Friday, August 27, 2010

This Week

Happy Friday or for me SICK FRIDAY. I got a sudden case of vertigo a few days ago and have been in bed sick and puking for the past 2 days! I slept most of the day yesterday but feeling a little better today, at least I can sit up without the room spinning. My son started 2nd grade on Wednesday, what a big boy, I can't believe how time flies! He had a great first day and hopefully it will be a great year:)

Even though I wasn't able to do anything for the past 3 days I did make another sale:) I was surprised because it was one of my older pieces. This peace medallion pendant necklace. This shows me the importance of TAGS when listing items. She may have did a search for peace signs and found my item. Overall I have been averaging about 1 sale a week which is enough to motivate me to keep going:)

I have been playing around with origami projects and seeing how I can incorporate them in my shop. Maybe I can mix some origami projects with my jewelry and sell them as a set.

Hopefully I will recover enough this weekend to crank out more items! Thanks to all of you who left me great positive comments on my blog, I read them all and really appreciate them!!!:D

Monday, August 23, 2010

BNR on Etsy

This is fun you guys. If you have an Etsy shop you can "BNR" or buy and replace through a treasury. Basically you purchase an item from a treasury that is participating in a BNR sale and the curator will replace the item you purchased with an item from your own shop so that someone else will be able to purchase your item from the treasury. I decided to try it today and I purchased these cute crayon shaped stars for my son. Here is the link to the treasury that I am participating in.

There are plenty of other ones, just do a search for BNR in the treasuries. What a great way to help each other out:)

22 Traits of Successful and Happy Bloggers

I thought this article was really helpful. I tried to use the link button but it doesn't work. Does anyone know how to link sites on a blog post? Do I need to use a different format? Thanks. Here is the link to the article I also copied the article below from the site:

Every blogger wants to be successful and happy, right? For new bloggers, it can seem like such an uphill battle to get visitors and comments on your blog. You spend so much time writing the perfect article, but then sometimes it feels like it just gets lost in the blogosphere, never to be read by anyone. However, I can promise you, if you just keep going and focus on improving your skills every week, you will start to see progress.

When we first started this blog, for example, I remember being so impatient about it all. Whenever I would get antsy about not seeing results, Richard always reminded me of the process we had to go through. He would always say, “baby steps.” The energy it takes to work on your blog is very similar to a rocket. A rocket will use about 80% of its energy and power to get off the ground, and then use only about 20% to keep going. It’s like being an entrepreneur. You will do a lot of work on the front end without seeing any results, but then once it takes off, you’ll be able to consistently see progress slowly but surely.

There are some things you can do to make the journey on your road to being a successful and happy blogger easier for you. It involves tweaking your mindset and attitude. For some people, this mindset comes naturally, for others, like me, it’s a process like everything else. Here are some traits of successful and happy bloggers. I hope this helps you along the way!

Successful And Happy Bloggers Have…

Belief – In my opinion, one of the biggest reasons every successful and happy blogger is where he or she is today is because they believed they could get there. If you don’t believe in yourself, you don’t give yourself much room to grow.

Passion – If we aren’t passionate about what we are doing, we should stop doing it. I believe that 100%. If you aren’t passionate about your blogging, why are you forcing yourself to do it in the first place? The passion has to be there for it all to click.

Winner’s Mindset – It is so important to attack blogging like you would a sport. You must have an “I’ll do whatever it takes” attitude and be willing to back that up with hard work and perseverance.

Thick Skin – Wow, it took me a while to learn this one. The Internet is not always nice, but that’s ok, you can use that fuel to move you further ahead!

Appreciation For Your Readers – To me, readers come first. Period. Without our readers, we wouldn’t be here. It seems like a no brainer, but I think some people still don’t realize this. Appreciate and love your readers.

