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Monday, May 24, 2010

Free Shipping on Your Entire Order!

**Now that the promo had ended, the book used was Twlight!**

I really love shooting my item on printed pages, like books. I’ve always been drawn to those pictures and recently started doing it myself. I think its fun to try and see if I can figure out which book the artist used.

Now its your turn: I'll give you free shipping within the U.S.A. on your entire order (half-off shipping for international orders) if you can tell me the book used in my new Sizzling Summer Gingham Gift Tags:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/47709009/handmade-gingham-gift-tagsembellishments

Before you decide this is too hard, I’ll give you three clues; be sure to look at each of the pictures in the listing and click on each to enlarge, as different shots show different part of the pages. Here are your three clues:

1. This is a very mainstream book has been on the NY Times Bestseller List.
2. It is the first book in a series; each subsequent book has also been a Bestseller.
3. While the book has been read by men and women, the majority of readers are women.

If you think you know the answer, send me an email at mishelle.mccall@gmail.com. If you are correct, I’ll send you a coupon code! There can be an unlimited number of winners! After your order is completed, I’ll refund your shipping charges immediately through PayPal. Your free shipping code has no expiration date, but can only be redeemed once. Free shipping is valid for addresses within the US; all international orders will receive a code for half-off shipping costs. Contest ends at Midnight PST on May 31.

Your free shipping is only good in my shop; start building your wishlist: http://www.pinkycrafts.etsy.com/

Good luck! I hope you have as much fun with this puzzle as I do!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

One week of independence later...

Let me just tell you: its strange to be in a hotel and not be on vacation! Even though our place definitely appears more like a condo or small apartment, my brain still knows its in a hotel, albiet an extended stay hotel filled with other relocaters. I feel like the loser vacation girl who stays in her room! But this is not vacation, its real life.

In shop news, I started working on new Party Packs: coordinating cupcake toppers and hor devours picks packaged together. I always appreciate parties with attention to detail, and I'm hoping my buyers do too! I also listed a Gift Certificate for the first time, after reading up on Oregon laws, that is. Who knew giving a Gift Certificate could be so complicated!

In personal news, DH's new job is on the brink of not working out. He's still in the training process, going out with other sales reps on their appointments to learn the ropes. Unfortunately, the company is trying a test market in a totally different area of the state, and DH has been required to travel down there. One negative is that because he's just sitting in, he's only eligible for a teeeeeny commission if a sale gets made - but there haven't been any sales all week. He's driving 5 hours round trip every day. We're not sure if he's even making enough to cover the gas costs. They've been scheduling him for the max number of appointments each day, so he leaves at 7:15am and often doesn't get home until midnight. *sigh*

We've agreed that he'll stick it out for awhile longer; this test market business won't last forever. It won't be as bad when he goes out on his own as he'll get all the comission if a sale gets made. I've encouraged him to talk to his boss about keeping him closer to home during training; I can't believe that a manager would be OK with a new employee spending money to work there! If I were a manager, I'd rather keep an employee than drive him out. Perhaps this wasn't meant to be, which is really disapointing. It's also scary to think that this amazing source of income will go away and we'll be back to living on savings. We'll wait and see.

Anyway, I've had three sales this week and I'm trying to stay positive! I even put out some applications of my own this. I'm a big believer in bringing positive energy into your life and trying to push out the negative energy, so that's what I'm doing. I'd appreciate any extra positive thoughts that my readers may have!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Drama in the Treasury East...

Anybody who has logged into Etsy this week knows of the drama that is Treasury East. Aside from the logistical concerns that most of us have now that Treasury Main and West have been eliminated (the hotness ratings, the fact that new treasuries don't get listed first, treasuries no longer expire, etc), we now have an entirely new beast to fight with the mature content issue.

The bloggers over at Etsy Bitch have articulated a wonderful article on this, and I encourage you to read it, no matter which side of this debate you are on. Some very important points are raised, points that I didn't even consider.

This debate will go on, I'm sure!

Link to the article: http://etsybitch.blogspot.com/2010/05/pricks-pussies-and-periods-oh-my.html.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Celebrating Life

This has been a very busy week for PinkyCrafts. My husband and I finally moved into our own temporary place after spending the last 4 months with family, I launched the new Party Supplies section in my shop, and I stumbled upon a new slogan. Whew. I need a nap :)

As my readers may recall, my husband and I quit our jobs in Arizona and moved to Oregon in January. We were letting our careers take over our lives, and we wanted to make a change. After thinking long and hard about our choices (and saving up as much money as we could), we decided to leave it all behind and finally be happy. For me, it was a return to Oregon but for my husband, it was his first time living outside Arizona. Our goal was to find careers to enrich our lives, not suck the life out of us. We spent the first four months in Oregon staying with my mom and her husband while we got settled and looked for our next steps. This was how my Etsy shop was born; I could not go back into community mental health and I wasn't finding any options that felt right for me.

My husband found a job that feels like a great fit for our family; he's been working for a week now. Now that we finally have some major income (come on Sales Fairy - help me contribute!), we were able to get into our own temporary place while we start looking for something permanent. Its amazing how you start to miss the small things like making your own dinners, eating on your schedule, not having to be especially quiet if you want to stay up later. Oh the freedoms! We're happy.

