January 24, 2010

The Hot Seat has been activated!

Thank you all who have agreed to participate in this critique endeavor!  It only took a "pretty please with cherries on top", but Gizecraft has offered to be the first to offer up an item for general critique.  (She could have held out for the whipped cream too but she took my first offer.)

Her beautiful patchwork offerings fill her shop.  She asked that we look at her "Patchwork Scarf - Romance" listing.  It is the beautiful scarf in the picture above.  Just click on her name above and you will magically appear in her shop..... all the way to Portugal!

Gizecraft would like critique on this item's photography and item description.  Let's help her get this beauty sold!  Remember, honesty delivered in a caring manner and if you have a suggestion please offer that too.  She has lovely items and deserves to gain the knowledge and ability to sell and sell well!

Let's go shop peeping!


January 17, 2010

Let's Play a Critique Game!

Meet Felix and Oscar  They are dependent upon one another.  Felix is a Pistol Shrimp who is blind.  He builds tunnels under the sand and rocks in a reef.  Oscar is called a Shrimp Goby.  Oscar keeps watch while Felix creates new tunnel work for Oscar to live in.  When outside the tunnel Felix always  touches Oscar with his feeler.  If Oscar senses danger he wriggles and then both he and Felix scoot quickly back into the safety of the tunnel.  Oscar protects Felix and Felix keeps Oscar's home for him.  A Commensurate Relationship.

We are a community on Etsy, we all depend upon one another for so many things.    Like Felix and Oscar we, too, have a commensurate relationship....

I have an idea.  We are all interested in critiqes... be they our own shop, or someone else's.  I am always mentally critiquing every new shop that I enter these days. How about having a critique game where once a month we critique an item or portion of someone's shop via comments here in this blog?  Every month on the 17th there will be a new item or portion of someone's shop to critique.  This is not a competition, the only prize is new knowledge.  But we can have fun with it too. 

The shop involved will be asked if the critique is agreeable with them.  We can get the nominee from any etsy shop.  We can nominate someone or even ourselves, we can critique one of our favorite items from "Favorites" or one of our troubling listings from our own shop.  I will convo or email the "star" to get their permission and to alert them of the critique.  This isn't to embarrass anyone but to make them aware that their _______ is being looked at for accolades or for helpful information.

Be innovative in your critique, show humor, show your imagination, be constructive,  most of all show consideration.... remember YOU could be on the hotseat yourself!  I will select one of my own items a bit further into the game but for now how about a suggestion from you?

Who is in??  We will have a weekto select the "Star" and two weeks to critique. If the shop owner is interested they will be given convo or email updates on the comments posted. The last week we will check back on the item/shop and congratulate the Shop Owner and give them the opportunity to comment on the critique.  Fair enough?

 Convo me on Etsy or comment me here with your suggestions on this little game, or to volunteer an item or something specific about your shop.  Let me know what you think about this little game.  We can have fun while we learn!

Ready?  Set?  GO!!!

January 08, 2010

Baby, it's COLD outside!


If I didn't love winter this would be more than aggravating.  Thankfully I do love winter so I want to share the serious, comical night we had here in Peculiar last night.

The snow here is just gorgeous!  I've always loved winter and snow.  Snow makes things so... uniform and neat, everyone's yard is equal in beauty especially out in the country.  Yes, snow is a pain in the neck when you have to shovel it, drive in it, all the normal complaints but somehow I am able to overlook the hassle and appreciate the beauty.

Living out in the country .... we only live 3 miles from the booming metropolis of Peculiar, MO population around 2,800.  Obviously we don't get the "city" perks but we also don't have the "city" hassles either.  For example electricity..... we get our electricity from a co-op, the rates are truly a bit cheaper and when there's a problem we do get someone here much more quickly than the "city folk".

All that said..... we had a rather eventful night last night.

The weather is cold, cold, cold.... Did I mention cold?  Temp was around -4 with a wind chill factor that made it -15,  brrrrrrr!  The hubby and I were happily working/playing on our respective computers.  I was in the Critique Lab which was about half over... when suddenly POOF! No electricity!  We keep flashlights and candles available and where we can find them in the dark and usually the electricity comes back on within minutes.  It's 9:30 pm and the warmest place was going to be in bed.... asleep so we can ignore the falling temperature in the house.

We went to bed, stacked the down blankets on the bed, the dog came up and kept our feet warm, the cat came up and kept my chest and Allen's back warm... just as we were falling asleep the smoke alarm went off! Both dogs ran around worried in the dark, the cat ran downstairs and hid in my desk. We got up and looked for smoke by flashlight - nope no smoke, no fire. Allen climbed the step ladder, removed the smoke detector. (We have like 5 detectors upstairs so we weren't worried about not being warned of a fire.), He disconnected the noise maker and came back to bed.  I suppressed a giggle because all that I could think of was the "Friends" episode when Phoebe murdered her smoke detector because it would NOT turn off.  It took him 5 minutes to shut the darn thing off!

After he shut the smoke detector up he crawled back under the covers shivering.  We were both just falling asleep and another smoke detector went off! So..... we got up, looked for smoke, no smoke, no fire.  Al climbed the ladder and disconnected the smoke detector, tripped over a dog, cursed and bounced back into bed. We actually fell asleep and AGAIN another smoke detector went off! We got up...... by now you know the routine geeze!  It was around 4 am before we finally got to actually sleep... yup at 5:30 EVERYTHING came on LOL.

Craving coffee, I made my way downstairs to the kitchen to brew a pot of coffee.  I dumped the old coffee down the drain, got the coffee grounds into the basket, turned on the water.............no water!!!!  The pipes had frozen.  All I could think of was the 2 cups of coffee that I had just dumped down the drain!  My husband, grumbling, went to the basement and somehow worked magic and we had water again..... yaaaay coffee!

It ain't over yet......Allen just came in and told me that he couldn't get his car out of the driveway because of 3' snow drifts intermittently up the driveway. So..... he took my car that has all wheel drive. The good thing about that is HE gets to fill the tank with gas because I only had about 30 miles of gas in my car LOL! BTW with the wind chill - it's a cool -18 here including wind-chill.

Being the optimist that I am, my favorite quote comes to mind. I have no clue who originated this but.... "Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"

Now I am ready to start the day!  Y'all have a good day too!