Sunday, May 31, 2009

Have You Wordled Lately?

I found Wordle through another about a month ago and I'm obsessed! You can either enter you blog address and let it choose words from you posts or you can copy and paste text in, you can also change the fonts, the colors and layout. How fun is that! It creates a pretty typography image that you can put on your blog for others to look at.

Normally I just put in my blog address and let it do its thing but I used the word Chicken so many times in my Yummy Summer Dinner recipe post it wants to use that as the main word. LOL. So this time around I decided to try the copy and paste from my last post and this is what was created! If you haven't wordled, you might want to check it out.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

We've Won An Award!!

I've been awarded with the 'One Lovely Blog' Award by Bellisima's Blog! Please visit her shop, Bellisima's Minerals for some awesome make up deals! I'm so excited as I always see blogs with different awards but never expected to win one myself! Thank you so much for bestowing this great honor upon me! :)

We humbly accept the 'One Lovely Blog' Award, and in doing so, post the Rules of Blog Award Acceptance:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

And Cherry Tart Design Proudly Passes 'One Lovely Blog Award' on to:

Avery James Photography

Bead Up

Blackstar Jewelry

Consider The Coffee

Handmade Artificial Flowers

Just Something I Made

Kauai Artist

Lenox Knits

Little Lovables

Lula Boutique

Congratulations to all the 'One Lovely Blog' Award Winners!
Thank you for offering such interesting posts and fabulous photos - you're all incredibly talented and have given me lots of joy!

If you have a moment, take some time and get to know a few of the Award Winners by clicking on the links and visiting their Blogs & Shops!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Time Flies By

How is it that time can slip by so quickly that it seems as if I blink and a week has gone by? It was a little hectic with my parents here from Arizona, I had a few sales to work on and some other projects outside of Etsy but I'm back and offering a $20 savings on my Ultimate Business Start Up Package. So check out my shop before this offer disappears like the past week and a half did for me!

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

I've Missed You!

Just wanted to pop in and say hi! I've been super busy this week and haven't had time to post. I've been working on some items for a new shop I will be opening soon so stay tuned for some updates on the progress for that shop. We had a ton of rain the past few days and when we had a nice breezy, sunny day, I was stricken with a migraine and couldn't even enjoy it! So I'm off today to go enjoy the beautiful weather and hit the craft stores!

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Yummy Summer Dinner

I found this super yummy recipe on the Cooking Light website and thought I would share it with all of you. It is soooo summery and deliscious! You could cook it on the grill instead of the broiler if you prefer, but for those of us that don't have the option of grilling, broiling worked great!
Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

Skinless, boneless thighs cook quickly and are more flavorful than white meat, so they need fewer ingredients. Serve with garlic-roasted potato wedges and a salad or broccolini.

Yield 4 servings (serving size: 2 chicken thighs)

2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Cooking spray
6 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cider vinegar


Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.

Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 321 (31% from fat)
Fat: 11g (sat 3g,mono 4.1g,poly 2.5g)
Protein: 28g
Carbohydrate: 27.9g
Fiber: 0.6g
Cholesterol: 99mg
Iron: 2.1mg
Sodium: 676mg
Calcium: 21mg
David Bonom, Cooking Light, MARCH 2007


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Monday, May 11, 2009

Somebody's Got a Case of the Mondays!

Just a quick post this morning. Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day. :) I had a nice relaxing day and even watched two episodes of Lost. I've finally made it to Season 4! Yay. I'm soooo hooked on that show. I'm tired and not looking forward to today at all, can't I just sleep through Monday?

I'm offering this pretty little shop set for just $14 to anyone that reads my blog today only! Just put Blog in the message to seller and I will send you a revised invoice or I will give you a refund through Paypal. Click on the picture to be taken directly to the listing.

Off to do some work and I will be catching up on my blog reading tonight. Have a great day!

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day, Toffee and A Disappointing Craft Fair

Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow bloggers! I plan on spending the day relaxing at home with the kids. The craft fair was a little disappointing yesterday. There seemed to be more people selling items that were not what I would consider handmade. The only item I bought was some homemade toffee, super yummy and well worth it! We had a nice long lunch, a lot of laughs and great conversation.

Like my blue rose? Click here to see my ETSY listing for a shop start up package you're sure to enjoy. Hope you all have a great day!

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Busy Days

We're off to the Lockport Township AFJROTC craft fair today! It's going to be a great day out with family and friends. Can't wait to see all the handmade goodies! I have a ton of things to get done this weekend, including getting registered for the summer summester at school. Only two weeks until that begins, yikes! I also have some custom designs I'm working on so I will be one busy little lady this weekend!

I wanted to give a little shout out to JustPotters a great shop on Etsy that sells handmade pottery. Click here to learn more about this wonderful organization.

