Monday, June 29, 2009

Another great giveaway from SoadDeli

Rebecca's handmade, cold process Garden Mint Gardener's Shea Butter Soap is the perfect bar soap for the gardener, artist or mechanic! It contains fine ground pumice, poppy seeds, and apricot kernel meal for scrubbing away caked on dirt, grease, paints, and anything else you might get your hands into. The fresh scent of spearmint, lettuce, and rain makes it pleasant to use, while natural, unrefined shea butter helps to prevent hands from drying out.
So starts out Rebecca's description of this great handmade soap she's offering free in her giveaway. Click on the title to this post to go right to the giveaway for your chance to win a bar of her Garden Mint Soap.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

New Giveaway from Sassy Glass

Sassy Glass on Etsy has some of the greatest stone & silver jewelry. While browsing the blogs I follow I found out about a giveaway of one of her gorgeous pendants/necklaces on LillyShayStyle's blog. Be sure to check it out, to see the pendant and for a chance to win a beautiful piece of jewelry. Tell 'em KayzKreationz sent ya.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I love Horses-Interview with Texas Artist HossLass

Palomino Horse Business Card Organizer I love horses. My mother says the first word out of my mouth was "foifee" which was how I pronounced "horsey". I've been talking, dreaming and for a short while, owning horses ever since. Last winter when I was participating in a Marketing Exchange I found this great Etsy shop that features horse art. She does original fine art and functional art designs featuring horses, wildlife, the Southwest and western Americana. I fell in love. Recently I ran across her again as part of my EtsyTx team. So I decided it was about time to do an interview with her and find out how and when she started crafting. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did and be sure to check out her shop HossLass. If you love horses or western things you'll fall in love, too.
1. When and why did you start crafting?
Well, as a young child I started drawing and painting, mostly horses. As I was a horse crazy girl from a non horse crazy rural poor farm family! So my first horse didn't come along until I was old enough to get a job and pay for the upkeep myself at age 16. Until then, I painted many imaginary horse friends! As I got older I wound up leaving my art world behind to make my way in life like most people. Then about three years ago I think I hit my mid life crisis and reached out to art again as a fresh start! Somehow watercolor pencil painting appealed to me, very new and different to me than the oils/acrylics I used in my youth, so that's the medium I focus on. I decided my next career move is to become a full time self supporting artist!
2. What do you enjoy most about your crafting?
I really enjoy the creative journey, from the excitement of the new idea, deciding on the design, colors and composition, the actual work in progress and the final product. I often have at least two or three other projects lined up in my head while I'm working on the current one! I really enjoy creating a series of paintings or functional art, for instance the series of Prancing Horse small format paintings, and I have two other southwest wildlife series sets I'm working on. The eagle beaded bookmark is one of a set of southwest wildlife bookmarks, planning on a cougar and bear also. Right now, I'm in the process of making a series of three small hiking or trail riding journals which are beaded with semi precious stones and each journal cover will have an original miniature painting of another set of southwest wildlife (mustangs, elk and buffalo).
3. How did you find out about Etsy and why did you start selling there?
Etsy peaked my interest from an artist forum I was on (a lot). Many artists there kept mentioning Etsy as their store so I checked it out! I liked what I found on Etsy very much and decided this was the way to begin to sell my art online on my budget. I started my store in October of 2007. I have learned so much, my Etsy shop is a work in progress, I'm getting more the hang of what I want visitors to experience when they visit my shop and look at the artwork.
4. What is the hardest thing to do for your shop or you dislike the most about selling online?
I think the hardest thing for me in my shop now, besides building new inventory, is promoting. Especially online networking and promoting. Like most artists, I just want to devote all my time to making my art as best as I can. Which for me, requires quite a bit of mental energy, and I'm the type of artist who needs to be in that creative zone. Otherwise if I make myself work on my art everyday, that's what it looks like, to me, as if the piece was worked on and not naturally flowing with color and feel. I have discovered I feel the same way about promoting online. I have gotten better about spending time promoting at least one to two days a week. If I had the budget, I'd hire someone to promote my art for me!!
5. Do you rely on Etsy to help pay bills or is it mainly for fun & extra spending money?
My goal is to rely on sales through Etsy to pay my bills and be part of my full time financial support from online sources (like Artfire and Ebay). And the sales I have made do go toward bills, seems like as soon as the money is in my paypal account, I've got it going out to pay for something else! I would like to have several sales a month, but it's not that way yet. I have faith that time will pay off for me! My Etsy shop is fun for me anyway!!
6. Have you tried or do you sell in offline shops? Do you enjoy that more or less than Etsy & why?
No, I'm in the process of building more inventory, creating more art so I'm just focusing on online sales right now. However, my goal is to have my own website, also to be more in depth about my art and then use all the online shops to showcase my art to anyone. Then I can go out to brick and mortar shops locally with a great portfolio and a big Texas smile!!
7. Where else can you be found online?
I have an Artfire store, , on Twitter , my blog and I now Plurk and one day my own website, name to be determined!
Thanks for the great interview HossLass. Be sure to check out the box to the right for a few of her great Etsy items, and then visit her other shops, too.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I´ve Been Featured on Ecogeneration

