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Showing posts from July, 2012

July Goals Followup

1. Visit a museum or art exhibit. Oh yeah... forgot about that...

2. Go to the free summer movies that are starting up in July (even if I have to go alone!). Um.... I started watching the Olympics. Does that count?

3. Get some stickers & colored paper from the Dollar Store & make something with them. Oops. Totally spaced on this too. Maybe I should print out my Goals so I don't forget about them. ;P

4. Walk down to the lake at least once a week. Does walking to and from the refrigerator count? Oh! But I did start doing my Wii Fit again. So that's good.

5. Finish 4 books. I finished one book that took me way longer than it should have. I feel like every spare second has been taken up with knitting or designing, but I really should make more of an effort to relax this summer, shouldn't I?

6. Sleep outside under the stars (of course, this requires that it actually stops raining!). Well... we've had the coldest summer in a looooong time around here. It did finally…

Where in the world is... Slovenia?

Today's tour of nations will take us to Slovenia! Isn't that a fun country to say? Slovenia can be found in Central Europe at the hub of the European trade routes. It borders Italy, Hungary, Austria, and Croatia. According to Wikipedia, Slovenia has a very diverse culture and a high economic and social level.

The Short and Sweet of It All Slovenia is situated in a unique juncture geographically-speaking. It's got some of the Alps in it, as well as a Mediterranean coastline. The country has a very rich, watered landscape, as well as many dense forests. Their climate varies depending on location from Alpine to sub-Mediterranean.

Slovenia has been occupied by many countries over the years, including the Bavarian Empire, the Carolingian Empire, and the Roman Empire (this was all pre-1st Century AD). Slovenians started self-identifying as their own people-group around the time of the Protestant Reformation (1600's), but weren't their own country until the early 1900'…

New Blog Design!

I have come to terms with the fact that I love changing my blog design. It's fun and interesting to me to try out new looks. And hey... I probably wouldn't be well on my way to being a graphic designer if I didn't enjoy playing with designs!! ;)

So yes... in case you were wondering... I changed my blog design again this weekend! I've been seeing so many clean, more easily navigated blogs around lately that I was starting to feel a bit claustrophobic with my old design.

There are remnants of my old design lying around still, but overall I'm all new and spiffed up now!

Etsy Tips: Pricing your products for profit

What are you charging for your creative products? On Etsy or otherwise, doesn't matter. I would bet you it isn't enough. The thing is... YOU wouldn't ever pay what your item is worth because you can make it.

You are not your ideal customer.

Let me repeat that... YOU are not your ideal customer.
Your ideal customer thinks that what you create is amazing and wonderful, in part because they couldn't (or don't care to) make it themselves. You need to be pricing accordingly.

I know I, for one, am always tempted to set a price based on 1) what other Etsians are charging, 2) what I would pay for such an item, and 3) how much it feels to me like it's worth. While I think my gut feelings are usually pretty trustworthy, I'm beginning to wonder if, where money is concerned, I'm a little scared to charge what something is worth.

How do you know what something is worth?
It's all about perceived value. Not cost of materials. A purse can retail for $10 or $30,000 …

Where in the world is... the United Arab Emirates?

In light of the Olympic games starting this week, I thought it'd be fun to research some of the countries participating that I know little to nothing about. Today's spotlight will be on the United Arab Emirates!

According to Wikipedia, UAE is a federation of 7 emirates, including Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Am I the only one that didn't realize these places were in the same country? I've heard of them both but never put that together. Anyway...

UAE is in the Middle East, nestled in next to Saudi Arabia and Oman.

A Brief History Lesson... 7000 Years Consolidated into One Paragraph Apparently people have lived in this region since about 5000 BC. That's... a LONG time!! Foreign trade by caravan and by seafaring has always been huge for them, and by the first century AD, they were exporting pearls as far away as China. Around 630 AD, Muslim prophets came to this region and the country became mostly Islamic (and still is, to this day). Portugal and Great Britain ruled them th…

What I've Read #3

I have a huge stack of books sitting on my TV all summer that I've been meaning to read... and of course, I haven't had time to read any of them.

I've been feeling this drive while I'm out of school for the summer to get my Etsy shops rolling. The goal being to have them making somewhat of an income while I'm busy in school this fall. It's amazing how much time organizing, designing, creating, and marketing take up!

