Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Funny Video Valentine

A little snippet of Valentine fun...Risky Beads style!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Buy This So I Won't-Volume 6 - Puppets

It's that time again, time for me to tempt you with hand-crafty goodness that's hanging out on my I Would Buy This If I Didn't Also Have to Eat list. Those of you who are familiar with my shop know that I'm a big fan of Little Red Riding Hood, and that's despite the fact that she runs me ragged through the streets of NYC. I can forgive her for that because Manhattan is an exciting place. But it does get old after awhile when I have to rescue her from one perilous situation after another.

In order to do this post tonight, I've taken her to an secure and undisclosed location because, dear reader, I have to confess that while Red and I are so BFF, I'm a wee bit infatuated with her arch nemesis. You know how irresistible bad boys can be, right?


So without further ado, let me introduce you to this week's candidate for Buy This So I Won't hailing from the Etsy shop burchanddaughters, The Big Bad Wolf.

In drag.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Cross-dressing is no big deal in 2009. We're a modern society; we just elected Barack Obama; we don't care if a Big Bad Wolf needs to work out his Mother issues in a pink bonnet, we celebrate it! If he doesn't want to embrace his inner metro-wolf and do away with that uni-brow, then good for him! Teeth whitening? Ha! Over-rated! Cover that gray? Are you mad? Leave him alone! Hasn't he suffered enough? He's already doomed to live his life as someone's puppet!

...And yet there's a soft, squishy part of me that wants to buy him, bring him home, make him comfortable on my uncomfortable sofa and sit across from him with a legal pad and just listen to his wolfly woes. But then I'd have to leave Red with Alice in Wonderland, and I don't think I could bear the separation anxiety. Some days she's the only reason I get out of bead in the morning. So, I beseech you as I type, to Buy This So I Won't, to give this brave, brazen, Big Bad Wolf a home free of conflicted little red riding girls and grandmas, and with that I'm off to rescue Red before Alice offers her something to drink...

Have a good week, Lori

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Stay Tuned for More Gifty Goodness

The January ArtFire Giveaway has crowned its winner, but never fear for the February giveaway kicks off next Sunday, February 1! It's a giveaway perfect for Valentine's Day because there are 12 ArtFire shops for you to fall in love with. Yes, a dozen reasons to stay tuned!! So, grab a thought and make a mental note to remind yourself to pop back in, and in the meantime, if you're shopping for that special someone...

She was so hot she came with potholders.
Sizzle, $19, free shipping

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Lori

Sunday, January 18, 2009

January 2009 Spoil Yourself Rotten ArtFire Giveaway!

***Winner Chosen--please see below! 1/25/09***
Welcome to 2009, to a new year, and a new opportunity to spoil yourself rotten with some of amazing gifts and goodies compliments of six wonderful ArtFire shops! It's been sooo cold this winter, I wanted to put together something that reminded me of comfort and warmth. Lots of cream and caramel and coffee and toffee and sugar and spice. ArtFire is a relatively new venue, so I've rounded up some fantastic sellers so everyone can see what they have to offer! Here's what's up for grabs:

You'll get: a Caramel Coughdrop pendant from my shop, Risky Beads, a bar of Sage & Cinnamon soap from soapdeli, Frosted Pink Sugar 3-in-1 Bubbling Body Wash, Creme de Menthe lip balm, and Vanilla Frosting Whipped Body Moussee from Nella Scents Bath & Body, a 10 oz. bag of Fleur De Sel Gourmet Carames from Laura Lee's Tasty Treats, Cognac Crystal earrings from cctexan3, Good Morning Grumpy Body Soap Coffee and Creme Brulee Scent, Maple and Brown Sugar Room Spritzer, and a Toffee Crunch Soy Candle Melt by SimplyTemptedBathandBody, and a trial size of Dragon's Blood Hand and Body Lotion from MeaCulpaBodyandBath! In total, these products retail at $88.50 before shipping, but you can win them all for FREE, and here's how:

To be entered into the random drawing for this giveaway, you must visit at least 3 of the 7 ArtFire shops featured in the giveaway and come back with a comment about your favorite item from that shop. The shops are: Risky Beads, soapdeli, Nella Scents Bath & Body, cctexan3, SimplyTemptedBathandBody, Laura Lee's Tasty Treats, and MeaCulpaBodyandBath.

You can earn an extra entry by commenting about all 7 shops instead of just 3, purchasing something from one of the shops featured above (each shop you purchase from will earn you one extra entry), by blogging about the giveaway, or by mentioning the giveaway on Twitter with a link back to this post. If you choose to blog or tweet about it, please come back and post the link here so I can note it. The context will close at noon, next Sunday January 25th and I'll announce the winner then.

Good luck!~ Lori

ETA: Please leave a way for me to contact you if you win!

