Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just for FUN ~ facepalm and carry on poster

Made the poster below for a friend this morning:


You can make your own at http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk, it's FUN :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March Giveaway Winner

(White background and larger fonts available by clicking the buttons on the right)

The story of the March giveaway
The story of Jennifer, winner of mv's Second Giveaway

The first giveaway was so much FUN and had really given me a sense of being able to show my gratitude to all the wonderful people I'd met through LinkLove ~ so I decided to host one for the month of March as well! :)

As I'm still a newbie at those things, I wasn't too sure what kind of gifts would have been most appreciated by the lovely people who had joined my fan page, but I was determined to find out.

I personally like surprises. I often pick the Surprise Gift when I order from my favorite beauty store, it makes my order feel so much like Christmas! They always have such interesting gifts too, not necessarily all beauty products, and that makes it so exciting to open the package. Will it be a cute bag? Makeup? Candles? A watch? Just LOVE that suspense :)

But that's me, and I wanted to find out what other people liked. Luckily I could figure out how to make a Facebook Poll and asked my lovely fans to choose their favorite prize between Gift Certificate, List of Items to Choose from, Surprise, and Other Suggestion. The funny part? The poll ended in a tie, so it had to be extended. Finally, Gift Certificate broke the tie by one vote, so that's what March's prize was set to be.

So the giveaway was posted March 1st, but unlike the previous month, this one was made much easier: to enter, all one needed to do was click Like. Easy peasy! Still giving people the option of entering the giveaway or not, yet making it easy to enter so even the busiest fans can take advantage of it. Of course, there was still the option of extra comment entries for the super motivated fans :)

The resulting response has been astounding! 34 extra comment entries, and ... wait for it... SEVENTY TWO "Like" entries! That's a 230% increase from last month! WOW. And the number of fans had not increased by that much, so I shall strive to make the giveaway entries as easy for any future ones.

It really is amazing what a difference it makes. Kind of like the difference between having to just drop your business card, and having to fill a form. I'd guess the business card drop would garner a LOTTA more entries :) I'll keep that in mind if I ever get to open a B&M shop :)

Fast forward to Sunday the 7th of March, 9PM EST. With so many entries, it was going to take a little longer to double-check the list and enter it at random.org, so the announcement had to be postponed by a few minutes. List entered, randomized, random number picked: 82. Number 82 on the randomized list: Jennifer B.

Her answer was so cute! She said she'd never won anything before and couldn't believe she had won, and when I confirmed she was THE ONE, she started dancing and her husband was very confused as to why she was doing that. That was so super cute!

I had actually e-met Jennifer just a few days prior, so my memory of her site was still fresh in my mind. I was particularly impressed by her commitment to fair trade, and her keen sense of beauty seen through the product choices on her site. Given her great fashion sense, I was really looking forward to seeing what she would use her gift certificate for.

She chose one of my favorite necklaces, the Dark Shimmer. I was so happy the necklace was going to such a wonderful lady!

And a wonderful lady she is.

Ever since she was a child she's felt the need to help others. She still remembers being a little girl, home sick from school, and seeing a commercial on TV about donating to a fund to help feed starving African children. She remembers seeing a tiny, starving, shoeless little girl and getting a very strong feeling she had to do something about it. There was not much the 7-year-old Jennifer could do, but as she grew older, that strong feeling of wanting to help stayed with her.

So when she saw BeadforLife mentioned on the Today Show, she jumped at the opportunity to help African women build a sustainable future for themselves. Within the hour, she had already booked her first BeadforLife party. This is what she has to say about her experience and how it started shaping her future:
"When I received the beads, I was drawn to them like nothing before. The cause, their beauty, and power they hold. I swear there is energy pouring from them. (Hence the [Energy in my] store's name). I wanted to work with the beads on a larger scale, so I looked into doing a BeadforLife tour that travels to Uganda Africa, to meet the beaders and participate in an international sale, however I couldn't afford it for this Spring's trip, so I am looking into this Fall."
So far, Jennifer has raised over $3000 (6,255,000 Uganda Shillings) for this cause. That is an AWESOME accomplishment and she has made SUCH a difference already in the lives of so many impoverished African Women.

