Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How I price my Etsy items.

Pricing is definitely one of the hardest parts of organizing an Etsy shop, at least for me. I've rearranged my pricing scheme numerous times in the past few months, trying to find the perfect price point. I don't want to price things too low, making my items seem cheap. Nor do I want to price them too high, making me seem delusional. Price comparisons inside my shop should make sense too, so that customers understand why some things cost more than others.

I definitely don't claim to have all the answers, but here's how I settled on my current pricing. I've found that there are two basic ways to price my items: by yarn content or by hat style. As much as pricing by content makes more sense to me, I wasn't sure this was the way to go. While I know that Bamboo yarn is more expensive than Acrylic, will an average Etsy customer?

I decided to price instead based on style, not content. Ribbed hats should be all one price, and cabled hats another price, regardless of what type of yarn they're made out of. I think this will make pricing simple and not too confusing. Hopefully.

I also settled on pricing all my items within the $20-30 price point. Lower than that feels like I'm giving my products away, but higher seems a little presumptive. Will this price scheme work? I guess only time will tell.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No More Brain-Power

I can't for the life of me find my planner with all my blogging information in it, so I apologize to the rest of the sponsors that I didn't properly introduce. I've been such a bad host this month!

Moving has been crazy, as has been trying to sort out school stuff. Now it turns out that my parents are moving to a bigger house by the end of September, so I'll be moving right along with them! Needless to say, this pretty much means that I will be living out of boxes for a month, since I don't really want to have to unpack and then re-pack in the span of four weeks.

School starts at the end of this month, also, so I hope to at least find my planner by then, but I'm not holding by breath. My sense of grounding and organization is pretty much MIA at this point, housed with all my stuff in a pile of plastic and cardboard boxes.

So anyway, all this to say... please go visit my sponsors. Click these buttons below to get to their blogs and from there you should be able to find their Etsy/Twitter/Facebook information. I wanted to be much more organized about this, but I have no more brain-power left at this point. Thank you for being understanding.



{Learn how to get YOUR ad shown here!}

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sponsorship CHANGE of PLANS


Sponsorship is closed for September and October, due to my moving schedule. Feel free to grab a button if you like. If you would rather have a different size, let me know and I can accomodate that.

I will accept any buttons from you, within reason, to display on my blog for these months. I don't want to do a traditional sponsor swap or anything for these months, so whatever you submit is fine. Guest posts are welcomed, as well, but I won't solicite them from you since I don't have the time to worry about that right now.

I will accept buttons in the following sizes:

300x75

150x75

Please send any inquiries, buttons, or guest posts to: desertrose0601 {at} gmail {dot} com.




Saturday, August 27, 2011

Review: Sims Social



Have you played Sims Social yet? It's the newest version of The Sims and can be found on Facebook. It's a similar format to Farmville or Mafia Wars, in that you can only play a few minutes at a time until your "Energy" re-builds itself. Personally I find that type of gameplay kind of annoying, but... nevertheless, I love, love, love The Sims, so was very excited to try this version.

One thing I really think is cool, and have long wished they had on the PC version, is that you can now visit your IRL friend's Sim houses and hang out with them! You can interact with them and also ask for their help with things. As is the case with other Facebook games, you need your friend's cooperation to pass certain levels.

Other than the social aspect, Sims Social is pretty similar to the PC version of The Sims. You still need to eat, shower, have fun, etc, to keep your Sim happy and functioning properly. (I have no idea if you can actually die in this game. I haven't tried that.) Anyway, everyday life things like that are "free" and can be done at any time. Skill-building and other random things, like mowing the lawn, take Energy, which is replenished slowly over time.



Friday, August 26, 2011

Lightning Storm

Image by Brian Bird
Last night around 3am, we had a thunder and lightning storm! It was pretty cool, even though we didn't get much rain. The thunder and lightning lasted at least an hour, though!

Based on my highly scientific estimates (I counted between the lightning and thunder), I gauged the storm to be about 15 miles away. I LOVE storms, so I was hoping it would come closer, but it I don't think it did - at least not while I was still awake.