Anyway... I actually have finished one book recently: Insurgent, by Veronica Roth, which is the second book in a dystopian trilogy set in a future Chicago.

It was actually an interesting story, but for some reason I had trouble picking it up to finish it. The first in the series, Divergent, held my interest much better, though I am still looking forward to the sequel, which I believe comes out in about a year.

Essentially the premise behind this trilogy is that there are 5 factions of people in this country (all living within the former metropolis …

Interacting with Readers and Twitter Followers

When growing your blog, it's important to interact with the people who are helping you grow your blog... your readers! If you're quiet like me, you may not relish the idea of being social, even online, but I promise it doesn't have to be painful, and it can go a long way towards making you seem open and approachable. This in turn will make people happy when they visit your blog and that much more likely to stick around!

Step 1: Reply to CommentsTaking the time to reply to your reader's comments goes a long way to making them feel at home. I can't tell you how many times I've asked a question on a blog and not received an answer. While I understand that bloggers are busy people, it really makes you seem antisocial (and/or rude) if you hole up and never respond to people.

Remember that you're not committing to marry this person, you simply want to acknowledge that they exist and that you honor and respect the fact that they took the time to comment on your …

29 Ways To Stay Creative

I've seen this creativity list before in list form, but today I ran across it in video form and felt so inspired by it! There's definitely something to be said for merging design and music.

The tip to take breaks really stood out to me this time. I've worked in the corporate world for so long that I automatically feel guilty if I'm not working, working, working my little fingers to the bone. Unlike data entry or filing, creativity doesn't really thrive when you do that. Lol.

Some other great tips from the list...

Drink coffee.
Quit beating yourself up.
Sing in the shower.

I sometimes forget that creativity is sort of a state of mind. You have to let yourself get into that dreamy headspace, where anything is possible, and unicorns prance around. Creativity isn't always something you can just beat yourself over the head to accomplish. It has to swell up and overflow from your very center. Getting yourself into that creative headspace is half the battle! The rest j…

Recipe: S'mores Treats

Hey all you fabulous readers! I hope that you are having a wonderful Tuesday!

My name is Keely and I have a special treat for you today, so make sure to thank Jennifer for letting me hang out here! You can find some more recipes over on my blog, Hairbows and Butter, hope to see you there soon!

So we all know that rice krispie treats are delicious, agreed? Well I took the idea to the next level and created for you a S'mores treat (no rice krispies needed!).

So these treats are made with Golden Grahams, butter, marshmallows and broken up Hershey's bars! How can we really go wrong here?

Let's get to it then!

S'mores treats 1 stick butter
1 1/2 bags mini marshmallows
5 cups Golden Grahams
2 Hershey's bars

Wow! Only 4 ingredients!

Before we get started make sure to grease a 9x9 pan, we want these babies to come out!

Now, in a large sauce pan, melt the stick of butter. Once the butter is melted, add in one bag of marshmallows, and stir, stir, stir! Stir until …

Etsy Tips: Using models in your product shots

I got to thinking about the overall branding of my knit shop this past month, and decided that it would give it a little more polished feel to show my hats being used. I know when I search through Etsy for knit hats (market research!!), I'm always more tempted to click on the happy, smiling faces of beautiful women wearing beautiful hats than I am to click on a featureless, white mannequin. Somehow the hat seems more lovely when it's shown on someone that looks happy wearing it. Not sure why that is exactly, but it seems to be true.

So... as painfully shy as I am, it took me awhile to ask one of my friends to model for me. But I finally did, and to my surprise she readily agreed! We did the shoot outdoors one afternoon this past week when the sky was a bit overcast. I love how it gave the photos a sort of autumn-y feel to them, even though we don't have any fall leaves in the background.

I guess my point is, don't be afraid to aim a little higher in marketing your sho…

Guess Those 80's Movies! (Part 3)

This is the last round of my 80's movie guess game. How did you do? {round 1} {round 2} This week I tried to pick from some of my favorite tv movies, so don't expect this to be easy!! ;D Place your answers in the comment section (and don't cheat by checking other people's answers!)

I'm thinking about continuing this game in different themes. What do you think? Or would you like me to just continue doing 80's movies for awhile?