She wanted to do even more.

So she started reading more about fair trade, researching, trying to find more ways she could help. In her own words:
"[...] it amazed me to read such stories of hope people have to get themselves out of poverty, and how hard they will work to get there. Their hope and spirit keep them going through the most horrific tragedies. (And there ties in Spirit & Hope for the last two [words in my] store's name)."

You can guess what happened next, and what she has chosen to name her store :) Yes, Jennifer decided to make fair trade products more accessible in her area, and to do so she has started her Energy, Spirit & Hope store. A GORGEOUS and INSPIRING store if I may say so. You should definitely visit, there are SO many beautiful fair trade products, and more added every day!

It's so nice to see such a variety of affordable fair trade products in one place. Energy, Spirit & Hope has definitely managed to gather the best of the best, and with FIFTEEN different product categories there is something for everyone! Would you like to start your day with fair trade coffee? Jennifer has quite a few delicious varieties available. Art? Got it! Accessories? Got it! Toys? Got it! I could go on and on, but I think the point has already been made: you WILL find something for you, as well as for your loved ones.

When you visit, do check the Artisans category for an inspiring story about a community of Indian artisans who were being mistreated by their employers at the time, and who found their way out of poverty and mistreatment through fair trade. A truly inspiring and beautiful story.

I'd like to highlight a few products to give you an idea of the beauty of this store. This is really just a small fraction of all the beauty there is to be seen, but I'll try to give you a taste in a nutshell through how I'd see a fair trade day happen :)

You could start your day admiring the art on the right and sipping one of Jennifer's favorite fair trade coffees, Sumatran Organic Italian Roast. She says "The first sip is like a lightening bolt to the body. Over the weekend, my husband will brew it before I get out of bed and the smell alone propels me downstairs." Doesn't that sound like a great way to start the day?

You'd get dressed and wear your gorgeous copper on gold tone cuff bracelet, grab one of the many beautiful recycled Sari bags and head out the door.

The Sari bags are one of Jennifer's all time favorites by the way. As she puts it, "they are stunning, every single one of them. The beading and embroidery is BEAUTIFUL, and so well made. To think they are recycled Saris, [that's even more] amazing."

She also likes the tatami style purses from Cambodia:
"The purses from Baskets of Cambodia are gorgeous too. I don't know what I thought of when I ordered them, baskets? Into purses? Aren't they going to be stiff? Well let me tell you they exceeded my standards. They are so well made, soft sisal grass made into sturdy bags that won't wear over time."
As your day progresses, you'll find it easy to keep your todo lists in check and jotting things down on a gorgeous elegant leather journal.

One of these todo items may even be buying a gift for the house warming party tonight. A wine tote would be PERFECT! There are even wine bottle stoppers you could pair it with. And if the hosts are not drinkers, you couldn't go wrong with fair trade hand dipped and painted candles. And yes, you've guessed it, candle holders are also available, as well as GORGEOUS handmade gift wrapping paper :)

When coming back home, you could play drums with your kids, we all know how much they like noise. Actually, I like those animal decorated drums so much, I might just play with them myself, just as a sort of meditation device.

And finally, if you are like me, you'd burn the midnight oil trying to finish an article, and you WILL need more coffee. There's no more appropriately named coffee than the Sweetwater Midnight Oil! :)

That would be my day. How would YOUR fair trade day look like? Check out Energy, Spirit, & Hope, enjoy the sights, help people all over the world, and come back here to tell us the story of your fair trade day :)

You can chat with Jennifer at:
Facebook Fan Page
Energy, Spirit & Hope: A Fair Trade Experience store

Monday, March 29, 2010

Adding Widgets to Facebook Fan Pages


I am so excited about the new sparkly widgets on my fan page, I simply MUST share. Did you know you could add code to FaceBook pages?! I only found about this recently, and only figured it out today.

Today, I stumbled (again) upon this FBML thing, FaceBook Markup Language. Well, this place was saying HTML works, so my initial monstrous image of having to learn this "FBML" turned into "Oh, it's HTML, I can tackle THAT!"

