Friday, June 29, 2012

5 Day Forecast

I was planning on going to the beach today.  Mother Nature had other ideas as a thunderstorm rolled through around 6 am.

It's starting to clear up now, but way too late to head to the beach to get a good shot without people in the way...  that doesn't mean I can't go to the beach with the kids & enjoy myself later.  It is going to be HOT HOT HOT today.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Little voices on Etsy

 ElecticAirElements, the owner of a Etsy store that sellls unique and unusual digital collage sheets said in a thread  *So, you are mostly marketing to Etsy visitors.*

This is a perfect explanation of how SEO works on Etsy.  You can tweak your tags or change your titles all you want, but you are still marketing to people searching on Etsy.  There is supposedly a connection with Google search, but rarely do I see an Etsy shop come up when I search with Google.  

My alter identity is I train people online how to use WebEx which is online meeting software. I try to relate things to physical, real word situations.  For example, I tell them to start their meetings early, because just like in person if the door is locked and your attendees can't get it, you run the risk of losing them.

So where am I going?

Let's think of our online stores as Brick & Mortar stores. 

Etsy is our landlord AND the Mayor of the town.

We all rent our store space from Etsy.  Now Etsy wants us to succeed because if we don't make money, they don't make money. 

So as the mayor Etsy makes sure the roads are clear & occasionally they hand out maps. And keeps the sidewalks & roads clean, pretty and inviting.  Of course you have to tell the Mayor your name if you want to buy something but that is for your protection. (why do I hear music from The Godfather??)

But there are so many stores in Etsytown that not all of the make it on the maps that the Mayor hands out.  Of course the big "anchor store" (ie resellers) make it on the map because they make the most money off of them. 

How can a little cute mom & pop store, that has really awesome items, compete when the Mayor doesn't even seem to notice we're here.

Well WE have to do it.  We the shop owners have to fight to survive. We can not rely on the Mayor to direct people our way.  Sure it will happen occasionally, but not enough.

We have to BAND TOGETHER and do it ourselves.

So instead of one little store owner yelling "hey look at me" trying to be heard over the PA system the big stores have set up, there are a bunch of us working together to make sure you turn and look our way. 

Blogs are a great way to get attention.  Heck the first thing I did was give you a link to Eclectic Air Elements shop.  And there it is again.  Oh and this blogger I met at a networking luncheon.  Happy Women Work From Home.  She wants me to put together a blurb so she can talk about me on her blog, so watch for me there. 

Twitter is a great way to reach people too.  I have a friend Anna who I've done some business with, she set up a bot to tweet my shop whenever I put up a new listing.  Circles of Inspiration  She actually doesn't sell on Etsy anymore, she opened her own shop, but you still need to check her out.  I also Tweet pretty often.  It's great if you can get a celebrity to follow you back *cough* Lisa Lampanelli follows me so does Judi from NJ101.5 *cough* (lol I suck at name dropping)

Facebook is another way.  Recently I connected with Sherry at Paintin Place through Facebook. She paints amazing beachy designs on furniture and walls and floors, make sure you check her out.   Again, not at Etsy store, but a business connection made through Facebook.  She is selling some of my beach writing necklaces in her store and now I've told you about her.

Can't forget the article in the Gannett newspapers!  The writer did find me on Etsy because I had my location listed and she did a search by location. It felt like she got lost and thought she knew the name of the street I was on and that was how she found me!  She didn't do a search on beach items or beach writings, but on my location.  That was HUGE (and a huge ego boost too) The article lead me to some wonderful people (Hi Mary) and also lead to people looking for me at craft show (not doing anymore until the fall).

So you see, I did not just sit here and worry if my tags were right or if my titles were right, I stood on the corner and found people and business to work with and that is how I am succeeding!  (oh and my stuff rocks, or so I've been told *flips hair* LOL)

But I'm not there yet, so I'm still working & connecting.

You can not just open a store and hope people find you, you have to work at getting people in your front door, especially in the beginning. 