Creativity – Since you want to produce original, helpful, consistent content, it’s important to be able to tap into your creativity. This post can help you do that – 20 Ways to Stimulate Your Own Creativity

Successful And Happy Bloggers Must Be A Good…

Proofreader – I read my articles at least ten times before publishing them. It’s important to follow the accepted spelling and grammar rules. Successful bloggers are also meticulous editors.

Researcher – It’s all about the research. You want to know your topic and know it well. Sometimes it takes longer to research a topic than it does to write about it.

Connector in the Community – I’m specifically referring to social media. As a blogger, it is important to connect with your readers effectively in social media. You want to give back to the community by providing useful information, not always just blasting them with your latest post.

Communicator – It’s critical that your thoughts and what you are trying to communicate actually get to your reader in the way you intended. Communication can be tough because sometimes humor and little sayings that might make sense to you only confuse your reader. This is an important skill to develop.

Optimizer – Being a good optimizer is very important. I am blown away by the amount of time that Richard spends optimizing our sites. He is constantly tweaking this and that to make them faster and better for our readers.

Successful And Happy Bloggers Know They Need To Be…

Humble and Polite – Humility and politeness go a long way in blogging and in life. Smart and savvy bloggers know this.

Open-Minded – It’s important to listen to new ideas from your mentors, friends and readers, no matter how crazy they may sound in the beginning. You never know.

Accountable – Mean what you say and say what you mean. That is how credibility and trust is built online. Be accountable to yourself and your readers.

Helpful – Somewhere along the way, a reader is going to ask you a question. Do your very best to be responsive and helpful. I know what it’s like to be overwhelmed with questions, but nobody is expecting you to be superhuman. Just do your very best, that is what’s important.

Patient – “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” – I had this quote in a fortune cookie of mine about a year ago, and I’ve kept in on my desk ever since as a reminder. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts in blogging. You just have to buckle down and do the work.

Committed – There will be ups and downs in your blogging. You will have good days and bad days. You will have days when you just want to quit it all. Your commitment will carry you on those “off” days. Commitment is critical to our success.

Authentic and Honest – It’s important for your readers to see you as an authentic and honest human being. You lose credibility when you fake it. I think whoever coined that phrase, “fake it till you make it” was way off base.

Successful And Happy Bloggers Also…

Have the Ability to Follow Through on a Task – Being able to complete a task is very important in blogging and in life. Follow through is one of the simplest yet most challenging traits a blogger has to have.

Have the Willingness to Adapt to New Technology – The blogging environment can change very quickly. It’s important to keep up and stay sharp, if you don’t, you may feel like you are being left in the dust.

Value Your Own Originality – Successful bloggers know that the “experts” aren’t always right. Some rules can and should be broken every now and then.

And last but not least…

Successful and happy bloggers NEVER GIVE UP out of frustration or desperation! They always maintain a sense of hope and optimism! Of course, there are always exceptions. Sometimes ending a blog is part of a well thought out strategy, but think twice before quitting out of impatience or anger, no matter how you might feel in that moment. Instead, draw on the strength of your blogging friends, or heck, tweet me at @adamsconsulting and I’ll talk you off that ledge!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Metal Stamping Practice

I finally got a chance to test out my metal stamping kit. The hardest part seems to be centering the letters. Also it seems like you need to have extreme upper body strength to use the punching tool that comes with the letter/number bits so I ended up using a hammer to finish the silver one since the metal on that one is much harder. For the silver one I blackened the letters with a permanent black marker and them wiped off the excess with a baby wipe. The brass metal charm was a lot easier to punch through because the metal was softer. I didn't color that one with a marker since it is a natural metal that wasn't chemically processed like the silver one and I wanted to keep it natural looking. I hope to get better with lots of practice! The silver charms were really cheap and on sale so I will be practicing on those.

