Monday, December 31, 2012

Review Your Etsy Shop: a Challenge

Last year I was invited to be part of a group launching a new etsy team, the Blogging Business Artisans.  We all have shops on etsy and we all have blogs.   The team gives us opportunities to share our experiences and business information, and has been a wonderful support personally as well as professionally.  Although I have never met any in the "real" world, I count my teammates among my friends.

One of our team requirements is to participate in 6 of the 12 monthly Challenges each year.  These Challenges are meant to be fun as well as to grow our skills.

That leads to the Challenge for December presented to us by  Deb of storybeader.   Deb asks us to review our etsy shops.
"The December Challenge is all about looking back over the year and reviewing your Etsy Shop.  Can you think of one thing to do that will help improve your shop? There's a whole list of things available to do:  re-shooting photographs, coupons, having a sale, removing/adding products, changing sections/shipping requirements, or merging two shops. Write a post and share with your teammates what might help you!  And if you see results, tell us!"

My shop is Splendid Little Stars.   I opened it in late 2008.  I must admit that up until the start of the BBA team I had not put lots of effort into it.  Being part of this team has re-energized me.  This past year has been a difficult and busy one for me, but I was still able to grow my shop and make some important changes.  I'm hoping next year I will have more time to put into implementing good ideas and plans.

Besides some basic tweaking like photos, descriptions, sections, and perhaps pricing, I know I need to be more active in promoting my shop.

Here are a few of my thoughts:
1.  Read more/participate more in the Etsy Success team's discussions.  One thing I learned this year is that the title of a product is not necessarily the name of the product.  It's important to get as many descriptive words in the title as possible in order to optimize searching. 
An example is my blue and white silk scrunchie.  It's title now reads:  SILK Scrunchie, hand dyed, soft for hair, ponytail, silk, scrunchie, scrunchies, indigo, royal blue, navy, creamy white

I learned it's important to put the descriptive title words in the tags as well.   And while we are on this subject, do search for your own products using various search words.

2.  Continue to post in threads in these 3 teams
     Leaders of Handmade 
     Pure Handmade    
Doing so this past year has resulted in more views, favorites, treasury lists, and one would suppose, sales.

3.  Being in treasuries definitely helps views, favorites, and sales.  One of our BBA requirements is to make one treasury per month including at least six BBA members' items.  I think my teammates would agree that these treasuries have definitely increased visibility.
Perhaps I will join  Avid Treasurers--a team to which I've been invited.  They even play promotional treasury games

 4.  Read topics about shop promotion and selling.  I am looking foward to the upcoming topics planned for our team blog.

5.  This year I began a notebook in a 3 ring binder that has pages for my blog, my shop, and the BBA team.  These are all further divided into more sections.  Here I can keep my ideas, plans, and record my results.  This notebook has helped me keep organized and stay on track  (at least most of the time!) .

LINKS to my past BBA Challenges: 
New Mittens, Old Sweater! a challenge! 
LOVE: a Challenge! 
Turquoise and Red: a Challenge! 
Spring is in the Air! 
Spring Blossoms: a Challenge 
Under the Sea 
Miniature Garden: a Challenge 

all photos © by me and BBA team

Sunday, December 30, 2012

a Frosty World

We woke up to 4 inches of snow Saturday morning.

Oliver sleeps in a chair below a snowy window.

Birds ravage the berry trees.

Earnest and Oliver are cozily dreaming.

a snow covered world

on a tree in our front yard

Earnest loves the warmth of Christmas lights.

photos by me © 2012
last photo by Zack Freije © 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

a few fun Fs

January 2009

Christmas Day 2012

My Meyer lemon plant is blooming again!  It recently produced 3 lemons!

Earnest loves the Christmas lights by the front door.

air plants! a favorite Christmas present from my son's girlfriend.

Lying under the Christmas tree is a favorite activity for Oliver.  Biting the branches is even better!

Lately I've been knitting ruffled scarves.