Since I've already removed the curtains from my room (I'm moving this weekend, remember?), the lightning was making it hard to actually fall asleep. Storms like these don't scare me, but the bright flashes every minute or so were very distracting!! I hadn't packed my eye mask yet though, so I put that on to make the room seem darker. That worked pretty good.

If the storm had been earlier in the evening, I would've loved to break out the X-Files or some other scary-ish movie/TV show. I just love the impending atmosphere that a storm brings, and it's the perfect time to watch something spooky!

So that's my exciting weather story for the week. I am praying for all you over on the East Coast! I hope that you and your families are safe and that your houses survive in tact.

You've Just Gotta Fight Your Way Through.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Let's Go To... Toronto!

As I'm packing up things around my apartment today, I'm sweating like a pig and dreaming of somewhere cooler. How does Toronto sound? It's only 72 degrees Fahrenheit today - my kind of weather!

I don't know much about Toronto except that every Candian show ever made seems to be set there (Degrassi, Being Erica, Rookie Blue, etc...). If their plotlines are any indication, Toronto seems like a nice, friendly city full of kind, positive people. I have no idea how difficult it may or may not be to emmigrate to Canada, but if I did, Toronto would probably be my top choice!

What do YOU think? Take this poll!























Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A story about how I waited in too many lines today.

Today was a lesson in patience and determination for me. No, I wasn't a part of the East Coast Quake or the siege on Tripoli. Instead, I forged my way through several tremendously loooooooong lines to FINALLY get the last of my financial aid paperwork submitted. Now I just have to wait for them to do their magic, and I should be getting my award letter (hopefully) soon. Yeah!!!

So I've been trying to reach my advisor for a couple of weeks now after realizing one night that I needed to submit a three-year plan to the financial aid office to prove why I want to continue my undergrad schooling beyond the four years that I already have. I'm assuming he's either on vacation or just never checks his messages, because I never did hear from him.

Yesterday I sent a pleading email to the Counseling office to see if there was anyone else I could meet with to go over things. The financial aid office needed my advisor's signature on said plans, and since I hadn't heard from him... I was at a loss.

Turns out the Counseling office only counsels Undeclared majors (seriously??), but they did suggest that I ask the secretary of the Dean of something-or-other to see if the Dean could meet with me. So I shot her a message this morning. Within a half hour, a different teacher in my department had emailed me, saying that he also did advising and could meet up this afternoon if I wanted.

Yahoo!!! :D  *happydance*

I hightaled it down to campus as quickly as I could. I still needed to talk to the registrar first to know which general eds I needed to put on this three-year schedule. Three annoyingly-slow lines later, I finally had the correct office (for the record... the "Registration" office is NOT the "Registrar's" office - clear as mud?).

Turns out that the Registrar couldn't even really help me until after they'd "evaluated my transcripts", whatever that means. I thought all that was done already?? I've already received notices that I don't need to take Math and English. I just needed to know about the rest of the general eds.

So anyway, after griping at me for ten minutes about evaluations, the registrar lady finally just turned to her computer and fiddled around for like five minutes. Yes.... only FIVE MINUTES! This was all it took to evaluate my transcripts.

*facepalm*

The verdict was that most everything transferred, and that all I needed to take in the general ed. department was science. My previous undergrad had only required science or math, and I'd taken math, so... now I have to take the science. No biggie. It's better than having to take speech class or college algebra again!

Then I was off to see my advisor. Finally! Well, to see this secondary advisor anyway. I'm still not entirely sure which one is my official advisor... or if it even matters.

Anyway.... this guy was way more helpful than the lovely people in the Registrar's office. He rearranged my schedule a bit, added in that science class that I now knew that I needed to take, and... presto, chango.... I have my three-year plan mapped out!! Yeah!!

So back I went to stand in yet ANOTHER line to submit all this to the Financial Aid office. Everything looked good. Then they handed me back three of the pages and said, "This goes to Admissions." Right... wherever that is.

Two more lines later, I figured out that Admissions is at the same unmarked desk that the Registrar's office is at. Why are things not clearly marked at this school??

The Admissions lady looked at my forms for like two seconds, stamped them "Received", and said, "Okay, looks good. I'll turn these in to Financial Aid for you."

