Thursday, February 24, 2011

Free 8x10 Collage Print at Walgreens

Today only you can get a FREE 8x10 Collage Print at Walgreens! These make nice gifts or pictures to frame or scrapbook yourself. If you choose in-store pick up, your 8x10 will be completely free.

Use coupon code: FREE 8X10 COLLAGE PRINT_DEAL at checkout.

This deal is only good today February 24, 2011

Etsy Kids Spotlight - Little Elephant Company

Here is another great shop from the Etsy Kids Central team:

There are so many fun and cute items in this shop that I had a hard time picking which pictures to show off to you!

The first things that caught my attention were the adorable hair bow holders. I make matching hair bows for nearly all the dresses and skirts I sell, and I know how hard it is to keep track of them all! These special holders would dress up any little girls' room and keep all her hair clips in one spot!

Hair bow holders are certainly not the only thing Little Elephant Company sells. This shop was originally started to sell quilt holders. "The only type of quilt hanger that I knew of was a bulky wooden block type. I wanted something cute and inexpensive. After much thought and creativity, I had the perfect idea! After the many comments from family and friends on how adorable the clips were and questions of where I had gotten them, I figured other moms were looking for the same thing for their nurseries. So I created the Little Elephant Company to produce these delightful quilt clips that turn treasured quilts and comforters into charming hanging artwork. You can be confident in your purchases of my quilt clips. They are a painted wood shape with a plastic clip (no worries about rust!) that is securely and safely attached with an industrial strength bond. You can hang the clips easily with a long nail placed at a 45 degree angle to the wall. Just simply slide the back of the clip over the nail."




Doesn't she make the cutest things? :) So, if you're decorating your child's room or looking for a special gift for someone, just amble over to Little Elephant Company, and find just the right personalized item!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Recycle Bank

Recycle Bank is offering 50 free points to new members when they click on the "Saw us on TV?" ad on the home page! If you're not familiar with Recycle Bank, it's a site that encourages recycling and rewards you with points when you recycle. Even if you don't have a local Recycle Bank program (I don't have one), you can still earn points.

Your points are redeemable for high dollar coupons and other great rewards. My favorite rewards so far are the GREAT Kashi coupons. Right now you can get a $2/1 Kashi coupon for just 10 points instead of the normal 50!!!

If you're already an existing Recycle Bank member, you can still earn the 50 points for the "Saw Us on TV?" ad. Just go to the Earn Points tab and click that ad. :)

Recycle Bank also has a new referral program. You can earn 10 points for each person you refer, so go ahead and share this with your friends! :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Artfire Giveaway Contest

When I first started selling online, Etsy was the only market I knew about. Several of my friends sold on Etsy, so I thought I'd give it a try. :) I've certainly enjoyed selling on Etsy, and the majority of my sales have come through Etsy. I've even gained some wonderful repeat customers there!

Last summer I was also introduced to Artfire - another selling venue for handmade items. Artfire is much newer than Etsy, but since they offer a free account to get people started, I thought I'd try it out. I set up my account and listed a few items. It wasn't too long after that I received my first Artfire sale - not for one item, not even for two! This sale was for three dresses!! I was SO excited! This was the first time anyone had ever purchased more than one item except custom orders. What made this sale even more fun for me was that my customer had found me through a Google search!

Although I had been learning about SEO and doing my best to apply it in my Etsy shop, none of my Etsy listings ever appeared in a Google search. On Etsy some shops get fed to Google, but some don't - mine is one that doesn't for whatever reason. All of my Etsy sales come from people in the Etsy community who are searching on Etsy. Now to have my dresses and skirts showing up in Google searches was so inspiring!

In October, I decided to take the step and leave my free Basic shop and upgrade to a paid PRO shop! Wow! The PRO tools and perks are wonderful! Not only can you completely customize your shop, create coupons and gift certificates, have your own Artfire blog which can be fed to Handmade News for extra shop exposure, have a gallery to display items you've sold in the past (even items from Etsy or elsewhere), you also have the wonderful time saving Global Editor!!!