I'm so excited about the new party supply section in my shop. I've had a lot of views, but I'm still waiting for those views to turn into buyers. As I sat here this morning, thinking about the direction my baby shop is going in, I was suddenly hit with a new slogan to help me pull together all the items in my shop: Products to Celebrate the Good Times in Life. Perfect! This is such a reflection of who I am as a person and as an artist, I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. I love any occasion to celebrate. I created a department within my old company to celebrate employees - I planned events, I held fundraisers, I developed a monthly newsletter to highlight our amazing staff. Why shouldn't my crafting reflect this same idea? My scrapbooking, gift tags and party favors are all items to help celebrate the good times in life. Thus a new slogan was born.

I'm hoping that the new attitude and positive feeling in my shop will help bring in buyers. I want this to turn into my full-time job so badly, and I'm eager to contribute financially to my famly again. Only time will tell if this idea will blossom!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Custom Wedding Favor Tags


Truth: I've always thought about being a wedding planner. Until that day happens, I'll just have to settle for creating new wedding stuff for my shop! I listed these today, they can be customized in your wedding color scheme with the bride and groom's names and their wedding date!

I used really similar ones for our wedding, and they were a big hit. These are meant to be tied to a little favor bag of Hershey Hugs and Hershey Kisses (I know, cuteness overload, right?). Can't wait to start customizing them for somebody!

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Party Supply Section!


Here's my first new item for my "Party Supplies" section; they come in a set of 4 (but additional quantities can be requested), and I'm loving them!

New item news

Whew! I just spent all weekend in Arizona, cramming a week of seeing friends and family into 48 hours. I'm exhausted. I did hand out a lot of business cards, so that was a positive for the shop. I also used the plane rides to draw up plans for my new line of party supplies, which I am very excited about. I'm trying to think of a better generalization than "party favors" or "party supplies", since I think of noisemakers and themed paper plates when I think of that term, but I nothing has struck me yet. Maybe "paper party goods"? Hmm....I'll have to do more extensive researching with Google's keywords tool.

I will be developing party favor tags, cupcake toppers, and other fun party goodies to go along with my already-offered gift tags and such.

If you haven't stopped by the shop lately, please take a moment to check it out: http://www.pinkycrafts.etsy.com.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Evolution


I'm jealous of my Etsy scrapbooking buyers. Why? Because their scrapbooks will look so much better than my original works! I recently made several wedding-themed pages, like this one, and I found myself thinking back to my own wedding scrapbook. It was the first scrapbook I had ever made - big mistake. I wouldn't recommend choosing your wedding as your very first scrapbook subject. Most of my scrapbook friends were scared to do their wedding books even after they'd had years of experience! Not me; I couldn't wait to get started. Only now can I appreciate the style that comes with practice and experience. My wedding album is a hillarious mish-mash of random pages that didn't go together, is over-stuffed with very cheesy wedding stickers that aren't even my style, and has no journaling or personal sentiments.

Clearly, my style has evolved. There's nothing wrong with my wedding scrapbook, but some pages do make me wince. I've often thought about doing it over again, about taking one of my Etsy pages for myself, but I know I'll never do it. That was my style at the time, and it can always be useful as a "before" example! I'll leave the elegant wedding scrapbooking to my customers, and hope they post pictures of their finished works for me to drool over.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Attention Crafters!

I'm looking for other craft bloggers to network with - trade badges, blog about each other's shops, retweet each other's deals on Twitter, etc. We need to stick together! If you're interested in any type of networking, please send me an email at mishelle.mccall@gmail.com.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I Heart Google Analytics!

I have something new in my life, I hope my husband doesn't mind. It's called Google Analytics, and it's absolutely amazing (but then most of what Google does is amazing). This site has the ability to track how many visitors your page has had, where they're coming from - down to the city, how long they stayed on your site, how many were brand new visitors, which site (if any) they were referred by.....the sheer volume of useful information is mindblowing! If you're interested in which internet brower your customers are using, Google Analytics will tell you that too.

If you have a website, even if you only have an Etsy site, you must sign up! Its under "web analytics" on the left side of your "My Etsy" page. If you're not an Etsy user, but have a webpage, sign up here: http://www.google.com/analytics/

I've told you what it can do, let me tell you what it did for me. For example, I know that yesterday I had 89 unique visitors to my site, up from 67 the day before. I know that the majority of my visitors were from the US, followed by Canada, for a total of 17 countries. I could even see that the leading city my visitors were coming from is Corvallis, which is close to where I live. This tells me that either my mom has handed out my business cards like she said she would, or that marketing myself at the Jamba Juice (as blogged about below) has actually worked. I don't think that those people were just random visitors.

Perhaps one of the most useful stats is knowing how these shoppers found my site. About half of my traffic is direct, meaning they found Etsy on their own, without clicking a link or searchig. I am getting 25-35% of my traffic from Google, which I found interesting. It will even tell you what search terms the shoppers used that ended up clicking on your site. When I enter that information, I don't find myself, at least not in the first several pages. I've spent a TON of time on Search Engine Optimization in the last week, but its too soon for Google to reflect those changes. At least I know I'm still getting some search engine traffic. I can also see when my craigslist.org ads are working - I had four clicks from the ad I posted yesterday. Despite my Twitter addiction, I only had two shoppers that came from Twitter yesterday.

All in all, this information is extremely helpful. I can target my marketing towards certain demographics, I can see which tactics are working. I'm an information-loving gal, so I'm totally in love with Google Analytics. Sign up and you will soon be in love with it too.