Seriously?? They go back to where I just was? Oh for the love...

I smiled sweetly and said, "Great, thank you!" and got the heck out of Dodge before anyone made me stand in any more lines!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Time to Regroup



I moved a bunch of my stuff today. Doesn't my living room look empty? I've been selling a good amount on eBay and Craiglist, and boxed up the rest. I should be out of here this week sometime.

This move is both sad and relieving at the same time. Sad because I've enjoyed my independence, and it's been fun to explore my own style of decorating a house. Relieving because trying to make it on your own is very stressful and expensive. Even having a roommate doesn't really ease that feeling of having to figure everything out on your own. If/when I'm making a decent salary someday, I'll try it again, but for now it's time to regroup.

I am looking forward to spending more time with my parents though. It's been hard to get out to visit them these past few years with gas prices going sky high. Why does everything always come back to money? Whatever happened to building your own hut in the jungle and just living there? No landlord, no utility bills. That was the life!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

90+ Degree Weather

I have so much to do this weekend but I can't seem to move a muscle. I need to pack up to start moving things to my parent's house, but it's been so stinkin' hot lately that I just want to lie here and do nothing! I really shouldn't complain; we're only just now getting 90+ degree weather at the end of August. Still... it makes me grouchy. I can't wait until fall.

Speaking of fall, my financial aid is giving me fits. I should've known. I have to submit a whole bunch of extra paperwork explaining why I need more aid after I've already been to school four years. It's so irritating. If I were going for a Master's, no one would question it. Maybe I should just go for a Master's. It'd certainly have less paperwork.

I really, really want this though, and I'm not giving up. I just need to go down to the school and find the right people to talk to so I can figure out what they want me to put on these papers. I have to basically map out my entire schedule for the next three years. I wonder what happens if I ever need to deviate from the plan? Or do they just want to know that I've thought it through... that I'm not just trying to waste their time?

And such is the end of August. Hot, humid, and frustrating. Hopefully September will be better.

... and the rest is history.

Hell hath froze over today. I actually decorated in pink! I can hardly believe it myself. As any fellow red-head knows, pink is not a color that looks good on us. However... I couldn't resist this cute photo of a desert rose for my banner... and of course that leads to choosing a text color that matches... and the rest is history.

Do you have a color that you look horrible in &/or avoid like the plague? I've been trying to branch out my wardrobe, but so far pink and yellow have NOT made it in! ;P

How 'bout these cute blog buttons though? I love creating new looks for my blog. Sorry if it gives you whiplash. Here are a few buttons that I whipped up yesterday evening. Feel free to grab one for your blog. :)








 {You can find more buttons on my Grab My Button page!}

Friday, August 19, 2011

Perfect for Cooler Weather

I've been working on some new items for my Etsy shop this week. I had some leftover yarns from my hats, so decided to make something a little smaller to use up those colors.

Aren't these so cute? They're ear wamers, and perfect for cooler weather when you don't really want to wear a full hat. I need to find a model to model them - they look a little silly on the mannequin, but you get the idea.




Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sponsorship Info for September
















Just Jen is a personal creative blog, featuring photography, DIY tutorials, book recommendations, and glimpses into my everyday life. I currently recieve 200-300 visits a day, with a high of 334 visits in one day! In total, I receive an average of 5000 page views per month.



I now offer 3 ad size options, all of which come with giveaway opportunities for additional traffic to your blog or shop. I am especially interested in supporting fellow creatives: bloggers, small businesses, musicians, artists, photographers, designers, and crafters.



FREE OPTION FOR QUALIFIED BLOGS

If you are a blog with less than 50 subscribers, I will consider swapping a small or medium ad spot with you in lieu of payment.  



If you are interested in advertising with Just Jen, email me at desertrose0601 {AT} gmail {DOT} com.



Please include :

  1. A link to your blog//shop.

  2. What size spot you would like to reserve.

  3. Whether you will create the ad yourself, or whether you need me to do so. I can create an ad for you for free if you do not yet have one.




Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What Makes a Good Blog Photo

When I'm not knitting or watching numerous TV shows, I read a lot of blogs. I especially love blogs that inspire me to think more creatively.