By the way, total cost for all the things I mentioned in this blog... not one red penny.  Just my time and I'm on the computer all the time anyway, so might as well as try to make some money while I'm doing it!

Probably should include a link to MY SHOP too.  LOL

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What is that?

I go to take this shot

and I notice something in the picture on the bottom right.

It's my FILTER.  It fell off my lens!  I don't normally use one, but I was cleaning off my desk & found it so I cleaned it and put it on.

It quickly got caught up in the incoming wave but I was able to grab it before it got sucked into the ocean.

So what any self respecting photographer do with a wet & sandy filter if you don't have your camera bag or pockets???

You stuff it in your bra!

Now I want to remind you (see post below) that I was at the beach for sunrise today.  This meant getting up at 5am, so I was tired.

I get home, have coffee, upload pictures, veg, walk around coma like and then around 9:30 I decide to go take a shower.

I take off my shirt & wonder what the hell is that sticking out of my bra (again remember I'm really tired)

It's the lens filter!  LOL!!!

(No I didn't take a picture, trust me, you wouldn't want one!)

I had completely forgotten about it!

I'm such a dork.

Sunrise 6.21.12

It's 8am and I've been up for 3 hours already...  I'm tired.  But it's a good tired. I was up early to go to the beach for sunrise to fill some orders.

Here are some sunrise pictures from this morning.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday afternoon at the boardwalk

Yesterday afternoon my 11 yo & I decided to go to Seaside.  I wanted to get out and walk and he wanted to play some claw games.

Because of the new STUPID law of having to stop for people in the crosswalk, I just parked at the north end of town where we came in.  Seriously folks, NJ has a law that even if you're barreling down the road at 40mpg (speed limit) driving a full cement truck, if someone steps off the curb in a crosswalk, you HAVE to stop or get a ticket.

OH and the cops set up stings too.  So I now HATE driving through the resort towns, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, which means less business for those stores along the barrier island.  (Yes, a good portion of the Jersey Shore is on a barrier island.  If you don't know what a barrier island is, please go look it up.)

So the Jersey Shore house happens to be at the north end of the boardwalk where we parked.  And they're filming.

I didn't give it a second thought.  Though I am still wondering if the picture ever made it in the house... guess I'll find out when this season airs.

So my little guy & I walked down the boardwalk playing in different arcades.  As we were walking back I saw camera crew coming out of one of restaurants.  We stopped to look and it was Pauly, Vinny & Deena.

Deena is tiny.  Pauly's hair is perfectly level and Vinny is really cute in person.

I didn't stop to talk or gawk or anything. If my son wasn't with me I might have asked if they ever saw the stick figure drawing, ut I was not going to run the chance of him being on camera.  Yes I know I would have to sign a waiver for them to use any footage of him, but I wasn't going to risk it.  So we just kept walking.

Every once in a while he would look back and say "they're still following us!"  LOL

So if you want to see the cast definitely head to the boardwalk during a week day.  A few years ago when we were there and they were filming, the crowd surrounding them walking down the boardwalk was HUGE... yesterday there were like 5 people.

A few vendors even yelled nasty things at them.  I was a little pissed off about that because my son got an earful... (not like he's never heard a curse word... someone around here had a potty mouth) but that is what happens when you walk the boardwalk in Seaside.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

All this Sea Glass!

All work & no beach makes this week DRAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGG...

Not that I don't love my day job, my day job rocks.  And I'm not just saying that because I think my boss & some co workers possibly read my blog. LOL

Since between driving the older child to school because he's still on crutches (MRI is today) and the younger one starting almost an hour after the older one, I had some time to kill today.  So I dug into my sea glass stash looking for piece to make into a barrette.

And since I had it all spread out, I figured I'd share.  

I think I might find a cool frame for those two flowers on the right.  There are a few pieces in there that could be made into more crabs.  Ever since I sold crabby I've gotten people asking about making ones for them.  

