Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Duggars New Book

Have you seen the Duggars new book A Love That Multiplies
 yet? It's available for Pre-Order on Amazon. I'm really looking forward to getting to read this new book. I thoroughly enjoyed The Duggars: 20 and Counting!

5 Reasons to Love Artfire

 I have really been excited about my Artfire shop recently. Views AND sales have been picking up. I've sold more items this month on Artfire than I ever have before even in my busiest month on Etsy last year! So for any of you who may be considering expanding to Artfire, here are a few of the things I love about selling on Artfire.

1. No Listing Fees or Final Value Fees - Selling on Artfire is so simple. You just pay one flat rate fee per month. You pay $9.95 a month for a PRO shop, and in exchange get lots of wonderful tools and help, plus a customizable shop, and you never pay listing fees or final value fees! In my Etsy shop, I don't list very many items at a time because it costs me to list them, but on Artfire, I can list items as fast as I can make them and get them photographed. Even if I list a couple dozen items a month, my monthly fee remains the same. And I NEVER have to relist items to be visible!

2. Extremely Helpful and Friendly Sellers - I love the community of sellers on Artfire. If you have a question, want other opinions on something, or are having problems with anything, all you have to do is post in the forums, and you'll find lots of knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful people who will jump in and help you out. You can learn a lot from the Artfire forums about online selling, Artfire tools, SEO, and so much more. These sellers are also more than happy to rejoice with you when you're excited about something!

3. The Global Editor - This is one of my favorite tools on Artfire. On Etsy, if you want to change all of your items to put them on sale, change the shipping price, add a tag, or anything else that you want to do to ALL of your listings, you have to manually edit one listing at a time. If you have 100 items for sale, that is going to take a LONG time! On Artfire though, that problem doesn't exist. The Global Editor makes it possible for you to change all of these things plus more on all of your listings at once, or you can choose just the listings in a specific category, OR you can choose specific listings. This one tool has saved me lots of time!

4. Products Added to Google, The Find, and Other Search Engines - This has probably been the most helpful thing for my shop! Artfire automatically adds your listings to search engines, The Find, etc. So if you have good SEO, your listings are going to be found when people search the internet for that specific item they're looking for. I knew NOTHING about SEO (Search Engine Optimizing) before I started selling on Etsy. I learned a lot there, but it didn't really help me any until I opened up my Artfire shop. My shop and listings on Etsy weren't being added to Google, so nobody outside of Etsy were finding my items. Now with my Artfire shop, nearly all of my sales have been from people who have searched for a specific item on Google or some other search engine and found my shop. It's so fun to click on the incoming URLs and to see my items almost always on the 1st page of the search!

5. Coupons and Gift Certificates - I know Etsy has finally added coupons to their site, but when I first started out on Artfire, they still didn't have that option. I love being able to create coupons for my customers. I can make different coupons for different advertising  options to help track which works best. I'm also loving being able to create gift certificates that can be used at checkout on Artfire. When I do a giveaway for my shop, this makes things so much simpler. Now I can use a gift certificate as the prize, and my winner can just put that code in at checkout for an automatic savings!

So there you have it. Five things I love about selling on Artfire. But you don't have to take my word for it, I'd love to have you come join the Artfire community and see for yourself what a great place it is to sell your handmade items (or even your supplies)! Sign up today for an Artfire PRO shop, and have all these great tools (plus more I haven't mentioned) available to you as well. If you use any of the links in this post when you sign up, you will receive your 3rd month completely free!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

How YOU Can Help Joplin

Some of you have been asking how you can help with the relief efforts after last Sunday's tornado. Thank you so much for your care and concern as well as for your prayers! We are all so grateful for the loving help that is being poured out on us all!

Rather than taking the time to rewrite ways you can help, I'm going to give you several links to other bloggers who have already posted about this as copy parts of a couple e-mails from local groups here.

Crystal at Money Saving Mom has posted here and here about ways to help. (By the way, the ones collecting the homeschool material are my brother and one of the ladies from our church.)

Jennifer at Frugal Fritzie has posted additional ways to help here.

A Local Conservative Group our family is a part of sent out an e-mail on Friday with a list of supplies that the church group they're working with needs as well as a place to send financial contributions.

"Financial Donations can be made through our Tornado Relief Fund (audited by the Evangelical Presbyterian Church) at:


Needed supplies:

Duct Tape
Work gloves
Non-perishable food
Snacks (crackers, pretzels and chips)
Canned soups (pop-top lids)
Pudding Deserts


First aid items
Powdered baby formula
Diapers (all sizes)/baby wipes
Baby food
Toilet paper
Cleaning supplies
Clothing (all sizes)
Pet food
Pet carrier

Other consumables that don't need refrigeration. 2000 homes have to be rebuilt and resupplied."

In addition to these others, our local Crises Pregnancy Center would be very grateful for donations as well:

"LifeChoices Medical Clinic and Resource Center has been visiting mothers affected by the tornado in shelters and damaged homes and apartments throughout the town assessing their needs and offering assistance.  Their office, located several blocks from the tornado damage, remains open, but supplies are going fast.  Items needed include diapers, wipes, formula, clothing, bottles, sippy cups, blankets, baby wash, toys, etc.

Monetary donations are also appreciated and can be sent online at lifevoices.org or by check and mailed to: LifeChoices, 531 E. 7th St., Joplin, Mo., 64801. Donations are tax deductible and Missouri residents and corporations are eligible for an additional 50 percent state income tax credit for donations of $100 or more. Visit dss.mo.gov/dfas/taxcredit/pregnancy.htm .htm for more information."

God bless you all for giving!

