Thursday, March 31, 2011

Etsy Bloggers Featured Artist - Mystic Wind

I almost missed it! It's the last day of the month, so my last chance to feature this month's featured artist from the Etsy Bloggers! Ok, well, not really, I've been known to do it the first week of the next month too. *shhh* don't tell anyone! Let's get a cheer for procrastination! Moving on...



Here's three of my favorite items from her shop!







Don't forget to check out this weeks Giveaway!
Coming up Tomorrow - Featured Friday!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Social Networking Karma!



What is Social Networking Karma? Why am I talking about it? First let's back up and examine the idea of Karma...

Karma, the Golden Rule, "What goes around comes around," - whatever you call it, it's a concept that has been around for for a long time. When you do nice things for other's, it often comes back to you in wonderful and unexpected ways. Right? 

Now let me ask you a question. Do you ever get tired of promoting yourself? I know I do! There have definitely been times when I get tired of tooting my own horn and where I feel like I'm just blabbing to the universe with no feedback. The various social networking sites were starting to feel pointless. That's when I started thinking about Social Networking Karma. 


Now, I don't want you to think I came upon this idea on my own, this has been a long process and I know that there have been a lot of different artists who've given me individual ideas that I eventually pulled together into a whole!

How it works: 

Social Networking Karma happens when you promote artists (authors, bloggers, etc), other than yourself. You can do this in a lot of ways! See something you like? Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, or your blog! Then, and this is key, tell that person where you've shared it and send them a link. You'll be amazed at the results! 

Since I've started practicing this habit the results have blown me away. I've had people e-mail me and tell me that I've made their day because they had a horrible day and having someone do something nice just totally floored them. I've had people tell me that they were considering shutting down their shop, then I promoted them, and it made them think that maybe there is some value to their work. I've also had a lot of people return the favor and promote me in one way or another.

There's no feeling like it! When they return the promotion, it's great, but it's the people who's day's I make, or who I end up building a relationship with them as a result, that I love :) 



I'm going to be talking about some different approaches to practice Social Networking Karma over the next few weeks. Specifically we'll be talking about Twitter, Facebook, and Blogging. I may add to that list as I continue to explore the topic! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Giveaway Feature - Mama's Little Monkeys

This post has been closed.
Check back on Monday for the next one!



This week's feature is on Amy, of Mama's Little Monkeys, but I always call her Mama. She's a wonderful artist, a dedicated Mom, and a great friend :)

1. Where can we find your work and what do you create?

Fabric Button Badge Reels at http://www.badgereels.etsy.com
www.badgereels.artfire.com
Handmade baby toys, gifts, and more at http://www.mamaslittlemonkeys.etsy.com
www.mamaslittlemonkeys.artfire.com
Fabric Destash at http://www.destashcity.etsy.com
www.destashcity.artfire.com
Nap Mat Covers at: http://www.napmatcovers.etsy.com
Eco Friendly Cleaning Items at http://www.MicroMops.etsy.com
www.micromops.artfire.com

Proud Founder of http://www.handmadelouisiana.etsy.com

2. What's your favorite part about being an independent artist?
The flexibility to create what I want when I want...to a point. I love the fact that if I need to run my sons to school, or take them outside to swing, I can put work on hold and do that!!


Whew she's busy! I've always found that inspiring :) 

3. Where do you find your inspiration?

Generally my children. Much of what i create was made because of them, they wanted it, or it was something to make life as a mom easier! Also, I tend to buy fabric because I love it, then later decide what to make with it!

4. What advice would you give to other artists?
DO NOT GIVE UP! It took me at least 18 months to find my niche (the badge reels and eco friendly cleaning supplies). It takes years sometimes to get into a good groove of creating, business, bookkeeping, and yes, actually turning a profit! Keep trying, keep networking and keep LEARNING!

Isn't She Great?
Here's What You Can Win:



Michael Miller Business Card Wallet
Keep your business cards and more safe and handy in this adorable business card wallet 
made from Michael Miller 3-D Zoo designer fabric.