The other night I made a toe ring.  Don't mind my ugly feet.  I found out I can write off a pedicure on my taxes if I use my own feet to sell my stuff so when I get 30 minutes free I'm going to get one! LOL The green polish and the green piece of glass are pure coincidence, I painted my nails days ago.

I was worried the metal was too soft for a toe ring & that it would fall off, but I wore it all day yesterday and it was still there when I went to bed. I did take it off before I went to sleep so it wouldn't get lost in the sheets. 

I'm going to make some more of these & list them over the next few days.  I'll use the silver colored wire too. 

(side note, if you've ever wondered if I photoshopped my beach writing pictures, your answer is in the above picture.  If I was really good at photoshop, my feet would look a LOT nicer!)

Today is going to be a crazy day.  Between work, older son's MRI and then his 8th grade graduation ceremony & family coming down for cake... It's a good thing it's cloudy out, I really don't have time to go to the beach this morning.  OH and here is your opportunity to laugh at me. 

I invited just the grandparents & aunts & uncles (and cousins) for cake because even though both kids are graduating this year, it's only 8th & 5th grade.  We're going to have a BBQ in July where I'll invite the rest of the family.  But I realized after I invited everyone that my oven is dead & I can't make a cake!  LOL 

I like to make cakes.  I only do it for family but you can see some pictures here

So I had to decide between getting a too big cake at Costco or getting a normal sized ice cream cake from our favorite ice cream place

Kids picked ice cream so that's what I'm doing!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Vent Monday

Today isn't a beach day so no beach pictures, sorry!

Instead I'm going to piggyback on the theme of a blog I follow.  People I Want to Punch in the Throat.  I know, I know it sounds horrible, but go read her blog, she's funny and usually has a very valid point.

So today is going to be Vent Monday.  And my vent today is about senior drivers.

Now before you all get up in arms, let me get my thoughts out, then you can flame me if you want.

After a weekend of running errands and feeling like I was driving through war zones at times I've decided that it's time for my generation and older to step up and take care of our parents.  My Dad is 71 and I have been very honest with him.  If I feel he is becoming a hazard on the road I will step in and take his drivers license and keys.  He's raised me to be responsible and that will probably come back to bite him in the ass LOL.

But seriously, here's the thing. I have to also be prepared at that point to step up and drive him where ever he needs or wants to go.

(ADD moment, this woman on Live! with Kelly is showing off goggles & hats for dogs to protect them from the sun. Isn't that is what their FUR is for??? I am in the WRONG business.. ok back to my thought)

So my vent is not toward the drivers themselves, but at their kids/family.

How could you let your parents put their & others lives in danger like that???

You have to know when it's time to tell your aging parents that enough is enough.  Some of the aging drivers are really a hazard on the road (as are other people but we're no talking about them today.  No, I don't care if you think you can text and drive, you can't.  Just like people can't drink and drive.  Trust me, I'm driving behind you, you can't text and drive.)

Just this weekend alone I've dealt with people doing half the speed limit. Turning from the wrong lane, drivers unable to maintain their lane or speed, and my personal all time favorite, pulling out RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU -- the list goes on and on.  It can be scary just driving to the store at times!

People of my generation and older, MAN UP.  Talk to your parents about their driving.  Take a look at their car, look for scrapes in the paint or dents.  You don't have to be obvious about it, just walk around the car next time you're at their house.  If you live nearby, be like a Private Investigator, follow them.

Hey, they probably did it to you when you get your drivers license!!!  Fair is fair!

But seriously, as a nation we are living a lot longer then previous generations and this is becoming a big big problem.  The politicians aren't going to do anything about it like mandatory retesting because the senior population are the ones who vote.

So get your heads out of your ass and pay attention to the world around you.

And that is my Monday vent.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Glad I went to the beach early!

Check out the difference

OH and it's definitely summer.... all the rude people are back.  I don't mean the type of characters you see on Jersey Shore... I mean the people that are just unfriendly.  There are about 10 people on the beach that early, so when someone walks by, I say Good Morning to them.  It amazes me when people don't even acknowledge you. 

That doesn't happen off season... just saying....

