Thursday, July 29, 2010

Treasury Thursday

It's that day of the week again. Thursdays have always been good to me I think that's why I picked this day to do my treasury post. I am pretty proud of the treasury I made this week, I've received a lot of compliments on it and I think it is Front page worthy even. I titled it Puzzled by a Dream, after some lyrics to a Belle And Sebastian song that I like.
After last weeks post I discovered two treasuries that I was included in. One is called Orange You Blue by IrisNorwood . Included in this treasury was my Asymmetrical Orange Crochet Flower and Blue Glass Necklace.

Another treasury I was included in is called Great Images from Etsy it was curated by Woodenjewelry and features my Lime Beaded Necklace.

Thanks to both of these talented Jewelry makers for including my items in your collections.

Now on to the treasure hunt....

The first Treasury on my list is called Proud as a Peacock I have always considered the peacock to be one of the most beautiful animals and so is this treasury by Clementinesjewelry .

This next one is so pure- it's almost not even there it was created by CheerstoJuly and the title of it says it all.

Celestial Blue Stellar Geometry was curated by editionbw and shown to me by suzedablooze whose beautiful bracelet was included in it.

VintageNowandThen curated it's a Mod Mod World Love the title. Flower Power!

A Summer Tea Party was made by elineof it has a real soft feminine presence, I absolutely adore this treasury.

Moddiapercakes has been very busy making treasuries with different color inspiration Gray and Yellow , an interesting color combination that works beautifully on these items. Green Apple is stunning I Love this and many of the items in it. Purple Love is probably my favorite because purple is my favorite color, and Scarlet Fever has a rich romantic yet almost sinister feel to it.

I hope you enjoy looking at my picks for this week, hope you'll come back and see what I've got for you next week, until then HAPPY TREASURE HUNTING!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This week...

This week has not been too particularly productive as far as my jewelry business goes. It was pretty productive in other ways though. I painted my kids bathroom all by myself and it's about time.. the dirty handprint, toothpaste smeared walls were becoming a bit on the disgusting side, now it is a pretty light blue color called arctic blue.

I even got the hubby to hang up this cute little shelf.

I also did a super clean in the kids bedrooms. All of their toys are in their respective buckets and I can see the floors again. Good will is gonna love me. The kids were actually pretty okay with getting rid of some old toys I was surprised at how well they did.

I did manage to get one new listing in today. I made this lovely necklace yesterday afternoon. (click on the picture to see the listing)

And I took some new photos of an old favorite. (click on the picture to see the listing.)

Here are some of the old photos. My photography skills are getting better.

these photos aren't too bad really but the new ones are much much brighter.

A Follow up from my Analytics Experiment My Bounce rate is now down to 47% It was at 57% when I started the experiment. It's hard to say what exactly factors into the rate dropping but I find it a little too coincidental that it has been constantly dropping since I made these changes. So that's looking pretty positive for me.

In the etsy forums today I came across this thread discussing mailing lists. Stichntyme was kind enough to show us how she made her mailing list and linked it to her profile section of her shop.
The site is called Mail Chimp and you can use it for free. I set up an account today to sign up for my newsletter click here. You can also fill out the form to the right.

Last Thursday I set up a sign up list on my face book page to advertise on this blog for free. The response to that has been great so far. I really hope that this trend will catch on the way that link love has. Rebecca from soapdeli was the first to take advantage give her some love and check out her shop before her week is up.

That is all for now it's almost time for me to make dinner. I'll be back tomorrow for Treasury Thursday!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I am not having much luck getting any jewelry work done this week past week. To be fair my kids were attending Jr. golf camp and that ate up a bunch of my time. This weekend my husband and I bought a gallon of paint with plans to paint the kids bathroom so I have given myself another chore to keep me away from jewelry making. I have all kinds of ideas of new things to create and I can't wait to bring them to life. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to sit down for a while and go to work.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's Treasury Thursday!

I really love etsy treasury. The more time I spend making them the more I enjoy doing it. You get to see a lot of different items and explore the many talented shops of etsy.
This week I didn't have much time to do this my boys are doing jr. golf so that eats up my mornings and then the afternoons have been spent doing what I would normally do in the mornings. I did manage to make one treasury It's called These Are a Few of My Favorite Things to make it I went through my favorite shops and chose items from those shops that I thought went well with the other items. This treasury also happens to feature 3 shops whose owners I went to high school with. Can you guess which ones they are?

The curator of the week award goes to ReenRose (disclaimor: there is no curator of the week award) who has shown me three of her lovely treasuries Get Your Game On #1 , Get Your Game On #2, and Bee Yourself . I really enjoyed looking at all of Reenrose's treasuries she has a real knack for putting them together, but Bee yourself was my favorite.

