Monday, January 31, 2011

First Giveaway of the YEAR!!!

Who's Ready for a GIVEAWAY??? I know I am :) 

I've decided it's time to start doing regular giveaway's! Everyone like's getting things with out spending money right? And what woman doesn't want more jewelry? So the plan is to do one about every 4 weeks (about once a month) and I'll be giving away a wide variety fun gifts! 

What will I be giving away? This round I'm giving away 3 pairs of earrings valued $15 total! In the future - who knows? Just about anything is possible! 

So how can you win the above pair of earrings and two more surprise earrings? Simple! The first, and easiest way to enter the contest is to simply leave a comment on this post - just make sure I can reach you either through a follow back link to your blog or by leaving your e-mail address. 

But wait, there's more! There are a LOT of ways you can get entries into this contest! Here they are:

1. Leave a comment on this blog = 1 entry
2. Visit my FB page and "like" it. Leave a comment there to let me know your a new or returning fan! = 1 entry
3. Visit my Artfire page or Etsy page, come back and leave a separate comment with your favorite piece = 1 entry
4. Follow this blog or let me know your already following = 1 entry
5. Announce this contest on plurk or twitter, come back and leave a comment with a link = 1entry
6. Blog about it! Since this is means monopolizing your blog space it = 2 entries
7. Make a purchase in either of my stores (Artfire or Etsy) = 5 entries! 

That's a total of 12 possible entries! Please remember to leave separate entries for each entry to make my job easier! I'll be keeping track in a spreadsheet and each entry will be given a separate number (based on order received) and I'll pick a winner using the random number generator. 

*** Winner will be announced Saturday Morning, February 5th! ***

Have Fun :) 
~ Ruthie ~

Monday, January 24, 2011


One of my more popular items has been my hemp creations - especially this month! So it's the perfect time to relist this necklace with all new photos. It's 15 inches and only $15! I didn't do that on purpose - I promise! The bead in the center is a lovely pink lampwork bead that I picked up in my local bead shop - and fell in love with! Is this lovely piece going to be yours?

I also happen to have a hemp necklace in line to make for myself right now - I'll show you pictures when I get to it! Whenever that is...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Photo 365 - Day 11

Have you hit it yet? That point, a few weeks in, where you feel like throwing in the towel and saying, "I'll never accomplish my goals!" I know I'm certainly fighting it.

The above picture says it all. 

Oh maybe not immediately to you! But when I look at it... You see one of my goals for this year is a photo 365 challenge. I'm trying to take a picture a day, every day, and post them several times a week on Facebook and in my photo accounts.

That picture was taken on the 4th.

I'm a wee bit behind on posting up the photos! I missed a few days too. However, I am determined to keep pushing forward! I've missed a few days since I started last month, but I've still taken 21 photos, because I haven't given up. I hadn't posted the photos up in awhile, so I'm catching up this week, and I posted photos 9 to 11 today. I'm persevering.

According to Perseverance means: "Steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state,etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement."

How are you doing with your goals? In your personal life? In your business? Are you pushing forward despite any set backs? I was reading one of the Etsy Bloggers team members posts today (I can't remember which one!) and she said that she's going to keep going to the gym, even if she misses a week, she'll just start up again that next week and not give up. I thought that was a great example of perseverance! 

Don't give up ladies (and gents) - if we keep at it we can all reach our goals!

Oh yes - and that photo is a picture of my nephew-of-the-heart Rowan and myself :) Isn't he cute?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Birthday!

You do smell Birthday cake! Or at last I do... I'm at my parents house because yesterday was my Daddy's birthday and we're celebrating today! It's also my brother-of-the-heart's birthday today, so I've been a busy girl :) So this is a quick post to say...I'm not around today!

If it's your birthday - Happy Birthday :) From me :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

To Everything Its Time and Season

I though the above pendant was quite appropriate for what was on my mind today. Make sure you check out her shop - it's full of fun stuff!

So what is on my mind? The changing seasons, how life transforms over time, planning, time management, balancing acts, and all that fun stuff. What do I mean? Well, as my readers know, I took a break from my shops and I'm currently working hard to get them back into shape. Part of doing that is figuring out how I'm going to manage my time spent online. 

Every small business owner and artisan faces the same challenge. How do you find the time to create, sell, promote, and live the rest of your life? Right now I'm balancing my shop, life with my hubby, my writing, and my health. Granted, that's the old mix I was managing before, but things have changed some.

I learned last month that I have osteoarthritis in my hips and knees, in addition to the wrist and shoulder that I already knew about. Yes, I'm way to young to have this condition normally. It's the result of spending three years on prednisone because of my asthma (which I now, thank God! am off of!). 

This means I have to rearrange my thinking patterns. I'm used to the old, "If it hurts, rest it," mindset. Makes sense right? Not with arthritis. If I don't move enough - I'll hurt more! If I'm hurting really bad, I probably haven't been moving enough. Well, unless I recently did something to put extra stress on my knees, like dancing last week, in which case moving is still necessary because I'll hurt even more if I don't move than if I do! 

Now, this isn't a pity me post. I'm just sharing so you can understand my thought process. In fact, learning the "why" behind my pain means that I'm managing it much better, doing more than I have in a long time (like dancing!), and feeling better! 

The only downside is that I need to limit my time online. The first step to that was realizing that I need to get up and move, (clean, take a short walk, dance in living room, something!) every 45mins to an hour. If I don't my joints will just lock up and I'll hurt. 