So for those of you wanting a pretty widget on the side of your FaceBook Fan Pages, here's a little mini-guide based on what's worked for me:

  1. Go to http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=4949752878 (Static FBML App) and click the "Add to my Page" link under the avatar.

  2. An "Add Static FBML to your Page" window pops up, and you should see the avatar of your fan page in there. Click the "Add to Page" button next to it.

  3. Now go to your FAN page and click the "Edit Page" link under your avatar.

  4. Scroll down to Applications, and you should see FBML in there. Click the "Edit" link immediately underneath the FBML line.

  5. You will now be in the "Edit FBML" window where you can edit the Box Title to say whatever you want, like LINKLOVE, for example. You can also put any text or HTML widget code into the FBML area. For example, to add a link to the LinkLove blog:
    <a href="http://linklovesuccess.blogspot.com"> LinkLove Success Stories Blog</a>
    Keep in mind you are designing for a 200 pixels wide area.

  6. When done, click the blue "Save Changes" button at the bottom.

  7. Go to your FAN page, find the Boxes tab at the top and click on it (may be hidden under the >> at the end of the tabs, click the arrows to expand).

  8. On the Boxes page, you will see your LINKLOVE FBML. Click the tiny edit pencil in the upper right corner and choose "Move to Wall Tab"

  9. TAADAA! It's now on the left side of your wall. You can even grab it and move it up and down (as long as it's under fans). Pretty cool huh?
Privacy version of mv Fan Page

You can see the widgets live at http://facebook.com/mvfans.

So that's it. The mighty FBML I was so afraid of trying out LOL

Do let me know how those instructions work for you or if anything looks confusing. Enjoy!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Buy Handmade, Make Someone Happy
Week of 03/15 to 03/21 Features

There have been no undiscovered shops submitted this month. I guess we've found them all! :) So for this week, I'll show a sampler from newbie shops who have recently joined ArtFire and are awaiting their first sale.

I'll let the photos speak for themselves :)



Patriotic looking layered spray painting, made entirely from salvaged and recycled materials. From URSAMAJOR's shop:


Gorgeous custom renaissance/princess dress for girls from gypsythreads:


Whimsical "My tongue at your service" (Chameleon bookmarks) from rosycheeked:


I encourage you to visit these gorgeous shops and contact the artisans above if you see an item you love, even if just to let them know how much you enjoy their work. Share your favorites in the comments section, and twitter, plurk, blog, etc. if you find something you like!

And if you find a pretty shop that's been around for a while yet still has 0 sales, do submit it to the 0 SOLD: Undiscovered Studios thread.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Buy Handmade, Make Someone Happy
Week of 03/08 to 03/14 Features


Daily links go live as soon as the corresponding Undiscovered Studios are featured:

Sunday
Saturday
Friday ~ First Honorable Mention Favorite
Thursday ~ Bronze Favorite
Wednesday ~ Bronze Favorite
Tuesday ~ Silver Favorite
Monday ~ Gold Favorite
Proceed straight to comments...

03/12 Buy Handmade, Make Someone Happy

Today's shop is TwoTootsies, specializing in one of a kind jewelry. There, you will find perfect gifts for the elegant ladies in your entourage.

I encourage you to contact the artisan above if you see an item you love, even if just to let them know how much you enjoy their work. Share your favorites in the comments section, and twitter, plurk, blog, etc. if you find something you like!

TwoTootsies's studio sections are:
Necklaces
Bracelets
Watches
Earrings
Pendants
Anklets
TwoTootsies's Lowest priced item is $9. The highest priced item is $38.

This beautiful aqua blue and black necklace is one of my favorites:

What is YOUR favorite? :)


03/11 Buy Handmade, Make Someone Happy

Today's shop is Berk1948, specializing in crocheted accessories. This artist also carries her daughter and grandaughter's handmade jewelry, with the proceedings going into the grandaughter's college fund. A lot of variety in a shop for everyone.

Check out her green bags crocheted from recycled grocery bags!

I encourage you to contact the artisan above if you see an item you love, even if just to let them know how much you enjoy their work. Share your favorites in the comments section, and twitter, plurk, blog, etc. if you find something you like!

