Saturday, July 23, 2011

Logging My Favorites...

This is the seventh installment of a ongoing log of my favorite things. Once a month I will post a favorite. It might be a person, or a place, or even an event. Hopefully it will help you get to know me a little better. I'd love your comments and I hope to make some connections through our mutual enjoyment of these treasures.

Realist Painter Thomas Arvid

Thomas Arvid's images amaze me with their intricate details and his mastery of light, depth and reflection. He has the ability to visualize and chronicle an entire scene beyond the picture frame – to tell a story of pleasure and the good life – using lush color and skillful composition. His paintings are regularly mistaken for photography, he's amazing.

Arvid is passionate about art and wine, a collector of both, he strives to capture the enjoyment of a life well lived on each canvas. "Wine is a great subject because people are familiar with it; they really connect to it. My paintings speak to the special moments that people share when they share wine – it's amazing that my collectors find a personal fulfillment in my work, especially when I'm just doing what I love."

My favorite artist lives right here in Atlanta. He has been spotted with paint brushes in his pocket painting in the most unusual places: on a commercial airline, sitting cross leg in a hallway, at a local wine market, and the lobby of a hotel. I’m envious of his constant inspiration and motivation.

I share in his passion for wine and art; one of Arvid's favorite phrases: "Life without art is like dinner without wine. Why bother?"  I totally agree.  Cheers!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Favorite Etsy Shop....

I was browsing on Etsy this past Monday and found an interesting item on the front page.  The link sent me to a wonderful shop.  I love the theme and look of this shop, they specialize in the art of the heart.  The shop profile is below; take a minute to visit the shop:

"The Lonely Heart specializes in handmade personalized hearts made of wood, barbed wire, metal, paper, glass & more, to give as a gift to the one you love! It's a home for hearts that are lonely and may have been forgotten over time. They are a collection of hearts that have been handmade, re-purposed, recycled or found sitting by themselves and forgotten or maybe even worse, never been loved."

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Twitter Following... Part Four...

My Final Step - Twitter Efficiency
My day can be very busy at times, so I am always looking for ways to simplify my Etsy promotion using Twitter. Twitterfeed is a site that allows you to set up automatic tweets whenever you post a new blog post, list a new Etsy item etc. Twitterfeed does a lot of the work for me! Just a couple of things to keep in mind using automated tools like this:
  • - Think about the settings you use. TwitterFeed allows you to set the frequency and the number of automatic tweets to be sent out. For example, if you list 10 etsy items at once, do you really want to send out 10 shop link tweets in a row? 
  • - Don’t just auto post, ‘live’ chat is good as well as using this service.
  • - You can set a tweet prefix in twitterfeed. I used to have ‘Just listed’ for my new etsy listings, but when I thought about it more carefully, I realized that many of my Twitter followers would not be familiar with Etsy and might not know what that meant! I have now changed it to ‘My latest design”.
Additional Tips:
You can easily manage your twitter accounts and facebook etc all from one place by using HootSuite. This is another way I find targeted followers- you can add a column that will show tweets from people containing keywords that you've set.

Happy Tweeting!


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Saturday, July 16, 2011


Woke-up this morning wishing that we had a butler to serve breakfast-in-bed.  My husband and I went to a concert last night; we stayed out late and I'm feeling a little lazy today. Since we don't have a butler and our cat Beau hasn't mastered carrying a tray up the stairs, I went to Etsy for my breakfast.  Have I mentioned before that you can find anything on Etsy?  Take a peek at what I found.....

 Eco- Friendly Breakfast in Bed 
I love this felt breakfast set by Pixiekids Toys! The food items are all handmade out of Eco-felt by Melisa Santacroce. The Eco felt is manufactured from recycled plastic bottles. Melisa's husband Bill crafts the cute wood serving tray that comes with the set and their baby boy works in the 'test lab' giving all items the seal of baby fun approval.  Click below to check out the other fun items in their shop:

Eco-Friendly Breakfast In Bed Set

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Twitter Following... Part Three...


Third Step - Keep Your Followers and Establish a Connection

Time-honored advertising is no longer as effective as it used to be (according to the experts!), and the challenge is to really engage and interact with your followers. Keeping this in mind can be very helpful in translating twitter follows into actual sales. I think this is particularly relevant for selling on etsy, where ‘the story’ and the person behind the shop are important aspects of the product.

So try and interact with your followers as much as you can.
Some things you could try from the twitter tool box:

- Ask for feedback and ideas

 - Ask other kinds of questions (Qs are likely to encourage a response)

- Re-tweet other people and thank people for RTs

- Respond to comments from your followers and comment on other people’s tweets

A very important thing to avoid doing on twitter is spamming- sending multiple tweets about the same item in your shop or the same tweet over and over. Including meaningful interactive content in your tweets and only posting links about your shop sometimes will help keep this balance and prevent loss of followers.

Click HERE to follow me on Twitter.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Twitter Following...Part Two...