I had a pleasant note today. I've been featured on a great blog by Ecogeneration. They have a wonderful Etsy shop where they upcycle/recycle things for longer life/usefulness. I recently won one of her coffee cup sleeves and it's great. Then she asked about featuring me for her Fabulous Friday Featured seller posts. Read about it by clicking the title to this post or her: Ecogeneration. Enjoy.

Another great giveaway from Silver Parrot

Silver Parrot free bead giveaway I just found out about this great bead giveaway. This is an awesome pile of beads. But it ends today, so if you're interested in some great free beads be sure to check it out and leave a comment and post on your blog. It will be a great prize for anyone who beads or knows someone who does. It's at Silver Parrot. And this pic is just a few of the free beads she's giving away. Check out her blog for more pics.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kim's Country Cottage and Rosebuds Afghan Giveaway

I recently just found out about this great blog, shop and the lovely giveaway she's having. She makes fantastic afghans and is giving away this Romantic Rosebuds Afghan. I've added her blog button to my sidebar on the left, if you want to check out her blog, or you can click on the title of this post to go right to the giveaway. But be sure to hurry since the giveaway ends on June 15th. It's to help promote her new Etsy shop.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pure Natural Minerals Giveaway

I just found out about a great giveaway. I've heard so much about natural minerals makeup and have been told several times I should try it since my skin is SO oily, I can't seem to keep makeup on in the Texas heat past about 11:00 in the morning, if that long. So I was intrigued when I found out about this giveaway. I'm hoping I can win and it will give me that extra little push to try this mineral makeup out and see how well it does. So check out this giveaway at Salad for Breakfast.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Six Strategies to Reduce Home Spending

With the economy the way it is, it's natural to want or need to cut back on unnecessary spending. Although each change you make may only save a little, over the course of a year, the savings can really grow. So if you're looking for ways to decrease your home-related spending and increase your savings, try these 6 money saving strategies:
1. Mortgage-Compare your current interest rates with your current rate. Check into refinancing if possible.
2. Utilities-Consider swapping often-used light bulbs with compact flourescents (CFLs) and switching off appliances (such as computers and TVs) when not in use. Install low-flow shower heads. Wash clothes at a lower (or cold) water temperature. Lower the temperature setting on your water heater by a few degrees. Install a programmable thermostat and set it to keep your home warmer in summer and cooler in winter when no one is home.
3. Lawn car/yard services-Stretch the time between mowing intervals to save on gasoline and/or yard-service fees. If you use a service, look for a local teen who will cut your lawn for less. Determine what other services-fertilizing, leaf raking, spring/fall cleanup, etc. you (or a local teen) can take over to lower costs.
4. Cleaning costs-If you have a house cleaning service, consider stretching the interval between visits. Ask if your babysitter or a local teen would add housekeeping tasks to their services for a fee less than you pay now. When cleaning your own home, switch from expensive, pre-formulated cleaning solutions to homemade ones using inexpensive ingredients such as baking soda, ammonia and vinegar.
5. Cable/Internet service-Discontinue unused channels, especially movies, and switch to a mail-order service for movie rentals or borrow from your local library's DVD collection. Check what speed your cable/broadband internet service provides and consider moving down one speed level to cut costs.
6. Phone service-Investigate Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service to replace traditional land-line phone service. Assess cell phone usage and consider changing to a less-expensive plan. Investigate cost-savings from package deals for Internet, TV, land-line and cell service.
These are just a few suggestions to consider to help lower/reduce our home spending in these difficult times. There are many more. Do a little research and you may find other things you can do to help reduce your spending and ease the strain/stress for now. Hope you enjoyed these suggestions. Thanks.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle with Ecogeneration on Etsy