Berk1948's studio sections are:

Jewelry - Necklace, Earrings, Bracelet, Sets
Hats - Teen/Adult, Children
Hats/Blankets - Baby
Scarves
Bookmarks
Hat/Scarf - Sets - Adult/Teen
Hairbows
Green Bags
Dog Jackets

Berk1948's Lowest priced item is $1.50. The highest priced item is $45.

This green guacamole toddler hat is one of my favorites:

What is YOUR favorite? :)

03/10 Buy Handmade, Make Someone Happy

Today's shop is Esprit-Mystique, specializing in gorgeous symbolic jewelry made from recycled materials such as bullets, bone, fiber, and other found treasures. There, you will find perfect gifts for people who need a little extra luck, or that little extra energy boost.

I encourage you to contact the artisan above if you see an item you love, even if just to let them know how much you enjoy their work. Share your favorites in the comments section, and twitter, plurk, blog, etc. if you find something you like!

Esprit-Mystique's Lowest priced item is $20. The highest priced item is $450.

This pair of earrings made of recycled copper bullet shells is one of my favorites (goes well with other bullet jewelry in this store, BEST way of using bullets!)

What is YOUR favorite? :)

03/09 Buy Handmade, Make Someone Happy

Today's shop is Theforestprincess, specializing in elven, fantasy, and medieval wire wrapped jewelry. There, you will find perfect gifts for the princess in your life.

I encourage you to contact the artisan above if you see an item you love, even if just to let them know how much you enjoy their work. Share your favorites in the comments section, and twitter, plurk, blog, etc. if you find something you like!

Theforestprincess' studio sections are:
bracelets
rings
necklace
pendant
Theforestprincess' Lowest priced item is $9.25. The highest priced item is $58.50.

This blue and gold filigree wire worked necklace is one of my favorites:

What is YOUR favorite? :)

03/08 Buy Handmade, Make Someone Happy
The TOP WINNER of the ArtFire Favorite Undiscovered Studios poll has her own extensive feature (click to visit).

Monday, March 8, 2010

Candy's Trinkets - Something for Everyone


03/08 Buy Handmade, Make Someone Happy
Special Feature


Please join me in congratulating the TOP WINNER of the Favorite Undiscovered Studios contest for the month of March. She has been featured in the well known Step By Step Wire Jewelry Magazine and her designs are top quality detailed works of art. Please meet...

... CandysTrinkets! :)

Her shop is one of the best stocked jewelry shops around, displaying a great variety of quality necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pendants, and other accessories.

She works in sterling silver and gold filled, as well as some artistic wire, and loves creating with all sorts of beads, although she prefers crystals and lampwork. Another favorite is wrapped dichroic and gemstone pendants, all chosen for their gorgeous shimmer and shapes.

No matter what your favorite color is, you will find it in CandysTrinkets shop. Her shop displays an extensive rainbow of colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, black, pink ... and she even takes custom orders for the colors of your choice, like for example this bracelet which can be made in your team's or school's colors.

And look at the gorgeous color combination in this Springtime necklace! FABULOUS!

The wide variety of her skills and creativity can easily be seen from her extensive studio sections:
European Bracelet Charms
Pendants
Earrings
Necklaces
Bracelets
Pins/Brooch
Glass Tile Pendants
Knitting Stitch Markers
Keychains
Bookmarks
Dragonfly Suncatchers
Cell Phone Charms
Scarfflette/Scarves
Do visit her shop, and browse in 60 items per page mode, there's much beauty to be seen :)

I encourage you to contact the artisan above if you see an item you love, even if just to let her know how much you enjoy her work. Share your favorites in the comments section, and twitter, plurk, blog, etc. if you find something you like!

CandysTrinkets's Lowest priced item is $2.75. The highest priced item is $125. Truly something for everyone.

It was very hard to pick ONE favorite!

