the comments was pictures. Though the pictures I had were taken in natural light, I realize they needed to be improved. Plus, positioning was also an issue as well as giving some perspective. All five pictures are new, and include a couple of perspective things... My quilter's ruler in one and a smaller bear in another (thanks SnapdragonLace for that idea!). I'm particularly fond of both bears waving goodbye in the last photo!

Michelle noted that the the shipping seemed high, and I agree. Sadly, the bear is 1/2 of one ounce OVER one pound. To try and offset the shipping-price-shock, I've noted in the description that the shipping weight is two pounds.


Michelle also asked 'what's this bear good for?' Perhaps the most valuable thing learned from this experience is that I need to remember that I KNOW, but visitors to my shop do not! And they're not their to ask, either! The first paragraph of the description is now a testament to what this bear can do for you!

All of my tags have been reworked. With the changes to the tags and the description, someone looking for a teddy bear that can be loved, snuggled, played with and then be passed down should be able to find this bear.

And finally, I am so very flattered that I was asked if the price was too LOW. The real answer is "probably." But I can live with minimum wage in a bad economy.
Again, my heartfelt thanks. It's so nice to know that people will still go out of their way to help a complete stranger!"

Thank you for sharing your shop with us!

The next two sellers will be announced soon!  Meanwhile Happy Tweeking everyone!

April 25, 2010

Thinking it's time for a few smiles :-)




It's been cloudy and rainy here in good ole Peculiar so I thought that a few smiles would be in order.  Here's the second half of the notes that mothers wrote to get their child excused from  school.

"Please excuse Tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea, and his boots leak."

"Irving was absent yesterday because he missed his bust."

"Please excuse Jimmy for being. It was his father's fault."

"Please excuse Jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday."

"Sally won't be in school a week from Friday. We have to attend her funeral."

"My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the Marines."

"Please excuse Jason for being absent yesterday. He had a cold and could not breed well."

"Please excuse Mary for being absent yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.

"Gloria was absent yesterday as she was having a gangover."

"Please excuse Burma, she has been sick and under the doctor."
...... and the grand finale......

"Maryann was absent December 11-16, because she had a fever, sore throat, headache, and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever, and sore throat, her brother had a low grade fever and ached all over. I wasn't the best either, sore throat and fever. There must be something going around, her father even got hot last night."
 
.... ahhhhh I don't know about you... but I feel much better now!
 
Don't forget to scroll down a bit and leave a comment on the critique posted below :-)

April 22, 2010

Double Critique # 3 BananaMiranda and iKnitQuiltSew

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We have two new sellers who are looking for advice.  I want to thank all of you for participating in this series, you are all terriffic!

Carmen, BananaMiranda opened her shop in May of '09 and is wondering why her Red Jasper necklace .  Carmen, we will look at your photos, description, tags and maybe poke around at other areas too.  She makes beautiful things and has so much energy it's nearly frightening! 




Sandi iKnitQuiltSew opened her shop only recently and offers a nice variety of hand made baby items.  She wants help with her Brown Furry Teddy Bear.  Being rather new she would like any advice that she can get.  She has plenty of listings already so she's one busy lady!

Again, I've tried to profile two types of my followers one who started following my blog from the first and one who has a new shop and looks to us for help. 

Let's go Peeping y'all!  Dig deep and have fun!  If any of you would like you are always welcome to post a link to these critiques from your blogs or Fan Pages.. (I won't complain!)

April 20, 2010

Conclusion to Double Critique #2

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Well this was a success!  You all were just terriffic with your comments.  ArtJewelry & Yarnabees busily worked on their items improving them and I"m betting the tinkering will just do the trick for both of them!  Way to go ladies!

                                       ArtJewelry's Results

    ArtJewelry Before:                                        ArtJewelry After:
It was suggested that she use a model for her display ... what a difference!
Patsy listened to all of the critique items and now has 5 photos of the necklace, changed the tags, improved the description and corrected the typo. (You didn't say one word about my typo of your shop name, Patsy lol! ---too late, I done already corrected that!) 

Here's what Patsy had to say... "
I just finished applying the suggested 'fixes'. All 5 photo slots are filled. I photographed the necklace on a mannequin which was a great idea. (I have 3 gorgeous daughters who could be models but they're always on the run.) Tati didn't like the tag - cubic zirconia - and after considering it, I don't either. So it's gone. I corrected a typo Thumbly pointed out and added color to the tags. Also added a sentence about what inspired the pendant. (Thanks to you.) iKnitQuiltSew suggested I change the title to be search friendly. This was more difficult than I thought but I think it's better.

This is a great learning experience! I'll apply everyone's ideas to my other items as soon as I start moving them. (My photos are still a tad dark but I'll work on that.) "

Patsy... Nice job!

                                         Yarnabee's Results

                 Yarnabees Before:                         


It was suggested that Gina lighten her background and make sure she had all 5 photos showing. She changed her description to include a little bio of Country Bunny and it was believed that her price on bunny was too low. She's in the process of taking pictures (yet again!) for some reason she won't go out into the rain to take pics... go figure! lol Gina, your effort is obvious nice going!          Yarnabees After:
                                          
We all applaud both of you for your efforts! The results are great and you will not have those items much longer.







Go check out their improvements and have a wonderful day!

The next two shops who have offered items for critique are Bananamiranda and iKnitQuiltSew.

It's looking like spring finally so let's go outside and enjoy it!


April 12, 2010

Double Feature Critique #2

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Today we are featuring items from ArtJewelry and Yarnabees.  Each has submitted what they consider to be their "Help Me!" items.

Patsy - artjewelry has been an Etsy buyer since 2007 and has finally taken the plunge to become a seller.  She opened her shop (itself) only recently and has truly beautiful jewelry!  She would love feedback on her Ancient Motif in Bronze Pendant.

Let's give this "Seasoned" Newbie a great start shall we?  Actually, we can learn from her as she's been on the other side of the road as a buyer, so she uses the eye of a buyer when she's creating and posting her beautiful work.  She'd like your input on her photos and let's check out her descriptions too.  She had been wondering about opening a new account since her start up date reads from 3 years ago but decided to keep her regular account name.  Check out her banner it's a great combination of her "old" and "new" membership.  Patsy?  Step up to the hotseat!

And now... it's an item from Yarnabees shop - Gina has asked for help on an item that has had lots of views but still hasn't sold.  Let's look at the photos and description and see what we can suggest.

This is her Country Bunny and he/she? needs some tinkering. So let's hop to it, shall we?  Gina......I made a special hotseat just for you, ducky!  Come have a seat... this won't hurt a bit.

So my friends let's do what we do so well!  Let's give these ladies a great critique and get them up and running.  Tell your friends to come comment too!

Ok now go peek!

The results of ArtJewelry and Yarnabee's Item Critiques will be posted Monday, April 19....If you have any suggestions the time to do it is now!

(4/16/10)