Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Spotlight - Trotting Jack Press

Today's Sunday Spotlight shines on M. Elliott of Trotting Jack Press.  Please take some to learn about this incredible artist!

 I'm an England based printmaker who designs and makes lino printed products for my Etsy shop "Trotting Jack Press". All the products you will find in my Etsy shop are fully hand printed and hand crafted by me one by one, so each product is very unique and special. I'm very happy and proud to be able to offer such 'one of a kind' items to my customers.

Mrs. Mouse

I find inspiration for my art from from many sources such as nature, animals, classic fairy tales, vintage items etc. The list is endless, but my biggest source of inspiration must be my little Jack Russell Terrier who's very sweet, funny and makes me smile all the time.

Hand Painted Terrier Dog pendant

I opened my Etsy shop on 5th Feb, 2012. (I chose this particular date because it's my mum's birthday and she is the biggest fan of my artwork.) Luckily, my shop has been growing very slowly, but constantly ever since.

Having a Nap

Although I am specialising in linocut,I also enjoy drawing, painting, sewing, collaging, making small 3d objects, jewellery making etc. I use these art and craft skills individually or  sometimes combine them together for making very unique and original items.

Handmade Wooden Brooches

My most favourite thing I've ever made is this "sleeping jack russell miniature doll".

Sleeping Jack Russell Miniature Doll

My terrier is the model and I think I managed to capture his sweetest moment quite well!

You can also find my products on Folksy (British craft market site).

Sitting Bear Cub printed doll

I do have a real interest in vintage and antiques so I like to look around markets, fairs and charity shops for digging some treasures. I can't resist buying small junks ( well, treasures for me! ) that catch my eye and as a result, my collection is expanding rapidly. Maybe, I should open my second shop "Trotting Jack Antiques" sometime soon!  (only joking :-) 


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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Five Replacement Options for Google Reader

Google will officially shut down Google Reader this July 1st. For all you bloggers out there, be sure to read my recent post Tips to Deal with the End of Google Reader

But have you taken steps to continue to receive the blogs you love? If not, here are a few alternatives for you to take immediate action on:

Feedly - Probably one of the most popular readers available, Feedly will transfer your subscriptions with a very user-friendly interface.
  • Bloglovin - Newer to the market, but exploding in popularity, Bloglovin will also easily transfer your subscriptions. 
  • Hootsuite - I live on this social media application and was pleased to learn I could manage my RSS feeds and quickly view their content, side by side with my LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter feeds.
  • Email - As popular as social media sites have become, you're probably still receiving must of your information via traditional email, so why not sign up for email notifications?
  • Facebook - If your blogger updates his status on Facebook with his blog posts, start following him with the rest of your friends.
Find your favorite and move today!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Spotlight: Irina of Miracle from Threads

Today's Sunday Spotlight featured Irina of Miracle from Threads. Please take some time to learn more about this fiber artists and her amazing work!

Funny Frog rattle

My name is Irina, I am 29 years old. I have a son, Kirill. It was after the birth of a child I started doing nursing necklaces, rattles and teething toys. I want my child to surround quality toys made from natural materials. It's so important! I do nursing necklaces from cotton / linen yarn and unfinished wooden beads of different kinds of wood. When I make a necklace or a toy I put to a piece of my soul and love. And baby feels it better than anyone.

Elephant Blue Nursing Necklace

As my son grows, I understand that he needs to develop and began to appear more sophisticated toys. And together we come up with the game and we think who still need to play. Or what is safe to dress up the Christmas tree and the house.

Teething Ring

My son is the engine that drives the creation of something new and interesting. It's so wonderful that you can chew on a machine - the machine teething toy. Or the elephant in the mommy beads, which a child can pull the trunk or ears, or to tell mum that elephant has. Or safe flower-bracelet for a newborn baby.

Crochet Toy Car

I like my beads and toys different: strict and funny, with amusing suspension or having a lot of threads. After all, we are all different. I want that everyone could find yourself something especial!

Linen Crochet Necklace

I also realized that I can make cute gifts for my family and friends. So I started making jewelry for women and girls. Toy animals, I give men in the car as car charm. After all, they have a different color and cheer up! This is a unique gift for the person!  After all, every toy has its own character and is suitable for a particular person.