This bridal crystal bracelet design featured in Step By Step Wire Jewelry Magazine is one of my many favorites:

What is YOUR favorite? :) Will you gain the bragging rights of being their first sale? :)

Comments section is open for gushing :) Please proceed! :)

Other blogs featuring this month's top winner:
* OuttaSight ~ Awareness Jewelry, donating to ABC, a highly specialized school for autistic children.
* Va Beach Quilter ~ Quilts and quilted accessories.
* Andrea W Designs ~ Helping you explore the world of Handmade

The forums have died since the new ones went live, but this has also been posted here in case some stray viewers wander into the forums :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

And the WINNER of the Favorite Poll is...

... EVERYBODY! :)

Of course, we do have a TOP WINNER, but before I tell you who, a little bit about this month's RAK AFUS poll.

As those of you who are following these polls know, February had a wonderful voter turnout. One of the things that had changed for the February poll was the addition of a limit to the number of studios in the poll, making it easier to visit all of them and pick favorites. Given the success of that particular change, March was also limited to 10 studios in the poll, and the remaining 4 undiscovered studios were added to the regular daily features for the week of the poll.

While March has seen 22 less voters than February, it's still pretty good at 62 voters. But why the participation drop, when the poll was just as easy to vote on as last month? The answer comes down to one word: EYEBALLS. Ok, maybe a second word: INVOLVEMENT.

So what about eyeballs and why should I choose to talk about them when this is just a fun poll, nothing to do with business? Oh, but it has a lot to do with business. If you've read the past poll winner articles, you already know how important it is to get seen.

No eyeballs. No customers. No business. It's that simple.

The poll serves many purposes: bringing visitors to beautiful studios that have been around for a while yet have not made a sale, help active studios see the difference made by promotion, point active studios to various resources that can help them succeed, motivate artists and help them realize that their craft is gorgeous and it needs to be SEEN, and so on.

So back to eyeballs. What was different last month? Well, for one, two of the poll participants got very involved last month, and one of them even posted a "Vote for me" message that brought them a lot of votes. Do votes matter? Well, yes in that it helped them be the top winner and got the extra promotion as well as extra help with their studio. What matters most though are the EYEBALLS. The difference between this month's top winner and last month's top winner? 21. Darn close to the total vote difference, don't you think so? :)

Now, more eyeballs do not necessarily mean a sale, but the more eyeballs, the more chances the RIGHT customer will discover you. The January article talks a bit more about this, so I won't go into details. Eyeballs are the first step to getting sales. Promotion brings in eyeballs. Improving one's SEO brings in eyeballs. Being INVOLVED and MOTIVATED brings in the strength to do the above :)

And that brings us to the second word, involvement, and the second difference between this month's poll and last month's.

Last month's participation was determined by timing and luck. Participants publicly registered for the poll, and the first 10 were added to it. Those artists are the ones who regularly check their shops and reply to messages. Those were also artists who were ready to go public with their shops, rather than shying away and choosing not to register. Last month's stats: 84 voters, 3 first sales, 1 first sale during feature week.

This month's poll participation was determined by the number of items in each shop. More items mean more entry points for customers, and generally more sales - when the eyeballs hit :) In terms of shop activity, only a few of the contacted artisans have replied quickly, so that was the other difference from last month.

Without a public shop activity indicator, customers have to go by how fast the shop owner will reply to their emails, and if frequenting the forums, the last time they had seen this shop in the Daily Item of the Day, or generally, if they have seen this shop being active. This is certainly not a determining factor for a fun poll, but if can make a huge difference in the real world.

So has the fact that the poll entries were not public changed something else? Well, none of this is exact science with lab notes and computer tracking, but another thing we've seen LESS of this month is involvement of artisans not in the poll. Could it be because poll participants have not publicly shown their readiness to be promoted through this poll? I don't know yet, but having shops show they were active in the forum definitely got a response from other people.

We've still had quite a few artists help promote this month's Favorite Undiscovered Studios, my thanks to all! I hope I am not forgetting anyone: InletImages has installed the poll widget on his blog, @danilavdesigns, @InletBill, @Valmade, and @SSSpix participated in the #undiscoveredstudio FollowFriday, and many more have tweeted or retweeted promos for these studios: @ameliaoriginals, @Jasmina100, @InletBill, @danilavdesigns, @AndreaDesigns1, @apronsbymeme, @BeadersCove...