You can either win the one shown above, pick another business card holder,
or receive a $10 gift certificate! Don't you just love the options?


So how can you win?


1. Comment on this entry
2. Share your favorite item from her shops (scroll up for links)
3. Plurk or twitter about it and leave a comment with link.
4. Promote the item on Facebook.
5. Blog about it and leave a comment with link
6. Purchase an item from her shop (for 5 entries) (link above)

Important: All entries must be submitted by comments on this blog post.
I'm keeping track of the entries, so telling Mama about them won't help :P


Giveaway Ends Saturday 4/2

Interested in doing an artist feature/giveaway on this blog? Just let me know!

What's coming up? Tomorrow - Networking Karma! Wednesday - Etsy Versus Artfire

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pay It Forward 2011


I got these lovely earrings (and I'm wearing them right now!) from Jennifer of JPrideJewelry! It's all a part of Pay It Forward 2011!

These earrings were perfect because I was planning on making myself some small purple earrings - so I think she read my mind :D

If your not familiar with the Pay it Forward concept here's out how it works: When you pay it forward you do nice things for other people, and all you ask is that they pass it on to someone else! It can be some thing simple, $5 at Starbuck for the car behind you, even just smiles or opening doors, but it's always fun! There's something wonderful about doing something expecting nothing :)


So how does this work? The first 5 commentators on this blog post will get something free from me! All I ask is that you turn around and do the same thing. It's on the honor system, I'm not going to check up on you, but I guarantee you'll have fun doing it!

Please include your favorite color in the comment :) and make sure I can get a hold of you to get your address!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Meri Greenleaf's Giveaway Winner!

First of all I just have to say - a huge Thank You!!! to everyone who entered this week's contest! We had a record number of entries and that tells me that our new promotions idea is working! Which is very exciting for all the future featured giveaway artists! Now to the fun stuff...


Did you see that? 54 entries! Oh my goodness!

Now who was number 23?


Ooo...another winner that I don't know! So I dived into my e-mail and found their e-mail address :) Unfortunately they don't have a web-site I can point you all too (that I can find easily), so I'll be getting in touch with them and letting them know they won! If they do have a website I can send you too I'll post about it later! 

Check back on Monday for our new contest! Also, I have a lot of fun posts coming up: 1. A post to introduce you to my muses; 2. Discussing the differences between Artfire and Etsy, and .... 3. Lots more about promotions! Talk to you soon :D


Friday, March 25, 2011

Bloggy Promotions - and a Challenge



In Wednesday's Mish-Mash blog post I put a question out there. What do you do to promote your blog? Now I was planning on posting this yesterday and I spaced (bad Ruthie) but it gave me time to digest what I was really thinking about when I asked that question. I realized that what I should have asked was: What do you do to promote your work?

I know a lot of my readers are fellow artists and we have these blogs so we can share about our creations, promote ourselves, and talk about the creative process. So, really, promoting our blogs is a part of our over all promotions process, not independent of it. In that vein, I'm going to do a series of blogs about promotions, because it's something we all do, and something we can always learn more about! If your not an artist - rest assured I'll post about other things as well! 

Here's Where I Promote my Blog Posts:
(Click to find me on these sites!)

Social Media Sites:

Each of my Etsy Teams

If it's a giveaway there's a list of giveaway blogs I'll go to on Giveaway days, that's new and the list is developing. So what do you do? Can you think of some great sites I'm missing? Or am I doing more than you are? I want feedback!

Ok - my questions asked, and my promotion places shared - now a challenge! One thing I've worked hard to do is always respond to my comments. I've noticed a lot of other people don't do that, but I challenge you to think about it! Why? 

Making sales are about two things: Great Product, and Building Relationships. Even big stores will tell you this, they stay in business because they have developed a relationship of with their customers. However, the tactics a mega-company uses and the tactics a one-man band company uses are necessarily totally different! 