Ecogeneration Recycled Satin Square Pillow Welcome to ecogeneration - a place where you can find treasures that have been given a second chance. I create long lasting, earth friendly, and yet, creative designs for you and your home.... So starts the first paragraph in this great Etsy shop: Ecogeneration. I recently won one of their giveaways for a recycled coffee cup sleeve. It's great and even fits on cold drink cups, since I'm not a big coffee drinker. So I started checking out some of her other great recycled/reused items. I love this pillow I found in her shop and decided to ask her for an interview. I hope you enjoy finding out more about her shop and what makes it unique.
1. When and why did you start crafting?
I think I’ve been “crafting” all my life. I have been sewing since I was in High School (I had to take “Home Economics” class and yes, I’m dating myself here.) I taught myself how to knit and crochet when I was bedridden with my first child. I learned to paint when I was in college. I have been crafting practically all my life and yet, never called myself a crafter.

2. What do you enjoy most about your crafting?
The serenity. The creativity. The “me” time.

3. How did you find out about Etsy and why did you start selling there?
I am a mom to two very active teenagers. I knit and crochet washcloths, cleaning cloths, scarves, etc. while waiting for their activities to end. I use to give them to my family and friends as gifts. One of my friends suggested that I sell them and so I did some research and found Etsy.

4. What is the hardest thing to do for your shop or you dislike the most about selling online?
Advertising and marketing. But I guess like any business, you have to put in your dues. Most brick and mortar stores have visible store fronts as advertisements. That’s why location, location, location is so important. Online business is the same. But online business is invisible if you don’t’ know know how to work the internet. I feel as if I have limited control over the visibility of my shop. I also feel like I’m a computer illiterate. Oh, if you tell me the steps, I can follow, but I really have limited knowledge when it comes to computers. I feel like I need to learn so much more about computers and internet in order to advertise my shop in cyberspace and I just don’t have the time.

5. Do you rely on Etsy to help pay bills or is it mainly for fun & extra spending money?
Initially, it was for fun and to see if people would like what I create. Then, fun became more like an obsession. (lol) Since I’m spending so much time on Etsy, I feel as if I should make it into a business. I would like to stay home and work full time on making Etsy a business so that I won’t have to go back to “non-crafting” work.

6. Have you tried or do you sell in offline shops? Do you enjoy that more or less than Etsy & why?
Currently, I am trying to streamline my business. I have an eclectic mixture of products because I have too many interests – i.e. crocheting, knitting, sewing. I also upcycle a lot of materials to create my products so nothing is really replicable. They are kind of OOAK. But I’d like to come up with a line of eco friendly products that I can sell wholesale to stores. My dream is to create a line that stores across the country can carry. I think that’ll be so cool. And to impact the world on reducing waste and becoming more earth friendly by using my products……..that would be awesome.

7. Where else can you be found online?
I blog regularly about eco tips and my crafts at my blog.
I recently opened a facebook – My kids cringe when I tell them I’m on FB. I also tweet It’s fun to read people’s subconscious thoughts.
And be sure to check out her great Furoshiki reusable cloth gift wraps like the one in the web ring box to the right and some of her other great items.