A BIG THANK YOU to all who have voted, visited, helped promote, bumped threads, and a myriad other Random Acts of Kindness! May your kindness be returned threefold! :) You have helped EVERYONE be a WINNER!

So without any further ado, here is the complete list of winners, and the TOP WINNERS for March. If you haven't had a chance to visit them during the poll, now is the time :)
ANiemancrochet (first sale)
Berk1948
CabinHollow
CandysTrinkets
cindyscreativecrochet
dianamarshall
Esprit-Mystique
firstlightphoto
HeartofaCowgirlJewelry
Krista
krystalkats (first sale)
Lotsofjewels
Theforestprincess
TwoTootsies

Now, for the final tally for the TOP 5 by number of votes...
~~~~~~DRUMROLL~~~~~~

(#) STUDIO - VOTES
(5) Berk1948 - 6 votes
(5) Esprit-Mystique - 6 votes
(4) DS krystalkats - 8 votes
(3) DS CabinHollow - 9 votes
(2) Theforestprincess - 20 votes
(1) CandysTrinkets - 22 votes

The TOP FIVE WINNERS will be featured on my blog starting Monday March 8th, and the TOP WINNER ~ CandysTrinkets ~ will get a special promotion and a surprise gift :)

Since the features are reserved for studios with 0 sales the morning of, mini-features about other poll participants who are still undiscovered may also be posted this week ~ to replace the DS (discovered studios).

The poll is over, but that doesn't mean you can't mention your favorites. That is what the comments are for :)

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Before I go though, a quick preview of this month's TOP WINNER:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

February Giveaway Winner

(White background available under Accessibility Options on the right side)

She was wearing one of her lucky shirt designs from The Spotted Olive™ when she entered the room. It looks like it has worked wonders! :)

Ok, now that I have your attention, feel welcome here, make yourself comfortable and let me know what I can get for you. The bar is stocked and the snack cart is overflowing with goodies. ::listens:: Alright! Here you go! Enjoy! Let me get some water and we'll be on our way.

The story of Debbie,
winner of mv's First Giveaway.
Photo of Debbie wearing her mv necklace.


It was a cold winter day when mv found out about this great concept of having a giveaway (yes, yes, I am new to all this LOL). A giveaway, the BEST way to thank the wonderful people she had met in her online travels! But how would this work? With the help of a few friends and some very good pointers from them, the first giveaway was born.

February 12, 2010, afternoon... I was having the jitters... Will anyone see this? What if I mess up? How will it be received? I had written and rewritten, rehearsed the whole thing a hundred times. Well, here it goes! Share.

4 minutes later, the first answer! WHEEE! It had worked! ::happy dance:: I don't remember if it was sunny outside, but it sure felt like it. As this was a multiple entry giveaway, I started seeing familiar faces coming back. I was as happy as one feels when a lovely repeat customer enters their store :) I was busy reviewing the links, the tweeps, and all the good places I was discovering thanks to the giveaway.

Hmm, I see your glass is empty. Would you like another drink? I think I'll get a martini for myself. I have this sudden urge for a martini... I wonder why.

Hmm, a tweet from an account that reminds me of a martini. Ah, yes, the super cute shop that had really cool business card designs, funky paper goods, and other cute stuff. As I was clicking more and more links, I was discovering more and more gorgeous designs. Business cards, note cards, invitations, stationery, postcards, stickers... Oh WOW! Cool T-shirts! Even shoes, and hats, and bags, and... WOW. Who is this talented person?! Look at all those GORGEOUS designs! OMG! So funky! So cute! So COOL!

LOL Check out this shirt! OMG! She is so FUNNY!


Fast forward to February 21st, the day of the drawing. Enter list at random.org, randomize, get random number, pick that number from the list.... Debbie! The martini lady! I mean, The Spotted Olive™ owner :)

Confetti!
Flowers!
Music!
Party!
Congratulations Debbie!

Her answer was so nice she melted my heart: "Happy to help promote other fellow small business owners. Was my pleasure to do and as an added bonus I won a prize. Thanks so much!!!"

