Friday, February 27, 2009

The Sampler

Has anyone heard of this site -- The Sampler ? I was browsing through the Etsy Storque pages, looking for info and advice on start up shops and came across this. It doesn't seem to be just related to Etsy which is nice, because although a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..... A long time ago I signed up but never opened a shop with them.
What they do is collect a bunch of samples from Indie artisans, record labels and zines. They gather all of the samples up and put one each in a box and then mail them out to whomever is on their mailing list to receive one. Sounds like a great way to promote your shop... the hard part is figuring out what you can make enough of (you need at least 25 items to send to them to promote your shop) that best represents your shop. They also have a ton of links to shops and stores, feature a gallery of items that have been contributed to The Sampler and you can even sign up to pay and receive a Sampler delivered to your door... $30 for the regular size and $10 for the mini sampler. They also have International Sampler boxes and are doing a City Sampler, but those are currently sold out. And one other thing to note "The Sampler was invited by to be a sponsor at the 2008 Gift Lounge for the MTV Movie Awards!"

Sounds like this may very well be worth following up on.

The Sampler

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mosaic Turtle Table

This is the top of my turtle table. I grouted it last week and finally took some photos. Its hard to take good photos of this... its big and on my front porch, no fancy light box for this.
I created this with stained glass, glue, and grout. It features 3 turles in differnt sizes swimming in the water. I love sea turtles, there is just something so majestic about them. Someday I will do some more sea turtles.... when I have more time.

Another blog you should check out; Indie CEO

Ok here is another blog you should check out, or at the very least read this post SEO - Can You Control It. This is Indie CEO's blog and it is very good, very professional, and most importantly, the posts don't seem to talk above my head. I don't feel like an idiot reading her blogs, she is easy to understand and easy to follow.

Also, she sells online and has an ArtFire shop called GalleriaLinda, don't forget to check it out, she has some great pieces for sale!

Alright, now I am going to go and check out the titles and TRY to make them less vague!

Lindsey Joy Designs - A great site for newbie bloggers

I stumbled upon this site late last night. I was following Tweets and looking at profiles and reading blogs, yada, yada, yada, and found this site Lindsey Joy Design. She designs blogs for people and takes them from the plain jane, template following norm to beautiful, scrapbook layout styling.... very pretty indeed... sophisticated looking and just plain neat. On this page she offers plenty of advice from what to do to increase traffic to your site, the ins and outs of widgets and gadgets, the layout, etc. It is worth a look if you either want someone to revamp the look of your blog or if you just want to look over the tutorials and learn a thing or two about what you can do yourself. And she has a separate blog that is about her and her family living down in Panama.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Check out this blog Mystic Mandalas

I found this while surfing blogs and reading online.... Its a great website and the work is top notch! Mystic Mandalas and she has a Picasa Web Album with a few of her completed mandalas. And this is what I learned from her profile, she is mainly self-taught colored pencil artist, with a passion for animals, mandalas, curry, and pencils. She is based out of the United Kingdom and she just does top notch work! I wish I could draw half as good as she can!

Mystic Mandalas A blog to feed my desire and knowledge about the sacred art of creating Mandalas, and to show some of my own humble efforts.

You can buy a copy of one of her other mandalas online at Imagekind.

3 Peeps Designs Business Card

It is official.... or will be once I get the call to pick up my business cards, I have a card to hand out, pass around, give to others to pass out, etc. I spent the weekend trying to learn a few things about Photoshop.... usually all I ever do is use it for resizing photos, but that is all changing. I uninstalled my ancient version of The Print Shop for managing photos and making signs, banners, etc.... this version was for back when people did everything on paper and making a banner didn't mean a shop banner. Whew! I am showing my age... remember the dot matrix printer annoying things that they were?

Anyway, Photoshop is a frustrating software full of magical stuff to make all of your photo manipulating and graphic dreams come true. Most important thing I learned was that Layers is the one thing you need for making anything go smoothly... I managed to use my little mouse pad on the laptop to draw my little bird... one of my 3 Peeps.... I did it with one finger on one hand holding down the left button and my middle finger on the other hand drawing the bird on the mouse pad. It came out looking a little squiggley but once I did some erasing and filling in the color it looked better. Plus I reminded myself that it wouldn't be this large, thus it wouldn't look as shakey. Then I drew little bird foot prints the same way as their own transparent image so I could layer and all of that... Sometime I need to take a class in using Photoshop and save up the money to get a current version of it.

I opted to leave my phone number off of my card as well as my address. I don't have a physical shop so I didn't feel a need for an address. I left my phone number off because I am not a phone person unless its for catching up with friends or family. I email, blog, Twitter a little, and Facebook now. I don't text. Oh, and I try to hang out in the forums and chat there. So I put my email address, blog site, and Art Fire shop on the card with my nifty name and logo. What do you think?

I chose Office Depot to make them for several reasons; 1) they are friendly, 2) they aren't too busy to be helpful 3) their website shows prices, which the other contenders (office stores) aren't always keen to do and 4) I have never ordered business cards and wanted someone to physically walk me thru it. I got smooth paper, raised printing, and can't wait to have them in my hot little hands! So in about 5 business days I will have them. Then I will send some to NinjaJenn in a bc exchange and hopefully to some other shops as well. BTW NinjaJenn has a great shop that you should check out... She upcycles and features some great pendants made out of Scrabble tiles:If you would like to exchange business cards, let me know, drop me a line and I will send you my address!

Stainless Steel Sharpie!!!!!!!!!!!