ETA 1/25/09: The winner of the January ArtFire Giveaway is Donna! Donna said, "I went to all 7 shops. These are my faves:
MeaCulpaBodyandBath-LILY OF THE VALLEY Shampoo and Conditioner
Laura Lee's Tasty Treats-My Big Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies
cctexan3- Black Agate nugget bracelet
I tweeted."
The winner was selected from 143 valid numbered entries by Congratulations!!! Stay tuned for another giveaway kicking off next Sunday!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Buy This So I Won't-Volume 5 - Handmade Soap

Yikes, I think I'm a bit tardy with this issue, but the New Year can be quite the whirlwind, can't it? This week's candidate for Buy This So I Won't is actually a class of products from different sellers all hailing from Artfire and is a vain attempt to address one of my most expensive Achille's heels. I have absolutely, positively no ability to resist handmade soap. I have a handmade soap addiction that's fed by the ridiculous buzz I get from aromatherapy or something. Seriously, if I'm having a really bad day, all I have to do is go pick up a bar of soap from the stack that's just waiting to be used, sniff it and WHAM, I feel better. (I will neither confirm not deny that I keep a soap sample in my purse for aroma therapeutic 911 emergencies.)

Now, some of you who pass through my world, may know that I like to make bracelets out of food to entertain myself, but I'm not nearly as skilled as these soap makers who keep making bath & body products that look better than my mother's banana bread. Honestly, do I really need to feel hungry when I'm taking a shower? No, I don't. If I made it to the shower without going near the fridge in the first place, I don't need to be rewarded with a bar of soap that looks like the neopolitan ice cream I just successfully resisted. So, dear readers, your mission this week is to BUY THESE SO I WON'T and don't eat them by accident...

Pumpkin Crunch Cake Body Soap Design Series (Vegan Friendly) by SimplyTemptedBathandBody $6.00

(Is your tummy growlin' now?)
Lemon Sugar Cake Mini Bundt Cake Soap by Adoration $4.00

(One of these days, I'm going to accidentally take a bath with a Hershey Bar or a Reese Cup.)
Peanut Butter Cookie Whipped Goat's Milk Cold Processed Soap by Hendrick's Hearth $4.25

*Whew.* I made it through this entire post without buying any soap. Omg, that means there's a light at the end of my bubble bath. hee hee

Until next week, Lori

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lessons Learned

So 5 months ago, I decided to write about my first year on Etsy...only it took me 5 months to write it and life intervened and ArtFire and 1000Markets popped up along the way, so the result is now a book about my first 18 months on Etsy. Yes, 18 months of things I learned the hard way, strategies I employed to bring sales in, and tips about marketing, branding and finding your niche. The lessons can be applied to any online venue, save the information on how to make a poster sketch and snag a Treasury, and I hope they'll help new and struggling shop owners make an easier go of it!

And if you're considering branching out and giving ArtFire a shot, there's also a $5.00 rebate inside that you won't want to pass up!

Click here to see the table of contents.
This book is a labor of love, not just a list of answers to FAQs. I hope it will inspire you and help to renew your energy and fine-tune your focus for 2009! The book is $9.00 and in the form of a .pdf file. It will be emailed to your PayPal address unless you email me and specify otherwise.

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

ArtFire vs. Etsy so far

Well, it's only January 4, and my ArtFire and Etsy sales are neck in neck. Etsy is a little bit ahead, but I'm shipping free at ArtFire, so the Etsy overage is pretty much shipping. Now, my ArtFire fees are $7 a month flat; my Etsy fees so far are over $11 and will only go up. I typically spend about $120.00 a month at least on my Etsy fees.

Hmmm... ArtFire's got something here.

* I like their one page listing process; it saves so much time, plus I can see everything pertinent to that listing all at once.

* When I have a question or an issue and ask about it in the forums, it gets answered fairly quickly. ArtFire has also already purchased advertising that didn't involve sellers having to purchase spots that only the big money sellers can afford and that sell out in .0001 nano-seconds.

* Their version of an Etsy-mini, which you can see on the right hand side of my blog is easily customized. I choose the listings I want and what squares I want them in. That's nice when you're a control freak like me, lol!

* Their are STATS!! You can see where people are coming from. Are they finding your shop via your blog, Twitter, an ad you placed?? You can see where you need to keep advertising and where you don't. Imagine that!!!

* The site is still in beta mode, and some people don't like the fact that it doesn't look 'as polished' as Etsy, but there's a real feel of community at ArtFire, and you don't have to spend your life in the forums to feel it. It feels like a more level playing field. After all, no one's going to relist their whole shop and knock your listings back ten thousand pages. There's a bit of equity in that $7 flat fee.

Once their preliminary account offerings sell out, that price will go up. Now's the time to lock in that price.

Think you might like to try ArtFire? Click this link and register. I don't think you'll be sorry!