Alphabe-Thursday is so much fun!  This week our letter is "FCome visit others' submissions HERE and join in the fun!


photos by me © 2009 and 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas revelry

Oliver was puurrrfectly content to lay in this bag full of crumpled wrapping paper.

photo by me © 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Chips

2 Granny Smith apples, small dice to brunoise dice
1 ½ - 2 C strawberries, sliced or diced small*

1 small orange, zest and ¼ C juice
1 clementine or small tangerine, diced small + zest (optional)
1 kiwi, peeled and diced small*
clockwise from left:  jelly, orange zest, kiwi. apples, strawberries
1 T unsweetened fruit only jelly.  I used concord grape because that's what I had on hand.
⅓ C dried sweetened cranberries
1 t grapefruit juice or water or other liquid

Dump all the following into a bowl:
Dice apples and strawberries.
Zest orange 
Juice orange.  Add ¼ C.
Zest clementine and cut fruit into small pieces.
Very briefly heat the jelly to make it more liquid.  
Microwave cranberries and grapefruit juice or other liquid for @ 30 seconds.  Chop slightly.
Mix all.   

3-4 flour tortillas 
1 T granulated sugar
½ t cinnamon, ground
sugar + cinnamon

before baking

Mix sugar and cinnamon. 
Spritz tortillas with a little water (or use a brush).--not too wet!
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar onto the dampened tortillas.  Spread if necessary.
Bake at 400ยบ for @ 8 minutes.  They should be somewhat crispy but still ever so slightly flexible.  They will crisp more as they cool.  (I baked mine on a stone.  The time may need to be adjusted for other baking surfaces.  Note that oven temperatures may vary as well.) 

 I have served this on several occasions to rave reviews.
*If you cut the strawberries and kiwi too small, they may turn to mush.   

Alphabe-Thursday is so much fun!  Round 6 has barely begun.  This week our letter is "E" --for EAT! Come visit others' submissions HERE and join in the fun!

photos by me © 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Oliver loves ornaments: outtakes

Oliver loves Christmas tree decorations!


I am linking up with Cats on Tuesday by Gattina.  Come on over HERE to see some great kitty stories!

photos by me © 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Snowman Decorations

handmade of felt
I love snowmen!  I have a smallish dedicated snowman tree in my upstairs hallway. 

This tree is filled with snowman ornaments collected over several years.  Some have been gifts; some have been bought or won at ornament exchanges.  Some are handmade; some are not.

There are more ornaments closer to the top because I have 2 kitties who like to undecorate the tree.  Balls and stars are especial favorites!

There are a number of stars, white balls, berry wreaths, and icy snowman faces placed throughout.

← handmade--bought at craft show

handmade by a friend

← handpainted by me

bought from my friend's store

I'm missing 2 of my favorites right now.  I know I put them in a "safe place."  If only I knew where that is!

I love these wonderful snow people!  They were made by my former store partner Peggy.  (photographed on a tree, but they go elsewhere in my house)

acorn cap ear muffs
 an angel snowman with net wings


              knit hat and scarf

Alphabe-Thursday is so much fun!  Round 6 has barely begun.  This week our letter is "D."  Come visit others' submissions HERE and join in the fun!

photos by me © 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

chamois, tie dye style

A box of colorful tie dyed chamois awaits transportation to  Kast-A-Way Swimwear where they will be sold to swimmers and divers all over the country.

A lovely pile of assorted rubber bands awaits sorting before fulfilling their job of holding tied chamois together.

Oliver hopefully awaits any excitement that may happen.

Earnest awaits the joy of playing in an empty box.  (He loves boxes so!)

A basket of tied chamois awaits eventual dyeing.


a few of the tie dye patterns 
and flags being processed.  (Here is one of my chamois towels on Springboards and More.)

Alphabe-Thursday is so much fun!  Round 6 has barely begun.  This week our letter is "C."  Come visit others' submissions HERE and join in the fun!

photos by me © 2012