One thing I've noticed about all of my favorite blogs is that their photos are large, well-focused, and tell a bit of a story. Maybe it's just me, but when a blog has poor photos, it really turns me off.

This got me to thinking about what makes a good blog photo. Here are my thoughts:

Photos should be large, but not too large.

Photos (in landscape mode) should ideally fit the width of your blog post. You want your readers to be able to see the photo clearly and easily. Don't make them have to squint at a 150 pixel wide photo or scroll around to view a 1500 pixel wide photo. Make all your photos easily viewable and you'll make your readers much happier.



Photos should be edited for color, light, and tone.



I'm not talking about "photoshopping" them, but you should always consider the levels of your photo. Check them in a basic editor before you upload them to make sure that things are looking color-balanced, bright enough, and clear to the eye.

Levels can be checked on a histogram, which can be found in most photo editing programs. The graph-looking color part should be nice and mountainous, centering towards the middle of the graph. Too far in either direction and your photo will end up too dark or too light.

{A more technical explanation of the histogram can be found here: ARTICLE.}



Photos should tell a story.

Don't just upload a bunch of photos without telling us why we should care about them. We really want to care, but it's hard when you haven't put any thought into the composition of your post.

Some ways to do that are:
  • Edit for content. Pick out the best only the best five to ten photos of your day and show us those. Leave out the blurry, awkward ones. Upload them up in chronological order. Put a caption under each. Pretend you're talking to a friend!
  • Edit for viewability. Again. Please leave out the blurry, awkward ones. Really. It just makes you look like you don't know what you're doing. Better to have less photos than poorly taken ones.
  • Edit for a theme. Have fun with photos! Have a theme that runs through your post. Tell a story with color, light, and expression.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Shifts Itself Upside Down



    Time is a curious thing. I've totally been losing track of it since losing my job. Mornings, nights, days, weekends, Mondays, Fridays... it's all the same to me lately.

    You may know that I'm a natural night owl. I found out an interesting phenomenon about myself the last time I was without a regular job for a stretch of time, and it's proved to be true again... when left to it's own devices, my time clock completely shifts itself upside down.

    My going-to-bed hour has been subtly shifting later and later over the past month and a half, to the point where this week I haven't been going to bed until after 5:00 am! I sleep then until 2:00 pm or so, get up, start my day, and then proceed to stay up all night again. So strange.

    I wonder if I keep this up if my time clock will shift around to the right side of the day again? Or maybe being awake at night is my natural way of being? Interesting notion. Lol.

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Slacking

    I've totally been slacking on this blog. Sorry about that, folks. I guess I haven't really had anything interesting to say lately. Money has continued to elude me, so unless Ed McMahon shows up at my door soon, it looks like I'll be heading back to live with my parents by the end of the month. I'll for sure be helping out with rent/food there, but it'll be quite a bit less than what it takes to maintain an apartment, even with a roommate! Why does life have to be so expensive?? Why can't we all just live in a little island and fish for our supper and live in a treehouse?

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Remaking Dirty Dancing??


    I am aghast with horror at the news I heard yesterday... they're remaking Dirty Dancing! My #1 all-time favorite romantic movie... and they're remaking it! How dare they mess with a classic!?? This better not turn out as bad as the remake of Karate Kid.

    We like the old versions of these movies because that's what we grew up on. We've got these movies memorized. Watched them 100 times. We don't want someone trodding over their memories with muddy shoes.

    The one bright spot on this dim horizon is that Kenny Ortega and Eleanor Bergstein are a part of this project. They were both a part of the original movie (as choreographer and writer), so hopefully they will have enough sense to keep the original spirit of it and not try to cheese-ify this new version too much.

    I liked the "sequel" (Havana Nights), if you can call it that, because it didn't try to remake what I already love. It just took the overal spirit and themes of the movie and spun them a different way. I wouldn't mind them doing something like that again, but I really, really dread an actual straight-up remake.

    There were so many perfect moments in the original film that can't be duplicated. Such much chemistry, humor, romance, and angst. It was the perfect formula for a movie... how can you re-mix a perfect formula?













    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...