My Second Step- Clever Following

As well as building up a good number of followers, it really is critical to make sure you seek out the right kind of audience for your products. If all of your followers are fellow sellers, it’s unlikely that your twitter activity is going to translate into sales very often (unless you’re a supply seller etc), or it might mean that you have to put in a huge amount of effort to get any results because your approach is not the best possible.

This part requires thinking outside the box a bit and working out your target market. Once you have some ideas about who your target market is, there are two main strategies I’d recommend for finding people to follow (in the hope that they will follow you back).

Following Followers- find people based on the publications, companies etc that they follow. For example, if you sell jewelry, you could find a fashion magazine on twitter and follow their followers- perfect target market just waiting for you! You can do this easily by using the ‘geeky follow’ feature on tweepi (or directly on twitter).

Search Using Keywords- you can use the advanced search function on twitter to find appropriate people to follow by using keywords they might tweet about, keywords in their profile, and based on location. So you could search for people in your city, people tweeting about a craft show or market that might mean they’re interested in handmade etc etc. Maybe try people who tweet about shopping and see if you can grab some shopaholics ;)

(Note- it can be good to have some fellow sellers to chat to on twitter to help you get the conversation moving and help you with retweets etc, I just wouldn’t recommend seeking out other etsians as your only strategy)

Click HERE to Follow me on Twitter.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Working on my twitter following...

Did you know that Twitter can be an incredible promotional tool for your etsy shop when used correctly?  It takes a while to get established in twitter land but it can potentially become a huge source of traffic and allow you to reach a targeted audience. It’s a powerful tool not available to such an extent with other forms of advertising and promotion.

My First Step- Build Up Twitter Following
The first challenge most people face with twitter is not knowing how to build up their follower base.

A basic strategy you can use to build up your follower numbers is : Follow, Reciprocate and Flush (defined below). I use to manage most of this easily all from the one place (it will save you a lot of time! I love Tweepi!).

Follow- If you search for and follow a lot of other people on twitter, many will follow you back, thus growing your follower number.

Reciprocate- Some people will find you on their own and follow you- keep your followers by following them back.

Flush- To really build your follower numbers, you can follow as many people as you are able to (up to your limit) then wait for a period before ‘flushing’ (unfollowing) the users who did not follow you back. This allows you to then repeat the process and start finding more people to follow.

Additional Info & Tips:
You can keep an eye on changes in your follower number by using a twitter stats site such as
TwitterCounter (although I’m not sure if it’s always accurate).

Click Here to Follow Me on Twitter

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

What is Steampunk....

Steampunk is the world of imaginary airships, corsets and goggles, mad scientists, and strange literature.  Picture your modern conveniences — smartphones, iPads, computers, air travel — but power them with steam and dress it with Victorian flair. Think brass and copper, glass and polished wood, engraving and etching, and details for the sake of details, that’s steampunk.

I’m sure you are familiar with steampunk’s most revered heroes, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. While Verne and Wells are regarded as part of the foundation of science fiction, they would be listed as “steampunk” authors if they were writing their works today. Stories filled with gadgets and transportation, complicated and fanciful for the time. A recent movie Sherlock Holmes, (starring Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams) captures the era of steam perfectly.


Think clothing and jewelry being made in a “steampunk” style. The clothes are not exactly Victorian, adding in technological bits or hints of a more adventurous life than a typical Victorian citizen likely enjoyed. The jewelry seeks to reflect strength while still appearing feminine and intelligent. Steampunk jewelry often has a salvaged, dark appearance.  Clock parts are often used in the construction of individual pieces of steampunk jewelry. Old-fashioned keys are also very popular, as are bits of antique cast-offs, such as pill cases, thread cutters and tiny knives. The necklace pictured above is my own design using steampunk ideas: feminine, intelligent, and salvaged.

To me, Steampunk honors an era when people thought big, and worked hard to make things that last. It is not like the disposable culture of goods that we have today. Care, artisanship and craftsmanship were put into everything that was created and talent was cherished.
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Monday, July 4, 2011

Feeling a little 'Crabby'...

Oh how I miss the slower pace of seashore towns and the quirky seafood shacks!
I just can’t explain it, but something happens when I eat near bodies of water. The beer gets better, the flip flops comfier, the jokes cornier.  Women let their hair down; men grow goatees and start dressing like Jimmy Buffett. You're likely to see me in a tie-dyed bandanna. The dog may be rocking one too. To a skeptic this might come off as outlandish behavior, but there’s nothing weird about it. Seafood shacks are the furthest thing from hipster-cool, and that’s exactly what makes them so much fun.

I’ve found that the best seafood shacks are often hard to find, especially if you’re not a local. Sometimes it seems they don’t want to be found.  Years ago my Father and I spent several hours searching for a little shack in a tiny seaside town in Florida. It had been recommended by a local surfer dude that we picked up hitch-hiking to the beach.  The adventure was well worth it; best coastal seafood I’ve ever had! Only problem, we can’t remember how we got there…a hidden gem for sure.

On this Fourth of July I long to be seated at a tiny joint on the coast, enjoying seafood and the company of long lost friends.  I think it’s time for a road trip!
Happy Fourth of July!
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