Friday, May 27, 2011


Well, it's been two weeks since I've posted anything here. Sorry about that. I certainly didn't mean to leave this blog quiet for so long. :) Last week I just got busy with things and didn't have time to post. Sunday I thought I'd have a little time in the evening to maybe get a post at least started, and I was planning to at least post something on Monday.

Then came the tornado. Not just a normal tornado warning with the tornado going on by with little or no damage. This tornado warning was different. This time it was serious - 200 mile an hour winds in an EF5 tornado! Although we were a little outside the path of this tornado, we certainly have been affected! Nearly 2,000 homes and businesses have been destroyed or seriously damaged! The destruction is incredible!

One of the families from our church lives only about 2 blocks from where homes were completely destroyed! My sister and I have been helping them most of the week with cleaning up their house and yard (they had windows blown out and almost all their trees knocked down) and making it liveable for when the power can be restored. We are so grateful for the Lord's mercy in sparing them!

The first day we went over to help them, we took a walk down their street, and it was heartbreaking to see the destruction increase with each step we took. So many people with damaged homes, and so many, many people who have lost everything!

And yet in the midst of all this tragedy, it's been beautiful to see everyone pulling together, helping their neighbors, supporting each other. And already SO many people have come in from all over the country to help in any way they can - church groups, law enforcement, disaster response units, families. We have been so blessed even in the midst of this horror. Together with the Lord's help, we will get through this and get back on our feet!

Thank you so much to everyone for their prayers, love, and support! We appreciate it more than you know!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Taste of Home subscription for $3.99

For a limited time you can get a subscription to Taste of Home for $3.99 a year! There are limited quantities though, so hurry over and get yours now!

To get this price, go to Discount Mags and use the code 6153 at checkout. This will drop your price down from $16.99 per year to $3.99! I think you can order more than one year's subscription at this price, and you can choose whether you are ordering a new subscription or if you are renewing.

If you'd like even more savings, make your purchase through Shop at Home to receive 17% cash back on your purchase! If you don't already have a Shop at Home account, you'll also receive a $5 bonus for signing up!

Note: This post contains my referral link. I earn a small commission if you use my link. Thank you!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

5 FREE Photo Cards from Shutterfly

Shutterfly is once again offering 5 FREE Photo Cards in honor of the 2011 graduating class.  You can choose from 5x5 flat stationery cards, 5x7 flat stationery cards, or 5x7 folded cards.

You don't have to stick with a graduation announcements or thank you cards either. Choose any style of card you prefer and use the code CARD4GRAD at checkout.

You will have to pay shipping fees, but this will still make for some very inexpensive customized cards.

This coupon is good through May 25th, 2011.

Sneak Preview and a Question

A few weeks ago when I was at JoAnn's, I found some adorable hot pink, green, orange, and white coordinating print fabrics. They look just like summer, so I bought a couple yards and took them home to make a patchwork skirt. When I got home I discovered that I had some green, orange, and pink polka dot fabric from the same line that I had purchased last year! They went together with my white prints perfectly, and I was able to cut out 6 different items using the approximately 8 1/4 yards of fabric I ended up with. It was so fun to see how many different things I could use all those coordinating fabrics for! :)

Here's one of my new cute summer outfits made from 5 of the fabrics. I ran out of the pink polka dot fabric before I got to this outfit, so I'll just use it for the hair bows.

I'm also working on a couple different sizes of patchwork skirts using these fabrics as well, and I have a question for my readers about one of them.

This skirt is a size 4/5. On a four year-old, it would probably be around ankle length, and for a five year old it's probably about mid-calf length.
My question is, should I add sewn in bloomers to this skirt?

I had a poll on my blog a while ago asking for input about whether Mommy's of Little Girls like the built in bloomers/shorts best or not. It seems that most people DO want the built in bloomers/shorts for their little girls. I'm now making nearly all of my toddler skirts and my little girls knee length skirts with sewn in bloomers. Should I also do that for my size 4/5 skirts? What about the 6/8 size? Most little girls (even 8 and 9 year-olds) that I know still need shorts or something under their dresses for modesty. Should those be sewn in? What's your preference - Shorts or Bloomers?

Thanks so much for your input! I appreciate it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

DIY Dish is Doing Another Giveaway!

The two creative ladies over at the DIY Dish are doing it again! They're hosting another great giveaway! In honor of their birthday, they're giving away lots of great prizes on their website! This time there are 5 different prize packages and there will be 2 winners for each prize! That's a total of 10 winners!

If you haven't checked out the DIY Dish website yet, I'd encourage you to head on over there! You'll find all kinds of wonderful craft project ideas, and you'll have lots of fun with Kim & Kris!

These two creative ladies also run the You Can Make This (YCMT) website which has LOTS of great patterns available!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Light of Faith Resources at SHEM

This past weekend my parents, sister and I were at the SHEM Homeschool Convention in Springfield, MO running the Light of Faith booth for my brother.

I enjoy attending these conferences. Even though I don't get to hear the speakers very often, I do get to meet lots of people. I'm a people watcher too, so I love getting to watch all the many different people that come by the booth. :)

I especially enjoyed watching the SHEM young people this weekend who were serving as Pages for the Vendors and SHEM staff. They were so cheerful, respectful, and ready to serve! Saturday evening when it was time for tear down, we were able to get the booth completely dismantled, packed up AND loaded in 1 hour 15 minutes thanks to the wonderful help of the Pages!! Usually this job takes 2-3 hours! We were so blessed by such willing, eager, hardworking helpers!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Free 8x10 Collage Print at Walgreens

Walgreens is offering another FREE 8x10 Collage Print this week! This would be perfect for Mother's Day! Just use the code FREECOLLAGE at checkout to receive your free print.

You can also get 50% off of poster prints with the code MOMPOSTER. Plus shop through Big Crumbs and receive 5.6% cash back on your purchase!

These coupons are good through Saturday May 7th.