Friday, October 29, 2010

Origami Crane White Dress – Design by Mariana Leung

This beautiful dress was created by Mariana Leung. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Stumbled Upon a Small Blog Mention!

tuesday02 I was researching and stumbled upon Jessica Cauthon’s blog The Chickadee Tree blog that mentioned my Art Fire Shop as one of her weekly Top Ten

September 21st – Tuesday’s Top Ten

Thank you Jessica for the mention!

Friday, October 22, 2010

“Inspire Me” by Hugh MacLeod

Inspire Me.jpg
Another great cartoon from business cartoonist Hugh MacLeod.
We all need inspiration.  Only time I work on my crafts, draw or even write my entries is through inspiration.  I would do any of them if I didn’t enjoy them and was inspired by something I read or see.  Last week I made specially stamped clothes pins and discreet papers because my friend mentioned her husband liked her love notes in various parts of his luggage and pockets during business trips.  I doubt I’d thought of that if she didn’t mention anything. 
Anything has inspired you to do create something today?

Friday, October 15, 2010

It’s All About Origami Love!

I was folding origami hearts with my daughter and saw my “LOVE” stamp.  I got inspired!   They are pretty simple but they conveys a huge message to the love of your life. 

I have been procrastinating on both my online store fronts lately, but they’ll be up and ready soon!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Toy Story: Feature Shops

toy story 3 

Finally took the time to watch Toy Story 3 this past weekend!  My favourite characters has always been the three aliens.  I remember the first movie when it first ran in 1995 and how it spurred the comeback of Mr. Potato Head.  I thought I’ll try to find Toy Story themed products that were not based on paper goods.  These two items were so cute! 


Buzz Lightyear Logo Keychain by boxhounds

il_fullxfull.171145579[1]Alien Clippie by PixiePretties

Sunday, October 10, 2010

CSN Stores: Upcoming Review

Last month, Cameron from CSN Store’s Promotion Team contacted me and asked if I was interested in doing a second product review for them.  I haven’t received the first product yet so you’ll be treated to back to back reviews.  CSN Stores has over 200 online stores and they sell everything!  They have everything you can desire, even console tables.  I’m excited do to another review and will in an upcoming post.

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Card was Featured in an ArtFire Collection!

cherry blossom, kimono card- traditional (3)

Asian Themed Any Occasion Card - Cherry Blossoms and Kimono

"Beautiful and exotic, the orient inspires thoughts of elegance and grace. Enjoy this collection whose pieces will whisk you away into another land far away."

I extend my thanks for Aria of Manifested Dreams for sharing my card in her collection.  This card can also be ordered through my online store West Coast Origami.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A How To: Increase your online shop's exposure through giveaways by soupdeli

It’s been a while since I browsed through the Etsy forums but I’m glad I did.  I have been thinking of doing a give-away on my blogs but never done one before.  I’ll definitely be following this seller’s tips when the right time comes!

This is a long read, but it’s worthwhile if you are considering hosting a give-a-way.

A How To: Increase your online shop's exposure through giveaways by soapdeli

Giveaways are fun. They create excitement and can be a great tool for getting consumers to visit your online shop. The more traffic you can bring to your shop, the higher your chances of making a sale. And while all giveaways don't mean sales, what they do equate to is great exposure, name recognition, and possible sales down the line. Running a successful giveaway, however, can be trying and I know a lot of indie business owners who have been disappointed by how little traffic their giveaway has yielded. Because of this I've decided to share my tips on how to run an effective giveaway for promoting your shop.

Decide on a prize.

First and foremost you need to decide what type of item you'd like to offer as a prize. While it's tempting to offer that bracelet that never sold and sat in your shop until it expired, this is not the type of item you want to give away. Look over your shop or inventory and pick a product that has gotten a lot of positive attention. Even pick an item that you have sold and re-create something similar. Why? Because you want people to want to take the time to enter your giveaway and most will only do this if you're offering a product they like and can use. Think about who your target market is and what they would want. Also, be sure to keep in mind the retail value of your prize. People like big prizes - things they wouldn't necessarily be able to afford or justify buying without knowing the business or the product. Further, the broader the appeal of your prize, the more entries you're likely to receive as well. Remember that if you can't get consumers to enter your contest, then you're missing out on potential new traffic sources for your shop. Then decide on a prize.

Host your contest.

Now that you've decided what you're going to give away, you'll need to decide how to host your contest. If you have a blog or website, that's the best place to start. Not only will you increase traffic to your blog and potentially gain new followers, but you can set the terms you want for entering your contest as well. Don't discount having other sites host your contest for you though. Other blogs and sites often have different audiences which ensures you are reaching new people and not the same ones over and over again. If you don't have a blog, now would be a good time to start one with the giveaway giving you a big introductory push. There are free blogs that cost little to nothing such as Google's free blogging platform, Blogger. I highly recommend using Blogger for a first time blog as it's easy to work with and will automatically be indexed by Google.

