Sunday, February 17, 2008

No new teddy bears for awhile

I won't be making any new teddy bears for awhile. I've run out of room to keep the finished ones in my studio. I have an eight foot, by 1 foot wide shelf that is nothing but teddy bears at the moment....not another one will fit. I've also used up my supply of fiberfill stuffing, and little wiggle eyes, and unless some of the little guys sell soon, there won't be anymore new additions. Since I already have 46 finished and in my shop, that haven't exactly been flying off the shelf.....I just can't justify spending any more money on supplies.

I know I can't just not make anything, so I think I'll maybe make a few of the little miniature Easter baskets that I did a couple of years ago, or maybe a doily or two. I'm really not sure just yet what will make an appearance, but whatever the final products, I'm hoping they won't just continue to add to my ever growing (never decreasing) inventory. I'm running out of room to actually work in here!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

So, I got a new camera today

I went to Office Max on Sunday, to get a new chair for my home office. My old one broke about a month ago and I've been using a most uncomfortable folding chair, and couldn't take the backaches any longer (since I spend about 16 hours a day sitting in front of my computer). I also had to get the tax software to use for my other business - income tax prep, and printer ink and paper. Although I hadn't intended on getting a camera (even though I badly needed one and wouldn't spend the money on it until I made it from the proceeds of my crafting), my husband convinced me to get one. I really think it's because he feels guilty since he just recently spent quite a bit of money on a new tractor which for the life of my I still can't understand why he "needed" it (must be a guy thing).

The store was "out" of the camera that I wanted and told me they would order it from the warehouse and I'd expect to see it in 5 - 7 business days. No big deal, since I wasn't going to have the time to use it right away anyway. So, today, the UPS truck pulls into the driveway (in the middle of the ice storm we were having), and delivers the camera. That was a short 5 - 7 days!

So I have a new Kodak EasyShare M753 camera, and now I have to figure out how to use it. Hopefully I'll have it figured out by the time I finish the 5 little Easter bears that are almost done and ready to make their appearance in my shop. If anyone has one of these, and wants to give me any pointers...I'm all ears.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Thank Goodness It's Friday

I never thought this week would end, so glad the weekend's finally here. I plan on catching up on sleep, I'm exhausted. I'm also hoping to try and get my house in some sort of semblance of clean...housework has been sorely neglected lately. If I have any time after that I'm going to try and take some new pictures of my items (if the sun ever comes out anytime this weekend). I hope you all have a safe, happy and productive weekend too.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Feeling invisible, and out of time

Sometimes I wonder if I actually type in invisible text. I'm also almost certain that even though what appears to me (through my monitor) that the digital pictures I have are actually "of something"....I'm beginning to think that somehow they must be appearing as white spaces or that infamous "red X" when viewed through another computer. Think I need to contact those geek squad folks to come take a look at my laptop.

I also wonder if anyone else suffers form not having enough time to keep up with promotional efforts, and also create. In the past couple of weeks I've set up pages on MySpace, Ravelry, Craftersbuzz, Flickr, and the feature on where you can post your crafts. This is in addition to my already having this blog, a page on Indiepublic and a couple of other places. And I know I need to find other places to get my name out to also. that I have all of these initially set-up, I'm wondering how I will ever keep up with using all of these various sites to the potential that they were intended - for networking. I could easily get sucked into spending 6 - 8 hours a day just updating all of them. Add that to what is usually a 10 - 12 hour work day at my "real" job, and plus the occasional shower and meal, and as little housework as I can get away with, that doesn't leave much time in a day to actually create anything (which is the reason why I'm advertising to begin with). And what's even more frustrating, is that even with all of my increased efforts the past several weeks.....I'm still getting very minimal views in my shop on Etsy or on any of my pages that I've just spent the time to create. I really don't know what I'm doing...but whatever it is, it's definitely not effective!

On a positive note, I did get asked by my daughter to donate a few of my items for a fundraiser raffle that her law school is doing.....she'll be home in a couple of week's to pick out which ones she wants. So no sales, but more advertising....which can never hurt.

Oh, to go fix a quick bite to eat, and see if I can figure out this invisible text and pics dilema.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Help me and I'll reward you

OK, here's the deal: I really need some help in making my shop on Etsy more appealing, and need help in finding ways to reach folks who might want what I create. Sometimes I think there is so much that I need to improve that I just get totally overwhelmed at what to do first, and other times I think I've done a lot to improve and still nothing changes with regards to sales and traffic. So, I've decided to ask for help from anyone who would care to offer an opinion or suggestion.

Please give me your suggestions for specific things I can improve in my shop. Which pics need improving the most? Are my item descriptions OK? Maybe I should just totally change the types of items I make....tell me that too, if that's the case. Also, I really need some suggestions on where my target audience might be hiding, and how I can reach them to let them know that I even exist. Keep in mind that I work a full-time job (50+ hours a week), from an office at home. I live pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and don't really venture out much except to go grocery shopping on the weekends, and occasionally other a lot of my options for advertising need to be centered around the internet. now you're asking "what's the reward?", right? Well, everyone that gives me a suggestion - either through a comment here, a convo through Etsy, or an e-mail - will receive a coupon code from me that will entitle you to 15% discount on any item in my shop, good anytime. (I'll e-mail you the code). But wait, there's more: All of the people that give me suggestions/tips/critiques will be entered into a drawing that I'll do in two weeks (Feb 16, 2008 @ noon EST). The winner will receive, absolutely free.....the item of their choice from my shop. A pretty good deal, huh?

So, if you could spare a couple of minutes to give me your advice, it would be greatly appreciated.