Sometimes I do things in order for specific mother or child. I ask tell what she wants, what color. I do sketch product and together we are discussing it. I will communicate with the buyer and I really like it. Obtained a completely unique personalized jewelry  or  toy. In which already a little is seen by the owner. In these cases, I put a cute gift in parcel, sometimes doing a discount. For example:

Also my products can be seen on facebook page or on LiveJournal.
As a special offer to my readers, Irina has offered a valid coupon for a 5% discount, good through the end of July - Coupon Code - FORYUO.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How to Write Calls to Action

You're posting to Twitter. You're posting to Facebook. You're writing a blog. You're doing everything, it seems, except making your product, your true love. And while doing everything, you're getting no feedback or response.

What's wrong? Your tweets are informative and not terribly full of hashtags. Your Facebook posts are not "salesy," they're about you and your love of the product you make. Your blog contains articles relevant to your business; they aren't just filling space with articles about your dog. It just isn't making any sense.

The problem could be that you aren't including a Call To Action (CTA) in your tweet, your status updates, or your posts. (Something else? I hear you groan.) Yes, something else.

A Call To Action is a persuasive argument you are making with your followers to do something. Think of it as subliminal messaging. You're not screaming "BUY MY PRODUCT NOW!!!" like a used care salesman; instead, you're nudging your followers step by step. Here are some examples of Calls To Actions:

Join me .....

     Click here.....

          Try this.....

               Download now...

                    I invite you....

                         While supplies last....

                              Get it now!

                                   In a hurry? Call me ....

                                        Act quickly!

                                             Limited quantities available!

                                                  Add to cart

                                                       Reserve your spot now!

                                                            Today only!

How many times have you responded to such language? Personally, I'm a sucker for "Click here" or "Download Now," with my thought being I can always click out of the webpage or delete the download. But I still respond to the ask, which is what the marketers want me to do. 

So, do you feel the pattern? No where in this list do you find the words "BUY MY PRODUCT NOW!!!!" rather, you change your vocabulary to suggestive language, but keep the tone of immediacy. 

Ok. Now you get the idea. But then what? Now you need to implement these Calls to Action in your tweets, in your status updates, and in your posts. 

So your tweet of "#glamorous #red #statement #necklace #sale three left!" becomes "Inventory Reduction Sale! Statement Necklaces 50% off - limited quantities available!"

Your Facebook status update of "Tested new spice samples" becomes "We fell in love with the taste of ____ at this local Thai restaurant and spent all weekend making samples. Share with us your favorite foods and restaurants!"

Your blog post ends with a direction. What was "Until the next time I decide to post" becomes "Don't miss my next post! Add me to your RSS feed today!" or "What are your thoughts about .....?"

So take some time to review what you've written, and turn it into words that make You Do Something!

Don't miss out on more tips to help with your business! Follow me by email today!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Treasury Sunday, June 15th

Treasuries are so incredibly important to Etsy small businesses like me, because they help get our products in from of other members in ways we can't do on our own. Today, I'd like to show my appreciation to the curators of two of my favorite treasuries to feature my products in the past week or so. Please take some time to shop these fabulous finds and support small business!

'Orange You Glad It's Summer' by ariella42

Cocktail rimming sugar - ora...

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day - R...

Sugar Scrub Cubes - Orange S...

Orange Necklace, Orange & Go...

Orange Blossom votives, set ...

Victorian Baby Sandals Sprin...

Harvest Gold Yellow Orange R...

Orange Knit Leggings Organi...

Beach house Indoor/Outdoor F...

Bombshell Perfume Oil

Nectarine Orange Magnet Vase...

Amber Opal Boho Bracelet Set...

Starfish and Seashell waterc...

Bright Vintage Floral Bath T...

Fabric Eyeglass Case Women. ...

Sun Kissed peach Nail Polish...

'Soft summer mood ' by SymbolicImports


organic tropical fruit core ...

Beach Decor - Starfish Night...

Brown Cone Shell Beads, 50 B...

Sea Whites. 8x10. Fine Art P...

RTW3067D - Maxi sun dress in...

Jewelry Herkimer Diamond Ear...

modern numbers clock simple ...

Coconut Green Tea 12 oz. can...

white, beach pottery shards,...

Sheer Silk Fabric. Hand wove...

Fine bone china small stonew...

Gold Dipped Pedestal Lamp- M...

Beach Bungalow Butterflies

50 PERCENT OFF Pair of vinta...

sewing pattern lamp

Click here for more information!
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