Setting up your giveaway.

Setting up a giveaway really isn't difficult. Writing the copy is the easy part .After all, you already know everything there is to know about your product. However, what you do need to think about is what you want to gain from the giveaway. Do you want to increase traffic, gain sales, expand your social network? All of these are important things to consider. Personally I'd never pass up the opportunity to expand my social network through sites like twitter and facebook. Friends share things that interest them with their friends and so on, which can lead to a lot of indirect marketing the larger your network grows.

Here is how I set up my contests.

  1. Start with a paragraph about the contest. What can visitors enter to win? Include a brief description.
  2. Include a photograph of the prize.
  3. Expand on the prize being offered and/or include information about what you sell in your shop. This is your chance to not only show off some of your best work through the contest, but to push your shop and the other items in it. If you hope to gain sales from this contest, include a discount code here or a special free shipping offer if a purchase is made. Be sure you include a link to your shop.
  4. Include a spotlight of some of your other products if you like. Use a free program like to create a photo collage of some of your other work to encourage greater interest in your shop.
  5. Tell your visitors how they can enter your contest and set up your rules. When will the contest end? Who are you willing to ship to? How old do you have to be to enter? How many times can a contestant enter? Be sure to address how contestant information will be used as well. I always want visitors to have to browse the items available in my shop, so here's an example of what I might put here:

Want to win? Now through Sunday, May , 2010 11:59pm EST you can enter to win a free CONTEST PRIZE! To enter this contest simply visit YOUR SHOP NAME (WITH LINK) and pick out your favorite item. Then leave a comment with your favorite item to enter. This contest is open to residents of US and Canada ages 18 and up. Limit one entry per household/person/email. Please remember to leave a way for me to contact you if you win. Your contact information will only be used for acquiring your address information should you win this contest.

To increase exposure for your contest and to add to your social network, you can also add additional ways to enter. For example: You may complete each of the following tasks for one additional entry for each task completed. Please comment in a separate post for each task.

  1. Tweet this contest. Comment with your tweet.
  2. Become a fan of YOUR SHOP NAME on Facebook. Leave a comment. (Don't forget to include a link.)
  3. Blog about this contest. Comment with a link to the blog post.
  4. Sign up for my newsletter.
  5. Follow this blog.

Marketing your contest.

Marketing is a never ending necessity. It's great for exposure and can be more effective than advertising in the long run if done properly. While advertising and marketing together make for the best outcome, I understand that not everyone can afford to run ad campaigns. Therefore, to market your shop, you must market your contest. Here's how.

  1. Utilize your social networks. Use platforms like twitter and plurk to announce the contest to your followers with a direct link to enter. Share your contest with others on facebook. Post about your contest on other social network platforms and social communities you may be a part of. This may include forums like Crafster and blogs on sites like Ning networks.
  2. Submit your contest to popular sweepstakes sites. You can google for these and pick and choose where you'd like to submit your contest. Ones I recommend are and I also like as they directly target handmade interested consumers and will post your contest, regardless of venue, as long as the prize is not commercially produced.
  3. Draw your winner. Once the contest has ended you'll need to draw a winner. A great way to do this is to use a random generator. You can find one at You'll then need to email your winner for his or her shipping information. Be sure to ship out the winner's prize within a reasonable amount of time. If it takes you a month to ship the prize, this could reflect poorly on your business practices.

I hope this article helps everyone who has wanted to run a contest but hasn't been sure how. After all, contests are a wonderful marketing technique and are often less expensive than advertising.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sherlock Holmes: Feature Etsy Shops


We recently watched Sherlock Holmes.  I read all of Sir Arthur Doyle Sherlock Holmes series and many movies in my teen years. 

What I loved about this movie is that the director, Guy Ritchie portrayed Watson more accurately to the stories.  Not a heavy set sidekick, no.  Guy Ritchie’s Watson kicks some evil butt in this movie.  I really enjoyed this movie.

So to continue my theme of Etsy searches based on movies, here’s my favourite finds!  I love the doll pattern.  Who says Sherlock has to be male!

il_fullxfull.176110908[1] SHERLOCK HOLMES Girly Doll PDF Email CROCHET PATTERN by HandMadeAwards

il_fullxfull.140490024[1]Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ... mini wooden library book by elloh

il_fullxfull.146660539[1]SHERLOCK HOLMES Pendant - When you have eliminated the impossible by pretentiousjewelry