Sunday, January 16, 2011

Where is the world has Jane gone?

The husband has joined me in creating and making things - and we have combined to form "A Tranquil Nook" for marketing our wares. So I started up a new blog

Intended to keep up Glorious Hats, but only seem to be able to manage one blog. So if you would still like to keep track, tabs, or hopefully be inspired by my posts, you are very welcome to transfer over to A Tranquil Nook. Just as with this blog, the goal is not to push sales. The intent is to share creative adventures, some how tos and guides, as well as telling about some of the things we make and how we make them, where and how we live.

Thanks so much for having followed me here and for not leaving during the long silence.

With much appreciation, and hopes of seeing you and entertaining you at the new blog.

Kind regards,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bemidji Natural Choice Farmer's Market - Aug 10

Tuesday Aug 10 Market was capitol G Grand. If you were not there you missed:

Colorful produce, yummy baked goodies, Maple Syrup and Honey.

Turkish Meatballs using ground buffalo with a colorful tasty crunchy vegetable rich sauce demo by Chef Reed Olson of Wild Hare Bistro --deeeeeeeeLish!

Music throughout the day, first up Aaron Tank - songs from my heyday, happily sang along-- though think I was the only other one who knew all the words ..... no other ol 60s Hippies out yesterday:D

Next was Dennis Montgomery, he had me clapping my hands and tapping my toes, singing again; plus he had some great songs to delight the children in the crowd.

Late afternoon came Nicholas Jackson with an easy listening blend of folk to pop. So enjoyed when he turned troubadour and strolled throughout the market bringing his gift of song to each stall.

A mystery solved -- sitting in my stall, heard the lovely hum of a sewing maching, looked into the next stall and there is Larry O'Dell stitching away. NO electric cords running into his stall. Nope not a treadle machine. Come on out and see if you can spy how he does this. And while you are there, take a look at the awesome table rugs and runners he weaves after stitching fabric strips together.

Frank and I plan to participate as Vendors on Sat Aug 22 (8:30a to 3p); Sat Sep 11 (8:30a to 3p); Thurs Sep 16 (12n to 7pm); and Sat Oct 23 (8:30a to 3p). And of course whether or not we are there -

Bemidji's Natural Choice Farmers Market sets up 3 days a week through the end of October -
8:30 am - 3:00 pm
12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
8:30 am - 3:00 pm

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Cucumbers and Onions - Just like Moms

Do you find there are certain foods that must be fixed "just like Mom's" or they won't be eaten? While Frank is generally open to new food experiences, there are a couple of dishes that just won't do unless they meet the "just like Mom's" criteria.

Cucumbers are # 1

and are also one of the few foods for which she had not left a recipe. YIKES.

Simple, plain vinegary cucs and onions - how could that be so hard?
Somehow it was and took years.

Finding "A Little Scandinavian Cookbook" by Janet Laurence (ISBN 0877017433) brought success.

Thank you Janet! The ingredient I kept missing was SUGAR --- ah, ah, ah.. I should have known.

pages 18 & 19

Still - had to leave out the parsley, the pepper AND for sure cut off the rind, plus add onion rings, lots and lots of sweet onion.

The proportions of white vinegar, water and sugar however were absolutely on target for "the man."

Cucumber season is ON, so the first photo above shows the glass bowl of vinegared cucs and onions now going; stored in the refrigerator. Started with 3 cucs, peeled, sliced, brined for 12 hours; then two large sweet onions - 1 cup water, 1 cup white distilled vinegar, aprox 1/2 c sugar. Keep adding brined cucs, fresh onion rings as each runs out. When the vinegar solution gets too weak - pour it out and refresh with a new solution.

A great summer salad alone or with other salads. I often add some sprigs of dill or basil to mine; Frank still prefers his plain so plain it stays. :D

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Marketing Tips for the Etsy Seller - part 4 - Promotion off Etsy

Even though a community site such as Etsy brings in traffic because it is a venue hub that draws those who wish to buy handmade items, most vendors will have more sales by working to bring new viewers and creating interest in a product outside of the selling venue.

These are some ways to begin doing that.

1. Send photos to relevant flickr groups. While you cannot use flickr to “sell” or “directly advertise” your item, you can put photos of your product on flickr. Link to your shop in your flickr profile. Post relevant photos into special interest groups such as the “Craft” magazine group. Your work may be noticed and discovered.

2. Blog routinely, put an Etsy Mini on your blog. Buyers often like to “know” the artist. A blog can be a way to talk about yourself and your work. Find the Etsy Mini feature on “your etsy” page, set it up and copy the code into you blog sidebar.

3. Use Social media such as Twitter and Facebook. These methods work very well for people who are chatty, can blend a bit of social skill, be interesting, and when people find you interesting, they will look at your work.

4. Consider Ads on Blogs or other sites where there is an audience for your product. Do you homework, don’t waste your money. Figure out your target audience, figure out if a particular blog or site has a large number of viewers you want to see your ad.

5. Join one of the cooperative or gallery/advertising sites. For example I buy space on Lovely Clusters -- to participate in group advertising to a particular audience. Find one that fits with your style and product.

Which of these you use, and how you use them will depend on your personal style and product. Remember, that the more people who know you, see your product, and recognize your product, the more likely you are to sell something.