The next step is figuring out how I'm going to get done the things I want to at my computer! This biggest challenge is managing my time with my teams on Etsy and Artfire. For now I'm not going to be dropping out from any of my teams, and I'm going to start interacting more with them, but I'm going to have to be careful how I do that. Here's the steps I'm going to take:

1. Move my Etsy Beadweavers from receiving every e-mail to receiving a daily digest. (already done!)
2. Follow the bloggers in their Etsy thread (cuz their my original peeps) but don't try to keep up with other threads.
3. Make a list of the commitments I have on-line. Etsy teams, Artfire guilds, writing forum mod duties.
4. Contact the leader of the team I'm not sure I'll be able to stay on. 
5. Put posting items and blogging before networking/chatting/visiting blogs!

Is there anything you should be doing to streamline your time?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Etsy in the LA Times!

Yes, I'm a little delayed in sharing this, but that's because I just found out! I thought it was interesting though. Etsy was apparently in the LA Times on January 1st. I honestly gave up reading the article about 3/4 of the way through because it was all stuff at that point that I know (I have been on here for several years now!) but the beginning was pretty interesting! My grandmother sent it to me. If your interested I found the article online here. If you haven't checked out my shop, you can find it here :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Slogging On

How are you doing on your New Years Goals? I'm not doing that great. Course I can blame it on getting sick to a large part, but I think the rest of it is just that it takes times to set new habits. True, posting and blogging every day is more of an old habit being resurrected, but still, it's like creating a new habit because I took a break for so long from my shop! 

I've done a lot better on the "posting items" portion of my goal. I've had a lot of items to renew on my etsy, so I've been managing to log in and renew a few almost every day. Getting to this blog has been harder! 

I'm hoping this next week will be a much more productive one, and that I won't be as sick so it'll be easier to achieve my goals! Oh yes, and did you notice that the item I posted a picture of is on clearance??? You should snap that up before someone else does :)

Oh yes, I also plan on reformatting my blog this week if possible, I'm very tired of the Christmas theme!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Ball is Rolling!

White Spiral Hemp Bracelet

I sold this bracelet today! Fortunately for you - this is one that I can make more of - so it's still listed! I haven't remade it yet - but I will in the next day or two :) If you order it, it'll still be out very soon!

I've gotten going again on my shop, and things are happening, which makes me very happy! I had this order today from someone I don't know, and I have a couple more friend-orders in progress right now. Hey, it's not much, but I'll take whatever I can get! 

My goal, while I'm working on building traffic again, is 5 sales a month. Since this is my first paid-for sale this month (the others are currently unpaid because they are incomplete right now) I'm at 1/5 for my sales goal! If everything goes through with the others I'll be at 4/5. Here's hoping it all works out!

Any one want to help me reach my goal? You know where to find me!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Not Exactly a Piece of Cake

I thought it entertaining that today's item renewal on Etsy was my "Piece of Cake" necklace! Why? Well because  my focus right now is on setting and obtaining goals, and I'm quickly being reminded that they aren't necessarily a piece of cake! Some of my goals I'm doing great with. Others...

My goals for my business are:
~ 60 Sales this Year, which breaks down to 5 a month.
~ Increase Traffic. Breaks down to the specific goals of post or renew at least one item 5 times a week. Blog 5 times a week. 

Simple, specific, and should be relatively attainable right? 

I even made a little sheet to keep track of how I'm doing on each of my goals (business and life)! I'll blog about that tomorrow (hopefully) and it's telling me that I'm not starting out so great on some things. Such as my business goals. My weeks starts with Sunday, and this is the first time I've blogged or posted an item! Which means I better not miss a day the rest of this week :P We'll see how it goes! Off to my T'ai Chi class :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Years! What are YOUR plans?

Happy New Year! How are you doing? I've been determined for the last month or so to get on track with my business and goals related to that. So what happened? My brother's wedding, holiday's, life. It all adds up sometimes!

I'm hoping that this month I'm going to be able to achieve my goals. For one, my health and energy are both improving practically exponentially. Plus, we're out of the holiday insanity! Lastly, I'm actually writing out my goals, posting them all on the wall, and planning to review them on a monthly basis. 

How do I set my goals? How should you set your goals? Well, you need to find something works well for you, but I learned about the SMART goals system years ago and I think it's really helpful!

S = Specific. Don't write down general goals like "lose weight," put down specifics such as "lose 5lbs a month."
M = Measurable. This is one way to make your goals specific. I.e. "Read 20 books this year." "Exercise 3 times a week. This can also include how you are going to keep yourself accountable. "Keep a list of the books I read." "Make an exercise calender."
A = Attainable. It might not be realistic to expect to climb Mt Everest this year (unless your already in condition for it!) but you might be able to take walks around your neighborhood, or plan on going on hikes in your area. And hey, if you plan it out, you might just be able to tackle a big peak before the end of the year! Just make sure you plan to work up to your big goals, don't just jump at them and expect to succeed. Have a plan.
R = Realistic. What's really realistic? I know myself and swearing off chocolate would NOT be realistic. However, promising to eat small portions of desert, and one piece of chocolate at a time (instead of a bag) is something that I can mentally handle.
T = Timely. This portion is one of the reasons I say that is important to revisit your goals. Timely is the concept of putting a time frame on your goals. "I want to lose 15lbs." Well when do you want to lose them by? Eventually? 3 months from now? Setting goals that are time bound also allows you to tackle a bigger goal in smaller chunks. Let's say your goal is to read 24 books this year. You can break that down and say, "Read 2 books a month." Now you know what you need to accomplish now, and not just within the next year.

One of my current goals is to post at least one item 5 times a week (or renew). The picture at the top is one of mine for today! I think it works really well for right now because it would be great for a Valentines Day present! It has red crystals, and it's hard to see from the picture, but the center crystal is a heart! 

I'll tell you more about my goals later, but for now, what are your goals right now?