Responding to your blog comments is a great way to build that relationship! The easiest way to do that? Click on the link that takes you to their blog, read their latest post, and comment yourself! Some of these people will be your old and dear friends you would have visited anyway, but you'll also find new people that you just love! So - go out there and give it a try!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Mish-Mash Post by a Sick Girl

Yes, as the title says, I'm rather sick right now. I've been fighting a nasty cold for awhile now. I thought it was over for a bit last week (long enough to catch up on things!) and then it came back with a vengeance! It has now graduated from a nasty cold into a serious sinus infection. *sniffles* I'm so proud of my little nasty cold, it's growing up!

Seriously though, sick, but trying to do what I can :) My sale is still going because I've been too out of it to updated it :P I am up to processing orders if anyone wants to check it out before I get the inspiration to change it around and do something else :P

Don't forget to check out this week's giveaway featuring Meri Greenleaf!  It's currently rocking along with 30 entries so far! Don't worry - there is still plenty of time to enter - I'll be announcing the winner sometime on Sunday :)

That brings me to my next very related topic. One of Meri's dear friends is Aquariann. She entered my giveaway and I had a lot of fun checking out her blog! It was a return trip for me, and I was delighted to see that she has this going on right now:


I promptly entered it and visited it a few of the blogs. Not very many though :( I've been pretty sick, but I'll visit them as soon as I can! Meri also pointed out that Aquariann had a post about free giveaway sites! So I will be entering all giveaways on this blog at those sites from now on :) Meri did it for me this week (cuz she loves me!) and I'm betting anything that some of these entries (from people I've never heard of) are a direct result of this extra work! What does this mean for you? Well, anyone who's interested in being the featured artist for one of my giveaways can rest easy that they will get more entries than they would have before!

Now a Question I have for all of you: What do you do to promote your blog? I have some things I do, and I'll talk about those in my next post, but I want to know what you do. If I like your ideas, I'll give you a shout out on my blog!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Giveaway Feature - Meri Greenleaf

This Giveaway Has Been Closed
Check Back Each Monday for a New Giveaway!
And During the Week for Promotions Ideas,
And Lots of Other Fun Stuff!

I'm very excited about this giveaway! Meri is one of my best friends. We've never met in person, but between a thousand and one e-mails, and a few phone calls, she's been there for me through thick and thin.


  1. Where can we find your work and what do you create?

    I'm on Etsy (http://merigreenleaf.etsy.com) and Artfire (http://merigreenleaf.artfire.com), and I have a shop on Zibbet, too (http://www.zibbet.com/merigreenleaf), but I don't have as much stuff there. I make a random assortment of things, but almost everything is fantasy-inspired: cartilage earrings and ear cuffs, chainmaille, hemp jewelry, geeky keychains and phone charms (multi-sided dice- yay!), elf (and various other creature) ears and dragon horns, fantasy dolls, runestones, and lately I've started making framed fantasy embroidery, too. I have a very short attention span, in case it wasn't obvious. ;)

  2. What's your favorite part about being an independent artist?

    Being able to make what I want to make- and being able to earn some money. I have health problems so I can't hold a regular job right now, so my online shops and craft shows are my only form of income at the moment.

  3. Where do you find your inspiration?

    Fantasy (especially “The Lord of the Rings”), literature (need to use my BA in English somehow!), mythology (usually Greek and some Celtic), Dungeons and Dragons... I'm a geek and I'm proud of it! I also get inspiration from nature- trees, forests and the ocean in particular. I'm a geeky elf-girl. ;)
  1. What advice would you give to other artists?

    Make what you want to make- create to make yourself happy, not to make what you think others will like. There will be people out there interested in what you do, even if you think you're the only person who would want it. And where's the fun in not making what you love? Follow your muse, fickle though it may be. :)



    Now for the Giveaway!