Monitor your shop traffic

--Sign up for Google Analytics
-to filter out your own visits to your shop follow the instructions here

--“Syndicate your shop” Syndication helps google search find your items
- the link to activate this is on “your Etsy” page in left hand column

--Watch views and hearts on Craftopolis This gives a picture overview of what people are viewing in you shop and what they are “hearting” (marking as a favorite item.) Also find if you are in any treasury collections.

--Another way to view visits, hearts; plus to see if you were on Front Page is at Craftcult

Set Goals, Monitor your Progress

--Work with intent: Plan it, do it, review it for effectiveness. Change, adapt, or keep on.

--A number of Etsy Sellers give free advice on their blogs. One who has generally useful tips is Absolutely Small
--Goal Spreadsheet
--The Etsy Marketing Tracker
--Make it Happen

General Marketing Info and Resources

Find who you can learn best from and work that program. There are many business consultants and marketing advisers, all vying for your attention and your money. We all learn and work differently so look over what is available. Sometimes paying for a program will jump you farther ahead, sometimes taking the time to scout out what is available and free will be more effective for you.

Just using the tips and sellers newsletter from Etsy may be enough for you.

If you want more help, look at these for a start, then google similar, see what other’s recommend in blogs or in Etsy forum.

1. Article “How to Make Money on Etsy” by Lindsay Silberman for INC. -- a useful overview article

2. Follow helpful blogs

Full time Etsy Crafters

Three Tips on “How to Make Money on Etsy” by Muyinmolly l

----- Ah yes there are so many things one can do; choosing which ones, where to begin, and how much time to commit to selling your craft can be overwhelming. Pick what seems best to you as a beginning and start somewhere. Work on one to three aspects at a time, develop it or let it go depending on what is best for you. Doing a few things well is likely more effective than doing many things poorly. Each artist/crafter/vendor needs to take the time to figure out what works for them, how they wish to brand and promote their goods.

I hope this series of articles has been useful to you in providing options, ideas, resources.

Earlier articles in this series on Glorious Hats Blog are:

Marketing Tips For the Etsy Seller -- Part 1
Know Your Selling Site

Marketing Tips For the Etsy Seller -- Part 2
Showing up in Searches

Marketing Tips For the Etsy Seller -- Part 3
Promotion on Etsy

As always, thanks so much for stopping by.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hot and Cold Packs - Relieving aches and pains

You have no doubt heard the expression "When it rains, it pours." Well that is true on several levels here at Tranquility Pastures Farm this month. Climate wise, it has been rare to have two sunny days in a row this summer. We only watered the garden 1 time and that was in late spring. Definitely not usual for northern Minnesota.

Secondly, July rained with gifts too. Won another giveaway. Epheriell Designs features online sellers, often with fabulous giveaways. Here is the migraine relief set I received from The Ferris Wheels

The migraine relief kit is awesome. While I coveted this for myself, I have passed it on to a friend who's father was recently diagnosed with aggressive cancer. Figured between he, my friend and her mother - the variety of comfort afforded by the eye pad, the neck pack and the foot warmers will help them all through some difficult days.

While Sally has specifically created the set to target migraine headache; it affords relief by cooling the head and warming the feet, each component from the eye pad, to neck roll, to sock warmers can be used alone and either as a cold or a warm pack. For cold therapy you cool the pack in the freezer, for warm therapy you heat it in the microwave. Each pack is well sewn, comfy, and well shaped for the intended body part.

Thank you Sally, for this very generous gift.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ralphie is Here! Along with a Chubby House

Did you know Ralphie?

He lived with my online friend Debi Babcock for many years, he inspired many paintings in many media, on many items. Ralphie transitioned to feline heaven last year, his loss from this world was grieved by many, me being one and no one was more affected and heart-sore than his Debi. You can still catch glimses of Ralphie in Debi's Etsy shop Fishstikks

Now those who know me, know of my fondness for cats, and I always had a soft spot for Ralphie. He has appeared in many many treasuries I curated on Etsy. So this last week, when I WON a lovely giveaway on Fishstikks blog, imagine my suprise and delight when opening the package, there was a Ralphie mirror along with the fabulous Chubby house that was the official prize. Here are Ralphie and the Chubby House along with the wee doll collection they are joining.

Thank you, Thank YOU, THANK YOU!!! Debi, am so thrilled to have won the Chubby House, it not only looks pretty, it is nice to touch. Tactile things are important to me too. Ralphie has already taken control here and is demanding a reading of T. S. Elliot's "The Great Rumpus Cat." Off to read........

Wishing all a grand day, and hope yours includes a purr or two as well.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fashion Watch

For a while now I've been seeing and enjoying romantic dreamy gracious collages on blogs such as Lovely Clusters, Rachel puts together mood boards like this one
most days after a visit to Lovely Clusters I am swooning and sighing with delight.

Every Tuesday it is a delight to visit La Marquise des Anges and take in her flickr mosaic like this one from July 13

This morning did a google search "romantic dreamy fashions for women and discovered a lovely review called Romantic 70s on Fashion Fame Oooh I like this trend.

With the hectic pace of life today, it is refreshing to achieve "that easy peaceful feeling" through fashion. Dressing, viewing, living in a romantic dreamy environment is one way to take the edge off the hustle and bustle; helps one to calm and remember to smell the roses.

What do you find to relax, to calm, to settle yourself and keep from going crazy in today's chaotic pace?

Thanks and Enjoy!