Flower Fairies.. was made by Gardenjewels who not only makes a wonderful fantasy treasury but also makes guessed jewels.

Ashley Devrieze at Stubborndog showed me these two beautiful summery treasuries. Collections and things and a Monday Collection. They are both very lovely.

This treasury curated by ElainaLouiseStudios reminds me of that Stevie Nicks song " bring to me your leather, take from me my lace..." Okay I'm really not that old I just appreciate the classics.

You may need to put on sunglasses for this last treasury I am going to post this week. It's called Pink Lemonade and it was made by pinklimed. I love how vibrant and bright everything is, it's so alive.

I hope everyone enjoys the treasuries I've posted this week. Happy Thursday and as always Happy Treasure hunting!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Is it Thursday again!

This past week just seemed like it flew by. It's treasury Thursday again. I had a lot of fun looking for items to choose for my treasury this week but I found so many items I had to make two.
The first one is called Orange You Glad and the second one is Orange You Glad Part Deux. I love orange can you tell?
I didn't have much time this week to look through the treasury lists this week but I did come across these two BNR treasuries which I am participating in. One is called Shop of the Day it's up to 7 sales already!!! and the other is 3-day 3-star BNR Both are really great treasuries!

The next treasury was curated by kelela4 who specializes in fine art photography, it's called Hot for Pink.
This one by vintagenowandthen is called D A N C E! I absolutely love this treasury you can almost feel the movement.
A Garden of Earthly Delights was made by Peaceableempire a fellow etsy jewelery maker this treasury makes me want to spend some time outside.

This darling treasury by kneatknitcreations makes me wish my boys were small again.

and the final treasury for this week will take you back to the 60's, it's called Flower Power and it was curated by LauraGourmet a very talented fellow etsian.

I hope everyone enjoys these treasuries as much as I have. Until next Thursday, Happy treasure hunting!

I Love To Shop

Just wanted to share my recent etsy purchases with you.
I bought these items last night from two wonderful BNR treasuries that I came across.
The first two photos are Items I purchased from BejeweledArts. This is a lovely shop with lots of supplies and creations all at really great prices. I love those etsy shops that I can actually afford to get supplies from without making my jewelry super expensive. I already have plans to make some really cool jewelry with all of these purchases.

The next two photos are items I purchased from Finethreads who makes these cute little crocheted butterflies and many other crocheted cuties and ornaments.

I can't wait to get these and start creating with them. Check out these two BNR treasuries where I found these wonderful shops. maybe you'll find something great too.
Shop of The Day and 3 day 3 star. Happy Shopping!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Take Better Photos

I would like to give a big shout out to hotstuffstudio for posting this incredibly helpful advice in the etsy forums last night.
Here is what she said (copied and pasted directly from the forum)
hotstuffstudio says:
I’m always trying to make my jewelry photos better for showing on Etsy and the internet. Not being a professional photographer, this has been a struggle and a frustrating learning experience. Most of my jewelry is glass, which is shiny and hard to photograph. I recently purchased a couple of books on digital photography, but found there was not a lot of information about point and shoot cameras. Well, really, how could someone write 600 pages about that. If you have a SLR camera you might need it tho. Also, out of 600 pages in the one book, there was less than one page about macro photography. Here’s what I’ve learned, mostly by experimentation. (My camera is about 3 years old, a Canon Powershot SD800, with 7.1 mp and 3.8 X optical zoom.)

1. Read the camera manual. As you read it, experiment with all the different settings. Mine has more capability than I thought. In manual mode I can adjust the white balance, chose the type of light I’m using, etc.

2. Turn off the digital zoom and only use the optical zoom. This was the best tip that I got out of the books I bought. The digital zoom degrades the picture quality. My photos really improved when I did this. This would apply to any photos, but especially to macro. (Which means I would like to have a new camera with more optical zoom. I see they are now available with up to 20 X and more. )

3. A high ISO (800-1200, etc.) means the camera shutter is faster. This is good for motion shots, but may not let enough light on the subject for still life and product photos. It can also make the photos grainy. I was once told in a photo class that the National Geographic photographers always shoot at ISO 200. They seem to know what they’re doing, so that’s what I’m using.

4. Always use a tripod of some sort. I got an inexpensive table top one at Target for under $10. If I want to shoot from a higher angle, I turn a plastic box over and rest it on the bottom. I also have a longer tripod, but it seems to get in my way when I’m trying to arrange items.

5. Shooting next to a window for natural light did not work for me. Our windows are ‘low E’. So check your windows if you are having trouble getting the right color cast to your pics. A low-e coating works like an invisible mirror to reflect selected portions of the light spectrum back out. (Bob Vila tells about them here: )

6. Since it is 110 degrees here I do not shoot photos outside. I use light bulbs that are ‘daylight’ or have over 5000 Kelvin rating. The higher the number the closer to daylight. I use 3 lights, one on each side and one on top.