    Meri is giving you an option to pick any earring from her shop! 
    Here's what she says:

    I'm giving away a chain earring or an ear cuff of your choice from the earring section of my shop:
    http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=Shop&sc_id=56488&seller_id=30196&op=new
    For the chain ones, I can replace the pierced post with a slip-on cuff on the top, so don't worry if you don't have your cartilage pierced. I can even make the bottom post a clip-on if you have no piercings, or you can just go with a simple ear cuff earring- anyone can wear those. 

    So how can you win?


    1. Comment on this entry
    2. Share your favorite item from her shop (scroll up for link)
    3. Plurk or twitter about it and leave a comment with link.
    4. Blog about it and leave a comment with link
    5. Purchase an item from her shop (for 5 entries) (link above)

    Important: All entries must be submitted by comments on this blog post.
    I'm keeping track of the entries, so telling Meri about them won't help :P

    Interested in doing an artist feature/giveaway on this blog? Just let me know!

    And there is still a sale going in my shop! 15% off at Rose Works Jewelry :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

ScaryWhiteGirl's Giveaway Winner!

We didn't have a lot of entries this week, but that could easily be because I've been sick :( Sorry Dawn! I tried to twitter it and posted it in several other places, but I think my lack of energy to blog hurt this week's giveaway :( The good news is we still have a winner!


And that is...


Congrats SamsStuff!

You can find her blog here:

I checked out her AF shop and found this lovely bracelet:



Congrats Sam! I'll be contacting you and Dawn to get you in touch with each other :)
Check back tomorrow for a giveaway from one of my best friends! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How I Relax

I love this week's blogfire challenge! I'm supposed to tell you how I relax - which is a great topic! There are two main ways I relax. Reading and beading. Since this is my jewelry/craft blog - I'll tell you about the beading. Is that ok? Good.

Now some pieces, while I love the results, actually take a lot of work. I fiddle and fight with them, and while I may love the results, the journey to get there isn't exactly restful. This piece is one of those:



This is one of my favorite necklaces, don't get me wrong, but the beaded beads I used took me a awhile to figure out! These were the first one's I'd ever done, and if I remember correctly there were at least 4 that ended up in the garbage because they were just way too wonky. 

Other beaded projects are very relaxing to work on. Especially when I already know the pattern and its something repetitive that you don't have to really think about a lot. This is the perfect example of that:



I often work on pieces like this when I need a break from things that are more mind intensive. So I'll pick this up when I've been stressed out, or when a project isn't working the way I want and I need a break, and I can watch things online and just zone out. I call this my zen beading. It's very therapeutic! I turn off all of my chat windows, laugh at my shows, and bead. I love it :)

Go check out this week's giveaway! Perfect for coffee lovers :) 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weekly Giveaway - Featuring ScaryWhiteGirl

This Post has been CLOSED.
Please check back each Monday for a new giveaway!
And of course the rest of the week to see
what's new, what's on sale, and what I'm up to!




It's that time of week again - Giveaway Time! This week's artist is Scary White Girl - aka - Dawn. I met Dawn through the Big Damn Crafters team - a group of like-minded geeks who all love the show Firefly! (To find items from the team search "team bdc" on etsy) Dawn has some fun geekery in her shop, and she's just plain a fun person to be around. Here's her interview:

1. Where can we find your work and what do you create?

My shop is http://scarywhitegirl.etsy.com, and I make crocheted items. A lot of my items are geeky and/or morbid, like my Firefly and Doctor Who themed items, Decapitated Dollies, and eyeball cat toys, but I also have some more "normal" things as well, like arm warmers, coffee cozies, and ice cream cozies.

2. What's your favorite part about being an independent artist? 

I like having at least a portion of my day where I'm my own boss. I still work full time, and craft on the side, but it's nice to be able to be the one who decides what projects take priority when for a little while.

3. Where do you find your inspiration?

All over the place! I've drawn inspiration from people I've met at craft shows, things I've seen on TV or in movies, and interesting color combinations in stained glass. I don't think I can go anywhere without looking at things through a lens of "can I crochet this?"