That's Debbie for you. She is a kind hearted soul who strives to help others as much as she can. In January, she joined Hearts For Haiti a group of artists, designers and illustrators on Zazzle trying to raise awareness and funds to help the Haiti earthquake victims. She celebrates Earth Day every day. Helping the planet helps the people living on it. Use LESS! Help the environment!

We've had a few chats since, and what strikes me is how supportive she is of all businesses. She loves running The Spotted Olive™ because she knows it can help other businesses succeed.

Professionally, she's an award winning graphic designer who's been in the industry for 15 years now. She's joined the POD world January 2008, discovered Zazzle a few months later, and hasn't looked back since. Zazzle is her POD of choice and she has countless Zazzle stores, each a creative outlet for her boundless talent, each with its own Debbie style and designs.

In Debbie's own words: "The primary focus of my shops is paper goods, business cards, etc. I actually sell quite a bit of my business card designs to small businesses that are on Etsy and Artfire. I've had a few jewelry designers ask me to alter some of my business card designs so they can use them for their jewelry. It's kind of a cool connection from what I do to the handmade crafters, and how we can work together."

Isn't she AWESOME?

I wanted to show you a favorite business card from her store, but I couldn't stop at one, it was hard enough to stop at two! :)

Doesn't this design look perfect for a Craft Business?

And this one for a vintage seller?


She has also been recently interviewed by Zazzle, and you can read more about her design philosophy and inspirations at: http://blog.zazzle.com/2010/02/10/zazzle-featured-seller-interview-with-thespottedolive. It's a fun read!

Thank you so much for listening! I had fun sharing Debbie's story. She is such a talented designer! I will send her your compliments, so please do gush about her in the comments section below :)

You can visit Debbie at:

http://www.facebook.com/TheSpottedOlive
http://www.thespottedolive.blogspot.com
http://twitter.com/thespottedolive

http://www.thespottedolive.com
http://www.zazzle.com/thespottedolivekicks
http://www.zazzle.com/twoheartsshoppe
http://www.zazzle.com/minkideluxe
http://www.zazzle.com/thespunkypuppy
http://www.dpgraphicdesign.net


The Spotted Olive™ Ultra Techie Fancy Panel Thingie is cool. Click :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Favorite Undiscovered Studios POLL


The poll is limited to 10 entries to make it easier to vote, but a complete list of all 14 March Favorite Undiscovered Studios is available here.

Pick as many studios as you like, no limits here :) Thank you so much for participating! Tell your friends how cool you are :)

Results will be tallied Friday March 5th at 11:59PM MST/10:59PM PST. Top winners will be featured starting Monday March 8th.

March Undiscovered Studios
Pick your favorites below:

(Studios are clickable and open in a new window)

ANiemancrochet
Berk1948
CabinHollow
CandysTrinkets
dianamarshall
Esprit-Mystique
Krista
krystalkats
Theforestprincess
TwoTootsies
  
  

Ends Friday 03/05 at
11:59 PM MST.
pollcode.com



Thank you so much for showing your appreciation! Tell your twitter friends to vote too, and if you'd like to see more beauty, check out the complete list of March studios.

Buy Handmade, Make Someone Happy
Week of 03/01 to 03/07 Features


Don't forget to Vote for your Favorite Undiscovered Studios! Pick as many studios as you like, no limits here :) Found an undiscovered treasure? Share the love and post a link to that studio here. Thank you~


Daily links go live as soon as the corresponding Undiscovered Studios are featured:
Sunday
Saturday
Friday
Thursday
Wednesday
Tuesday
Monday


03/04 Buy Handmade, Make Someone Happy

Today's shop is HeartofaCowgirlJewelry, specializing in custom jewelry. There, you will find perfect gifts for the diva cowgirl in your life.

HeartofaCowgirlJewelry is having a 15% off sale at this time.

I encourage you to contact the artisan above if you see an item you love, even if just to let them know how much you enjoy their work. Share your favorites in the comments section, and twitter, plurk, blog, etc. if you find something you like!

HeartofaCowgirlJewelry's populated studio sections are:
Necklaces
Bracelets
EarringsRings
Leather Bracelets
HeartofaCowgirlJewelry's Lowest priced item is $10.20. The highest priced item is $62.32.

This leather concho bracelet is one of my favorites:

What is YOUR favorite? :)