7. A light tent has turned out to be the best bet for me to keep the harsh glare of the light bulbs off of the shiny jewelry. I made a couple of them with a box. I cut the sides and top out and covered the holes with tissue paper. This helped but I was still getting a grey cast through the tissue. I just purchased one at BHphotovideo, which is working better. It has thin fabric all the way around.

8. Take photos at the highest Resolution possible. Mine is ‘L’, which is 3072 x 2304. I use Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop Elements to crop and resize. They seem to come out of my camera at 180 dpi. After cropping, I then resize by changing the dpi to 72. This automatically changes the size to about 500 to 600 mp, which is the ideal size in my opinion. I dislike making them too large because a pendant that is 2” across is not going to look good at 6” in a photo.

9. Make as few adjustments on your photos as possible. Every time you change something the quality goes down. The best tip I’ve seen that works for me is here: This is instructions for changing the contrast and brightness by using the graph sliders which is under ‘levels’. This seems to do very little damage to the quality of the photo.

10. Be sure that your background is not too busy. After all you want your item to show up and really pop.

Here is a photo taken several months ago:

And a more recent one:

I hope this info is helpful.

Since I had to take some listing photos today I decided to try out some of this advice. I used the manual settings on my camera and adjusted the exposure. I found that when I went to 200 it was way too overexposed so I played around until I found just the right setting. Check out the difference in my photos.



It is amazing how much brighter and better these photos are, and I've only followed one of hotstuffstudios tips. I can't wait to try out all of the others.
Thank you very much for this great advice.

The Etsy forum thread to see all comments and maybe extra tips left by others.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Analytics Experiement

As a seller on etsy I am always trying to improve. From photos, to the items themselves, from marketing to bounce rates. I was in the forums a while ago and some one suggested that I rearrange my shop because she liked the second page a lot more than the first. I of course did this many times but I was never really quite happy and was unsure of how I should arrange the items.
Today an idea occurred to me while looking at my stats on craftcult I should arrange my shop in the order of items that people like the most. My logic being that the more popular items should grab a persons attention on the first page and keep them looking throughout the other pages. Makes sense right?
If you have never used craftcult before it is very simple. You just type in your shop name, the site will access your analytics and voila you can see how many people are coming to your shop (updated as often as you choose,) item hearts, shop hearts, if you have been featured on etsy, yadda yadda yadda.

I used the ITEM HEARTS tab to see my view per heart ratio. I wrote each one down(except the 0's) and then I just numbered them in order of least to most views per heart. I decided to keep my three newest items at the top of the page to give them a chance to be seen before being ranked amongst the others.

To rearrange my shop I went to my etsy clicked on appearance and clicked at the very bottom where it says Enabled (your store's visitors will see the custom sort option by default) save changes and then view your shop. Right under the featured items is a link to rearrange your shop. It is very easy to use and took very little time to sort the items using the list I came up with earlier.

After I went through my list there were several items left to sort. The ones with no hearts :( I am still not sure I like what I came up with here but it is okay for now. I put items that were alike together not really in any particular order I may go back and do that part over.

I will be watching my bounce rates carefully and let you all know if this has helped at all.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday is Treasury day

I have decided to make a treasury every Thursday and to share them on my blog, and to also go through the treasury lists and pick a few others that I think are Front page worthy but may not make it there.
Here is my latest treasury.
she sells sea shells

here is one that one of my bracelets was featured in
it is called treasures of plenty by busybee67

This treasury is called black black black it was made by babiesworld I really love the items chosen for this one.

The title of this treasury made me laugh so I took a peek. it's called I kissed a nerd and I liked it curated by PaisleyPeaches.

This is mytinydancer 's very first treasury. well done.

I absolutely LOVE the colors in this treasury by squid21r so bold and bright.

VintageNowandthen created this adorable treasury called JOY .

Etsy treasury is such a fun way to shop or just to window shop. Have fun checking out these and many other great treasuries.

Taking photos is hard work

Trying to get some good photos of my new hemp anklets. It is not easy to do. I have some that I am satisfied with for the listings but I think I'll need to try again to get better ones.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back to my roots.

When I first started making jewelry it was hemp macrame. After seeing a few other sellers macrame work on etsy it has inspired me to go back and re-explore using that medium. Here are some of my creations.
These are all anklets I made using various knots and beads. I can't wait to get the listing photos done and get these items listed in my shop.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Chasing Waterfalls

Just made this lovely etsy treasury featuring many talented artisans.
I was going to include one of my own items and then build the treasury around it but when I started finding other items I wanted to showcase them all so I left mine out.
Here is a list of the etsy sellers I included in this treasury.