The Global Editor alone saves SO much time and frustration. On Etsy if you want to change something on your listings (price, shipping, etc.) you need to go in and edit them one by one. If you only have a dozen or so items this isn't a big deal, but the more items you have in your shop, the harder this becomes and the more time it takes up. With the Global Editor on Artfire, you can go in and change ALL of your listings at once with just a few simple steps. Or you can choose certain items to make changes to. This makes your shop easily customizable. If you want to have a sale, a few clicks of your mouse changes the prices. Do you need to change shipping prices, move items to different studio categories, add a tag to your items, add a special promo tag, or change quantity? The Global Editor can do it all!

These are a few of the things I love about Artfire. Although I haven't had a whole lot of sales yet, I'm getting more and more views now, not only from Google, but also from other search engines and The Find. Not only are my items showing up on these searches, most of the time they're even on the first page of the search thanks to the very helpful SEO advice and help here on Artfire.

If you've ever thought about starting an online shop to sell your handmade items or craft supplies, or if you're like me and want to expand your shop and reach another set of shoppers besides the ones on Etsy, now is a great time to open an Artfire shop! Artfire has just recently started a referral program. Anyone who signs up for an Artfire PRO account using a referral link will get their third month free (the one who's link you use will also get a free month :))!

A PRO shop on Artfire costs $9.95 a month, but there are NO listing fees and NO selling fees! You can list as many items as you want and sell as much as you can and the price stays the same!! Plus if you sign up using this link, you'll get your third month FREE which gives you three months for $20 which would give you a good start on Artfire.

Not only will you get your third month free by signing up with this link, now through March 15th, anyone who signs up using a referral link will be automatically entered into a drawing for a Canon Rebel DSLR Camera!! One new member and the member who referred them will win a new camera! How's that for incentive. :) If you want a chance to win a brand new fancy camera, and if you were already thinking about opening an Artfire shop, now is the time to do it! :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday Savings

Mom and I made a fun trip to JoAnn's this morning. I had run out of my bulk elastic and needed more for a project I was working on. Today is the final day to use the $5 off a $5 or more purchase coupon at JoAnn's, so we went to see what we could do with our two coupons.

We ended up with 19 yards of elastic and paid only $0.43 for all of it!! That's a savings of $10! :) The girl at the checkout was pretty excited when she gave me my total of $0.07. :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

5 FREE Photo Cards from Shutterfly

 Right now through March 7th, you can get 5 FREE 5x7 Photo Cards from Shutterfly! You'll still need to pay for the $0.99 shipping charge per card, but this still makes for very inexpensive cards.

I have ordered photo cards from Shutterfly several times, and have been pleased with the quality.

To get your 5 free cards, sign in or register for an account. Then create your 5 cards and use the coupon 5FREECARDS when you checkout. Your total will be $4.95.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Etsy Kids Spotlight - Ahmelie

I am a proud member of the Etsy Kids Team on Etsy along with so many very talented people, and here is one of them!

Ahmelie: (ah-mah-lee) industrious one

Do you love unique and handmade goodies?Here at Ahmelie's shop, you will find oodles of high quality Baby and Toddler items...

...great gift finds like tile coasters and Ahmie Woman Clutches... 



 And these aren't the only thing's you'll find in Ahmelie's shop! She also sells designer fabric and patterns for those who love DIY!

 With over 300 items in her shop, you're sure to find something you like or that would be perfect for a gift! You can even get a personalize note added to any order that is a gift! Come on over and check out the high quality work of Ahmelie!

I Need Your Votes!

Hello Everyone!

I am needing some help. :) Whimsy Couture (one of the places I get my patterns) is having a Valentines Design contest. I've entered one of my outfits, and it is now time to vote for the winner. I know my design might not be the cutest one there is, but I'd love to win the free advertising or patterns! :) If you'd like to help me out, I'd be very grateful for your vote. My entry is #11.

Thanks so much for your help and support!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shoo-Fly Pie Recipe

My sister has been begging me to make her a Shoo-Fly Pie for some time now. With all this snow and cold, baking just seems the perfect thing to do, so last Saturday, I finally got around to making the pie. :)

We first discovered this recipe when we were studying the Colonial time period in school. My mom had us try several colonial recipes which was really fun. This recipe was an immediate winner and has been in our recipe stash since then!