03/03 Buy Handmade, Make Someone Happy

Today's shop is cindyscreativecrochet, specializing in crocheted wire jewelry and items made from recycled poptabs. There, you will find perfect gifts for friends who like unusual and upcycled gifts.

I encourage you to contact the artisan above if you see an item you love, even if just to let them know how much you enjoy their work. Share your favorites in the comments section, and twitter, plurk, blog, etc. if you find something you like!

cindyscreativecrochet's Lowest priced item is $12. The highest priced item is $60.

This environmentally friendly purse made from recycled pop tabs is one of my favorites:

What is YOUR favorite? :)

03/02 Buy Handmade, Make Someone Happy

Today's shop is Lotsofjewels, specializing in vintage and pretty earrings. There, you will find perfect gifts for ladies who like vintage designs.

Lotsofjewels is having a sale currently: save $5 off $50 with coupon code AA-50-5.

I encourage you to contact the artisan above if you see an item you love, even if just to let them know how much you enjoy their work. Share your favorites in the comments section, and twitter, plurk, blog, etc. if you find something you like!

Lotsofjewels' studio sections are:
Handmade Earrings
The Attic
Lotsofjewels's Lowest priced item is $5. The highest priced item is $25.

This Czech glass and Bali silver pair of earrings is one of my favorites:

What is YOUR favorite? :)

03/01 Buy Handmade, Make Someone Happy

Today's shop is firstlightphoto, specializing in Fine Art Photography for your home or workplace. There, you will find perfect gifts for people who love the simplicity and history of old wooden objects, the elegance of horses, and the beauty of flowers.

I encourage you to contact the artisan above if you see an item you love, even if just to let them know how much you enjoy their work. Share your favorites in the comments section, and twitter, plurk, blog, etc. if you find something you like!

firstlightphoto's studio sections are:
Nature/Landscape
Amish
Bizarre/OdditiesHorses
Old/Antique Wood
Architecture
flowers/plants
Still Life
Pendants
firstlightphoto's Lowest priced item is $10. The highest priced item is $40.

This dewy spider web is one of my favorites:
If you'd like to see more feedback, this gorgeous photo has also been featured on the evening of 03/04 on the fan page of DoskasDesigns with Unique jewelry inspired by nature.

What is YOUR favorite? :)

14 Beautiful Artisans and Their Shops

It is the first Monday of the month, and that means it's time to show off those beautiful shops that haven't been discovered as yet. A lot of them have been featured this past month, and you can see them on the side under February articles. Do check them out, there is something for everyone!

The March poll will go live in less than 2 hours, and 10 of these beautiful shops will be in it. The other 4 shops will be featured during this week, so stay tuned!

The poll will start today, Monday March 1st 2PM EST and end on Friday March 5th 2AM EST. These shops will be watching with excitement to see your appreciation, so please do come back during the poll and vote for your favorites. As always, the poll will accept multiple entries, because it is so difficult to choose only one gorgeous shop :) So pick as many shops as you like!

So without any further ado, please visit these 14 GORGEOUS studios, it will make their day and mine! For even more make-their-day-ness, post your favorites in the comments below :)

ANiemancrochet
Berk1948
CabinHollow
CandysTrinkets
cindyscreativecrochet
dianamarshall
Esprit-Mystique
firstlightphoto
HeartofaCowgirlJewelry
Krista
krystalkats
Lotsofjewels
Theforestprincess
TwoTootsies


Have you voted? :) I thank you for your visit and kindness to these shops~


I would like to give SEO credit to pages featuring these shops, the winner, or the poll, so do EMAIL ME your link to the feature or page running the poll widget :) And if you find an undiscovered studio in your ArtFire travels, or if you are one, do let us know!

The wonderful artisans below are supporting undiscovered studios by linking to the poll. The widget code is below this list, join in the fun! :)

  • mv - OOAK handmade jewelry made with love and fun

  • Inlet Images - A blog for the enjoyment of photographers of any skill level


  • Comments section is open for gushing and bragging :) Please proceed! :)

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