Need I say anything else??? STAINLESS STEEL SHARPIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love Sharpie markers, what can I say? Available March 2009 at Walmart, Staples, Office Depot, Office Max....
Need I say anything else??? STAINLESS STEEL SHARPIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love Sharpie markers, what can I say?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Five Dog Pack

Here is my Five Dog Pack I finally finished it. I am working on another one too. I am hoping to start raising money to donate to some of my favorite charities... right now, $25 from the sale of this one will go to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. It took a couple of weeks.... the longest part was decoupaging the paper onto the frame and then gluing all of the embellishments... hard because I had to wait for them to dry and I would get side tracked. So check it out!
Click on the link above to go to my shop and look at more photos!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Day after the 26.2 with Donna National Breast Cancer Marathon

This past weekend was the marathon to fight breast cancer. My husband's sister and her friend flew down from Juneau, Alaska to run this marathon. Megan (sister-in-law) and Linda (her friend whose mother and sister are both breast cancer survivors) did fantastic! We are so proud of both of them. In addition to us four, my husband's grandparents from Ottawa Lake, Michigan flew down, Linda's mother and nephew flew down from Long Island, New York and their friend Heidi, flew in from Boston, MA. Our job was to cheer the runners and walkers on until we dropped and boy did we. It was amazing, and the funny thing was, the runners kept thanking us for being there, and we kept thanking them for running it!

Megan and Linda designed t-shirts especially for the race... had them printed up and presented us cheerleaders with shirts to wear as well. And I guess great minds think alike because we made t-shirts to wear while cheering.... Team Megan and Team Linda... So we wore both to the marathon. "Wild Salmon Run and So Do We" I think they should upload their designs onto CafePress and sell shirts.
Anyway, they did great, Megan finished the race at 4:14:14 and Linda did it in 4:59:19. There were over 7000 runners either running the whole marathon or runnning/walking the half marathon. The course included a beach portion (one way) and a bridge (both directions at the beginning and ending of the race).
It is the day after the marathon and all is quiet. We haven't heard from the runners or our fellow cheerleaders yet (its 11am). I am hoping that means the beds at the hotel are extra comfortable and everyone slept great! We are supposed to meet at the beach later this afternoon for a dinner courtesy of Megan and Linda with goodies they brought down with them from Alaska.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Monday, February 09, 2009

Another free avatar maker

Here is another one.. fun..... I am often on the beach with at least one of my dogs and love to call family up north from the beach.... I like to tell them how warm and beautiful it is! Once again, I couldn't find curyly hair... I imagine it is pretty tough to do.. but a pony tail on the beach is the way to go.... humidity, sun damaged hair, wind.... water.... definitely a pony tail is the way to go :) Here is the link to the site that allowed me to create this one. Its called MessDudes and its free and easy.


Here is another free avatar website... he creates them and you can upload them; The Avatar Creator. I haven't found any in my quick google search that have curly hair like mine, but that is ok... I like the big eyed avatars, manga-like. Anyway, this one has cool Orb people avatars, like the one above for USA.... There are quite a few that require you to download an application and I don't like that. I wish I could use my Nintendo Wii's Mii....

Otaku Avatar Maker

Here is another free avatar maker by Otaku Avatar Maker similar the the other maker I posted.

Avatar maker

I found a cool free avatar creator, it's called Portrait Illustration Maker. Here are some that I came up with... there are a huge number of different combinations you can choose from.

Cafe Press

So, last Thursday and Friday, I spent quite a few hours reading about how to get graphics ready to upload onto a store front. I opened a free store front and played and played and played with the images of my favorite dog patterns and finally have some items in my Cafe Press store. I am a bit unsure if I did it right, will have to wait for some feedback or when I have the extra money, order some of my items... I did images for t-shirts, apon, stationary, a pillow, a clock, etc.... If it is successfull, I may open up a bunch of shops for the individual breed. Anyhow, I really need to become friends with some graphics programs as I don't find it easy... and so much of the stuff out there is just so cool and creative... Anyway, I added graphics for the patterns that I think are "fit to be worn." If you have the time, check it out;

Friday, February 06, 2009

I made my first Art Fire sale today!

The chatter on the Art Fire forums seems to be true, it is up and coming and gaining more and more traffic. I sold my first product this evening; a pattern pack of 11 of my dogs. The pattern, 3 Peeps Designs "The Dog Pack #1" . I lowered the prices of my individual patterns a little bit as well as added two packages to my store yesterday. I had received a request from a potential customer and spent a few hours putting the patterns together in a package, which cuts down on the cost of patterns. I have two other packages, the sea shells and "Just the Pit Bulls". I am still working on getting some of my dogs stitched and put in frames and photographed to be sold in my online shop. Here's hoping things continue to go well with the Art Fire shop. I could use the ego boost of selling my products in my own shop and be able to be behind the scenes like I like to be.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Delica Bead Shopping List

I have been looking all over for a shopping list, chart, or cheat sheet if you will, for Delica beads. I don't need to know the finishes and durability and what not because this is for my purse, so I don't want to have to carry a book with me when I go shopping at bead stores. Anyway, I couldn't find anything except for one chart from 2006, thus it didn't include all of the new colors or even hex cut Delicas. So I made one using Excel and I fit them all on one page. This way, only one piece of paper for my purse and each number is in little box so that it is easy to cross it off when I purchase it. As there are over 800 Delica colors, I have a long way to go in getting all of them, but this will certainly make it easier for when I have extra money and want to add to my collection. Normally one could just make a list of the colors you want before going to the bead shop, but not all shops are created equal and not all shops will have every color. So, a list of colors to buy only comes in handy if you know that those colors are indeed available at that particular store.

So, if you would like a copy, just email me and I will send you a pdf of the chart.

First Freebie Pattern Friday!!

As I posted two days ago , I am going to start posting on my blog again... on a regular basis. *Gasp* I know, I know, but my schedule is ope...