Shoo-Fly Pie
1 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup molasses
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust

Mix flour, brown sugar, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a large mixing bowl. Mix in butter with a pastry cutter, fork or your hands. Mixture will be crumbly.

Boil water; remove from heat and add baking soda and molasses. Stir well. Put aside 1/3 cup of the flour mixture. Combine the rest with molasses mixture. Pour into pie crust. Sprinkle with remaining flour mixture.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

DIY Craft Party Giveaway!!

If you love crafts, love to make crafts, like to get together with your friends, and like giveaways, you'll want to check out this video!

Kim & Kris are the founders of the YCMT website. If you love crafting, you'll love their ideas and projects. :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hot Groupon Deals (SW Missouri & Nationwide)

Groupon is a Daily Deals website that offers one big coupon (mostly local) every day. If any of you are reading this from SW Missouri, I wanted to let you know about todays deal:

$5 off $10 worth of Backyard Burgers! Our family loves Backyard Burgers. In fact that's what we're having for supper using the free burger coupons we received from signing up for their e-mail club. Put both of these deals together, and you could enjoy a very inexpensive date or family meal! :)

The second great deal is $10 for $20 worth of merchandise from Barnes and Noble. This deal is is good online or in store and I believe it can be purchased and used nationwide. :)

If you are not yet a member of Groupon yet, sign up for an account here.

Once you sign up for Groupon, place your order through Mr. Rebates and get 8% CASH BACK on your purchase, plus get a $5 sign up bonus!

Friday, February 4, 2011

And the Winner Is...

Thank you all SO much for entering my first giveaway! I had no idea when I first posted the giveaway that I would have 153 entries!! Thank you for making this first giveaway a success!

The winner chosen by is comment #48 - Paula Michelle who said "GFC follower". The winner has been contacted and has 48 hours to get back to me to claim her prize.

For those of you who entered the giveaway, but weren't the winner, I'd like to offer you a coupon code for FREE SHIPPING on one order from my shop. Use code: BLOGSHIPFREE

Stay tuned for more giveaways in the future! :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Big Snow of 2011

Tuesday, we (along with many other parts of the country) got a big snowstorm! It snowed and blew ALL day long! The official report is that we got 15" of snow which is almost unheard of here!  With all the wind we had Tuesday, the snow certainly didn't stay flat though - we have huge piles! It's beautiful!

The picture above was taken around 10:30 in the morning. By late afternoon all that was left to be seen of our fountain was the tiny spot where the water was still bubbling.

"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." Genesis 8:28

"For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth..." Job 37:6   

"Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail?" Job 38:22   

"For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

You Can Make This

Have you ever heard of the You Can Make This website? I had seen it advertised on blogs a few times, but I never took the time to really check it out until I wanted to open my Etsy shop. Since copyright laws wouldn't allow me to use commercial (Simplicity, McCall's, Butterick) patterns to create items to sell, I had to find another alternative.

That's when I decided to check out YCMT. What I found really excited me! Not only were there lots of really cute patterns, many of the designers allow independent crafters to make and sell items using their patterns! This was just what I was looking for! I now had a source for patterns I could purchase to use for Joyfully Sewn Designs. I have now found other designers who sell their patterns and allow seamstresses to sell items made from them, but YCMT is still my favorite place to purchase patterns. Sometimes they will even offer coupons which is a blessing.

All the patterns on the YCMT website are pdf files which you download to your computer and then print. This works great for me. Now if I wear out my pattern pieces from much use, I can just print off another copy! I've also been able to get a smaller size when I needed it for a custom order just by printing the page at 80% instead of 100%.

You Can Make This website doesn't only offer sewing patterns. They have quilting patterns, knitting pattern, crochet, embroidery, digital scrapbooking, hair bows, graphic design, jewelry, and much more. Whatever your favorite craft is, you're sure to find fun projects at YCMT.

Would you like to try out some e-book patterns and videos for free? Just sign up for one (or both) of the newsletters below, and get started! I think you'll be pleased!

You Can Make ThisYou can make this!