I also say thank you to the people who go out of their way to not walk through my shot and who have their dogs on a leash.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Crabby has left the building

Meet Crabby

I made Crabby one night on a whim.  I was looking at a piece of sea glass that was from the neck of a bottle and thought that it looked like a Hermit Crab shell.  So I got to work.

I thought he was pretty cool, but I'm strange.  (I like being strange.)  I put him up for sale in My Etsy Shop and he got a few views.

He's come with me to 2 craft shows, but no one even really looked at him.

He was sad :(

So I made him some friends to hang out with .

I even made him a silver friend.  The silver one has eyes now.

Then yesterday I had a big sale and when I opened the order I saw my picture of Crabby!

Someone bought Crabby!

Crabby is now all bundled up tightly & softly & on his way to his new home.

I'll miss him!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

No Beach day

I didn't make it to the beach today, but that doesn't mean I don't have pictures for you!

First, some pendants I'm working on.  They still need a little work before I list them. 

Pretty clouds

And my sort of Square Foot garden. I planted some broccoli, onions & cabbage today.  I need to get some mulch once the plants get a little bigger. 

Cucumbers & beans

Umm Onions. LOL  Peppers & Tomatoes are in the background

Beans, broccoli, carrots & cabbage

More of the same oh except my 1 celery plant on the bottom right.
Totally a Pinterest project. Cut the bottom off a stalk of celery & put it in a cup of water and watch it start growing in just a few days!  I had 2 but one died when we put the plants out before planting them. 

And because I know you're SO interested, some of the ones in pots & homemade pots. 
(ie we had too many baby plants to plant in the garden and I hated to throw them out)

As long as it's nice, tomorrow will be a beach day.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday Beach Day

It was definitely a beautiful day at the beach today.  Due the following stars aligning
1. Older son on crutches & must be driven to school
2. High tide being astronomical (see yesterday's post) & peaking at 9:15 am ish
3. Younger son starting school later then older son

We went to the beach at 8 instead of 9 and I had a helper
That is my 11 year old son having his beach writing washed away.

He saw a log down the beach & decided to go get it.  Turned out to be taller then him! LOL

My neighbors were at the beach today too.  That's the husband trying his hand at beach writing.  I haven't talked to them yet so I don't know if they were successful or not. 

Thankfully my camera battery waited until I was done with my writings to die, so these next two pictures were taken with my son's Ipod, that he was not supposed to have on the beach with him.  But it turned out to be a good thing.

Here's an awesome piece of sea glass. 
AKA litter

And then I took this shot as I was waiting for my son to put his shoes back on. 

His iPod takes nice pictures, but they're not very big and you can't see the screen when you're taking the picture, so I'll stick with my Canon. 

After we were done, we came back home & got here in time for him to get on the bus for school.  

Pretty awesome morning if you ask me!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesday at the beach

I knew it was high tide.  But I've gotten some great beach writings done even when it was high tide.  So I gathered everything up and went to the beach. I could hear the surf when I got out of the car, but again this did not deter me.

Came over the walkway & saw this.
Umm, where is the beach?  There should be about 20 to 30 feet more sand there.

I look down the beach.
Ok, maybe I can walk down that way & find a place to write. 
Just so you know what you're looking at, the water is up to the bottom of the dunes.

I walk along the bottom of the dunes.  Every 4th or 5th wave reaches the bottom of the dunes.
And even if I could write something quickly, this is what it looks like at the bottom of the dunes

Who wants THAT in their picture???  I don't!

So I made it as far down as the next set of stairs (see 2nd picture) and decide to go home.  

The ocean got to me before I could reach the stairs and I was soaked up to my thighs!

High tide was at 8:38 today and these pictures were taken about 9am. Over the next few days the tide will be later so hopefully when I go back tomorrow, it will be much better!  We'll see!  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday and the Beach

I was hoping to get to the beach this morning but it's cloudy.  We had some crazy thunderstorms move through in the afternoon and it seems to have left us with cloudy conditions.

But it also gave us this

So who can complain!