4. What advice would you give to other artists?

Make what you love. If you don't love what you're making, stop making it, and figure out what you do want to make. You'll enjoy the process so much more once you can focus on what you want to be doing, rather than what you think you should be doing. And the enjoyment you take from your work will show through and become a selling point.

Onto the Giveaway!



You Could Win a Coffee Cozy like the one's featured int his post!
Here's what Dawn has to say about them:

Dress up your coffee shop coffee with this fashionable and environmentally friendly crocheted coffee cozy, made from organic cotton! Even when the cardboard coffee sleeves are made from recycled cardboard, they still end up back in the trash (or the recycling bin). Instead, use this washable coffee cozy to keep your hand protected from the hot coffee cup! (Winner may choose the color/stripe pattern for their cozy from available cozies at http://scarywhitegirl.etsy.com.) Value $12.


So how can you win?

1. Comment on this entry
2. Share your favorite item from her shop (scroll up for link)
3. Plurk or twitter about it and leave a comment with link.
4. Blog about it and leave a comment with link
5. Purchase an item from her shop (for 5 entries) (link above)

Important: All entries must be submitted by comments on this blog post.
I'm keeping track of the entries, so telling Dawn about them won't help :P

Interested in doing an artist feature/giveaway on this blog? Just let me know!

And there is still a sale going in my shop! 15% off at Rose Works Jewelry :)

Simply Smiss's Giveaway Winner!

Yes, I'm late putting this up, but like I mentioned in my 80's blog I'm still sick! Good news is that I did finally decide to go to the doc to make sure this cold hasn't become something more - and it's still a cold! Doctoring myself up with lots and lots of tea, Vit C, garlic, and rest :) Now for what you really want to hear ... who this week's winner is!


Number 4? Who's that? 


Congrats Valeryalta! 

Now I don't know her - which is exciting! It means I had some one new enter the contest!
So I dug into my comment records to find out who she is...

Her blog is called Yarn Kiss and I found this picture...


It's a Jayne Hat! Those of you who know me well know I'm a big Firefly fan - so that made me happy :)

Congrats again! 

I'll try and get tomorrow's giveaway up first thing tomorrow :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Let's Go Back to the 80's

First, let me apologize for the lack of blogs this week. I ended up catching my brother's nasty cold and for most of the week I have moved off the couch solely for the purposes of getting more tea (decaff) and to use the bathroom because of all that tea! I'm working on catching up on life now though :) Still fighting the cold, but I'm functional again and that's what matters :)

Now to catch up...

One thing that makes me sad about this week isn't I haven't had a chance to promote this week's giveaway as much as I'd like! So make sure you head over there and check it out, and make me smile :D

My latest big project was a piece for the Etsy Beadweavers Monthly Challenge. This month was "Fashion Through the Ages" I tend not to be one who does these huge, fantastic, pieces, so the Victorian Age was right out. So what did I pick? The 80's!



This piece did NOT want to be photo'd. The colors wouldn't show up and have the picture look bright. The top picture required a lot of photo manipulation to get it to look right. I've got a couple ideas that I'd like to try in the future, but they won't be easy someone buy it from me so I don't have to! (no pressure guys, no pressure)

Make sure you go vote in this month's challenge. I'm down at the end - but only vote for me if I'm your favorite! Etsy Bead Weavers Challenge.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Simply Smiss Giveaway

This Giveaway has been closed.
Please check back each Monday for a new Giveaway!
Also throughout the week for lots of fun :)



It's time for my weekly giveaway - and this week is a friend who I've bought from - and sold too! We chat all the time online and I showed off the above hair clips because I have them and wear them all the time :) Aren't they perfect for me? Now for you to meet my friend Jenn of Simply Smiss:

1. Where can we find your work and what do you create?

2. What's your favorite part about being an independent artist? 
It's all stuff I enjoy making, and it's great to get feedback from buyers about how much they like it!

3. Where do you find your inspiration? 
The internet, and other artists.  

4. What advice would you give to other artists?
Do what you love, not just what you think will make money. Otherwise you will do something that just feels like a chore. It's much better to do something you enjoy, and then have other people appreciate it as well.