I made a few more items this weekend that I will post in my shop throughout the week. I want to try posting at least 1 item every day so that my stuff continually gets on the "recently listed" page. I guess if I make it a routine I will be motivated to keep things going. I'm so bad with time management! I think I *might* be ready to do my first blog giveaway within the next couple of weeks. My son starts school next week so that will give me time on the 2 Fridays I have off a month to work on that kind of stuff. Hope everyone has a great week, until next time!:)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Testing Out This Blog Hopping Thing

I've been really curious about this blog hopping thing that I see some of you guys are doing so I decided to check it out for myself. What a neat idea to get people to check out your blog. I already added my link to a few blog hopping sites and got one nice response so far. I'm gonna go check out a few blogs before turning in. I'm posting a few blog hopping site buttons on my blog (bottom of page, right hand column) in case anyone is interested. Button will say "New Friend Friday" or something like that. Confusing at first but I'm catching on! Hope to meet some great new bloggers soon:)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shop Sections

Last week I found out that you can have shop sections on Etsy. I always thought we only had to sell what we specialized in our shop but it turns out that we can have different sections in our shop and sell other things. We are allowed up to 10 different shop sections. This is great news because I have some supplies that I no longer want to use. I've also been thinking about making handmade origami envelopes with matching notecards or stationary.

I put 3 new items up in my shop yesterday. I might put this stone pendant with owl charm up tomorrow. I just don't know what kind of rock it is, I got it at some gemstone show. I thought maybe bloodstone but the green on this one is too light and the red looks like it was dyed. I would like to puchase a gemstone manual guide.

Well I am off to bed. I am so exhausted. I haven't done much this week. My lack of sleep has finally caught on to me. Until next time...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My First Etsy Treasury

I finally created my first treasury on Etsy, it is a little depressing and morbid, maybe I was in Friday 13th mode. Here is the link, let me know what you guys think:

Working on the treasury was addicting and fun and I got a chance to look through some awesome items and shops. I will definitely create more treasuries in the future, like maybe later tonight, lol.

I haven't done much the past few days, I was having internet problems so I finally just put my internet settings back to default and it is working okay now.

I finally got my metal stamp kit in the mail! I used it yesterday and it works great except I pretty much suck at centering the letters. I'm sure I'll get better but will take A LOT of practice. I will post a pic next time.

Today I will concentrate on bracelets. I got some nice semi-precious stone beads on sale last week. I like to add metal charms to them so my challenge today is finding the right metal charm to fit the stone colors.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Finally Get the Twitter Craze

Okay everyone I decided to re-activate my Twitter account and basically just use it to promote my shop. I'll definitely follow you if you follow me:

I highly recommend getting a Twitter account if you haven't done so, there is A LOT of traffic so you get a huge amount of exposure. I tweeted an item last night and then a few seconds later checked my shop and there were already 20 new views! I thought I would be bothered by the manic environment but so far not at all.

In other news, I made another sale today! I just listed the item last night and I am not sure if she found me on Twitter or Etsy but I am grateful for the sale:) I am posting a couple of pics of the charm necklace she bought. This is one of my favorites, I actually wear one that I made for myself but with an IMAGINE charm instead of DREAM. The peridot drop was originally used to represent my son's birthstone.

I am learning so much from all of you and also from my own mistakes. Like for instance putting out jewelry that I would actually wear or buy. I think in the beginning it was all about what I thought looked good but I wouldn't necessarily wear them. Yet another tweak in the system.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Kohen!

I just wanted to mention a very Happy Birthday to my son Kohen who turns 7 today!:) I love him with all my heart, he inspires me everyday to become a better person. I am going to take him out later today to this new indoor inflatables play center, he is beyond excited!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lovin' My New Etsy Purchase:)

Just wanted to give a shout out to an awesome Etsy seller and my fellow blogging buddy Jessica from Shizuka Urusai. I received my very cute pencil pouch in the mail today that I had ordered from her shop. The patterns (inside and out) were adorable! The pouch itself is very well constructed and the detail stitching is perfect:) I am going to use it to store a few pens, my iPod Nano, a couple of memory card readers, and some hair bands. I highly recommend her shop!:) Go check it out if you get the chance, there are a lot of cute things on there:)

Friday, August 6, 2010

What a wirlwind of a week

Happy Friday everyone! I made 3 more sales this week but they were all from people I know, LOL. There are 4 more people that I know who are considering a purchase. I am very grateful and hope this will help other buyers have more confidence in my jewelry. The lady I sold my first item to really likes the owl earrings and the free gifts I sent along with it. She even said she would purchase again with me in the future. I asked her to leave feedback but she hasn't yet.