Now for her giveaway! You can win any 2 Pairs regular size button hair clips, or any 1 badge reel. You already saw one of her clips, and here's my favorite badge reel in her shop! 



So how can you win?

1. Comment on this entry
2. Share their favorite item from her shop(s) (scroll up for links)
3. Plurk or twitter about it and leave a comment with link.
4. Blog about it and leave a comment with link
5. Purchase an item from her shop (for 5 entries) (links above)

Important: All entries must be submitted by comments on this blog post.
I'm keeping track of the entries, so telling Jenn about them won't help :P

Interested in doing an artist feature/giveaway on this blog? Just let me know!

And there is still a sale going in my shop! 15% off at Rose Works Jewelry :)


Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Giveaway Winners!

Yes, that was winners. There are two of them! I love it :)

Now who wins the bracelet from me?


And that is...


You can see her blog at Bead Dreams and Moonlit Fantasies:


And guess what? We live within half an hour of each other! What do you say...meet up?
I'll let you know if we are able to do it - and post pictures!

Now who won Meri's earring? 


And that is...


I love Tilt Creations! She's been one of my friends online for a long time now. 
You can catch her blog (one of them) at TiltCreations:


Congrats to both our winners!

I just wanted to note something for all of you. Do you see that both of our winners had multiple entries? Each week there are multiple ways to enter the contest, and often the winner put in two or three entries at least! So if you really want to win - take that extra minute and give yourself that extra edge :) Check back on Monday for the next giveaway, and don't forget everything is 15% off at Rose Works Jewelry right now! 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blog Hopping and a Look Back

I'm still working through the bead soup blogs. It's been a long hop! 210 blogs? Crazy! But that means there is a LOT of eye candy out there for me to drool over :) If you haven't seen mine check out both of my necklaces here.

It'll be another day at least before I get through all of them - so if I haven't been to your blog yet don't be offended! Life is just crazy right now :P

Before I go back to looking at blogs - but I wanted to share with you the piece that I made during my first Bead Soup Blog Hop!



One last thing and then I'm off to look at blogs! Have you ever heard of Swagbucks? It's a search engine that allows you to earn points randomly as you search, the more you search, the more likely you are to earn points! Yes, it's real. I've been on there for around 6 months now and I've earned enough points to get multiple Amazon Gift Cards. There are a lot of other things you can redeem points for, but that is by far my favorite. How does this tie-in to the Bead Soup? As I've been visiting blogs I'm using the swag bucks search bar to look for the blog titles instead of clicking on the links. Yah, it's slowing me down some, but I've earned a whole bunch of points! If your interested in checking it out I would ask that you use my referral link so that I can get points for pointing you to the site. Now...where's my coffee? It's time to blog hop!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Giveaway Bonanza!

Just let me start by saying, sorry I haven't blogged in two days! I really meant too, but I'm just worn out so it hasn't happened. I'm my brother's secondary caregiver and adjusting to the schedule has had me really run down, but I have a day off today! Woot! And even better? He's doing much better today :D Which means he should have some time to build a little strength before the next chemo treatment. Now for what you want to see..

Giveaway Bonanza

Meri of Elfling Creations offered a second item for this weeks giveaway. She wanted to do something to help support my brother and raise awareness and I love the item she's added to my giveaway :D I think you will too! 


So here's how it works! I'll be drawing two winners for this weeks giveaway when I get up on Saturday - and you can get an extra entry! Just go check out her shop and then visit the giveaway post  and leave me a comment there to get an extra entry into the contest! There were 27 entries when I went I got of the computer last night - and I'm headed to check that email as soon as I've update the original giveaway post with the new item :)

Here's what Meri has to say about the earring: The earring dangles about 1" from the ear cuff, which is silver-plated and 3mm wide. The sun bead has a crescent moon on the reverse side. That bottom bead is a cats eye- that's hard to see in the photo, so I figured I'd mention it.


Now go enter!