I read a comment in one of the forums this week that I thought was cool. She said "everyone is on here (at Etsy) for a different reason." How true is that?! I am not really selling my stuff on Etsy for the money, although it is nice and will definitely help my current situation. I am doing this because I have never had a job in my life that I truely enjoyed or that made me feel good about myself. I have worked for a great company for over 10 years but somewhere along the line I think I lost some belief in myself, I'm just burnt out. Okay enough of my ramblings!

I ordered a metal stamping kit yesterday for around $15.00, it was the cheapest one I could find so I hope it is not some piece of shit. I love the look of handstamped jewlery, can't wait to try it! I have 2 new wire wrapped rings listed and for sure will make a some new stuff this weekend. Tomorrow is Kohen's birthday party at the lake, he is so excited! Have a great weekend all!:)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Handmade Marketplace - great reference book

I ordered this book a couple month ago on when I was just thinking about entering into the handmade biz. I highly recommend it for anyone just starting out or needing some new ideas on how to put yourself out there. It has great references that are very current. I am going to look over it again now that I have my shop set up and in a semi-promotion mode. There's another book that I reserved from the library and picking up later today, I will blog about it once I get a chance to look through it.

Okidoki tokidoki

I am totally digging this compact mirror from tokidoki, it is so cute! I saw it in the latest Sephora catalog I got in the mail yesterday.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Need to get more organized

I'm starting to get a little overwhelmed. I think I am socially maxed out this week. This is the first real week that I have been promoting my shop and I am just zig zagging all over the place. I just need to slow down and pace myself and find some sort of direction.

Everyone I know now knows about my Etsy shop after my announcement on Facebook that I sold my first item. They have all been so extremely supportive and I am grateful for the people in my life.

I am thinking of revamping some things in my shop and putting out more wearable items. I like my recycled juice caps but I think it is more a work of art than wearable jewelry. I will leave them up on Flickr to show my work but probably replace them on Etsy.

This weekend is Kohen's birthday party so I won't have much time to make stuff. I'll focus on rings and maybe do some charm necklaces. Until next time!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My First Giveaway

Hi everyone, I am doing my first giveaway through another blogger. Contest starts today and ends August 10th which is also my son Kohen's 7th birthday!:) If interested, check out her blog for more info. I will post this on Etsy forum as well. Have a great day:)

Monday, August 2, 2010

I sold my first item this morning!

I'm so happy I sold my first item this morning! These cute copper colored owl earrings that I just made yesterday. I'll always remember this moment, lol. Thank you Carol Peterson in Florida! I will probably make more of these but different variation. Hope everyone is having a great Monday:)

Finished Juice Bottle Cap Pendants

I just made 2 of these juice bottle cap pendants. I used metal charms for the dangles. The praying angel was originally supposed to be a dangley but the connector on top of her head fell off so I added a "hope" charm and glued the angel beside it which I think worked out pretty well. On the back side I glued a decorative brad. Then I sealed everything with a clear laquer.

Yesterday I did sell a few of my bottle cap necklaces. All the bottle cap necklaces that I brought out there had some imperfections to it so I only sold them for a dollar. I also found out that one of my sisters is also making jewelry so we along with my other sister are going to get craft booth at some farmer's market when we have enough inventory. It is only $30.00 a day so not bad at all.

Well I guess I better get to sleep, work tomorrow:( Maybe I can make a couple more easy pieces before I turn in. Good night everyone:)