Hope you have a great weekend!

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Marketing Tips - Part 3 - Spreading The Word

I think the most asked question on Etsy is, where do you promote your shop to get more business? First let me point out that promoting takes time, patience and some hard work. Shops that have been successful know, it doesn't happen overnight either. Today I'll list some of the ways you can promote your shop in brief detail so you'll have a starting point to work with.

Etsy Forums
If you haven't joined in, now is the time. A few pieces of advice, when posting, don't just post your item and run, go back through and actually click on everyone else's work and comment. If you are posting a link to a thread someone else has started, make sure you actually look at their item and comment before posting your link.

Blog your little heart out! Yes, we do want to read about your life as well as your business. I like when people mix up the two and I like to learn about new artists all the time. If you post links in the forums about your blog, be sure to go back through and read the other blogs. Subscribe or 'follow' and post comments on the posts that you find interesting.

Ok, I admit, I was skeptical of this one at first, but I have to say that I'm loving it! There is something about the instant gratification of posting and having 15 people immediately click on your link! I have gotten many views and some hearts in my shop since joining and several direct replies and retweets. It's a great way to meet fellow artists and just post about anything and everything, even the boring lunch you just ate!

Myspace is a great way to get your work out there through friends and family. You can either opt to have your Myspace page completely about your business or throw in some pics, links and blog posts every now and then. I'm in the process of redoing my page and will post links once I'm up and running.

All right, well here's one I just don't get. Only your friends can see your profile so I'm not sure how big of a role Facebook plays in the promoting game so if you have Facebook and have gotten results from it, please post a link here.

Project Wonderful
Project Wonderful is geared toward adding advertising space to a blog or existing website where people bid to put up their advertisment. Now, the banners can be made in several sizes; however, it is up the owner of the blog or site to determine what size is allowed on their site. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews on this and personally, I tried it, got a lot of clicks, but that was about it. If you have had success with this, please post a comment so others can learn about it.

Business Cards
Hand them out to everyone and anyone that will take one! It's a great way to get your info out there and let's face it, if you want something inexpensive there are plenty of sellers on Etsy that offer great packages or you can even go to a commercial printer and get a good deal.

Add a newsletter to your email, send it out to family and friends and ask that they forward it to anyone they think may be interested. By no means am I suggesting you spam all of your friend's friends! You can add a link that says subscribe/unsubscribe so if they want to continue to receive your newsletter they can do so very easily, if not, unsubscribing is just as easy. Create a link on your blog to let people sign up so they don't have to keep coming back to read your posts, they'll get it right in their email!

Show of hands, how many of you knew that you could get an ad free, customizable website, totally free? Did you also know you could get your own .com web address for the first year free also? Well, will give you all of this free! Yes, free! They have many templates available so you don't have to be a web designer to get a nice looking site either. You can use this to showcase your work, kind of like a portfolio, or you can even sell your products directly on your website! How cool is that? I would suggest using it as a portfolio until you gain a good following. We all know how great it would be to have a website all our own to sell our wares but let's face it, getting found on Etsy is hard enough, can you imagine how hard it is to get a website off the ground? The key is to start small and dream big!

My I have really rambled on this time. In the future we'll be visiting these topics in more detail, I just wanted to give you a good starting point and hope to see you back for more indepth information on how to get your business out there!

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday Wishlist

I love sketching and doodling, but I never seem to have something close at hand when the urge strikes me. I did a search for sketchbooks on Etsy and came across this wonderful seller's shop. Bind Me (aka Owl Bindery) offers many different types of hand bound journals and notebooks which are small enough to stick in your purse or totebag giving you the opportunity to jot down your thoughts or doodles whenever the mood is right.

If anyone feels the need to buy me one of these, please feel free to do so! I would definitely not mind at all!

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

When Your Baby Isn't A Baby Anymore

They grow up to look like this!

Happy 17th Birthday to my baby! Am I really that old?

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Marketing Tips - Part 2 - Incorporating Your Design

You've got your banner and avatar, now you need to incorporate your look into business cards, address labels, stickers, product tags, thank you notes, invoices, etc. Some things to keep in mind when you purhase a banner or graphic from a designer...

Get the Original Files

Don't be afraid to ask for either the original files or a .svg (scaleable vector graphic) file. If you ever want to have the design incorporated into printed materials, you will need these files as they will allow another designer to rework the files in case the original designer goes out of business or does not offer these services.

Ask if You Don't Know

A lot of banners are made in Photoshop or similar image editing software. They're wonderful for creating images for the web, but not always for print. The reason for this is the difference between bitmap images and vector graphics, which is a whole separate topic, but basically the difference is bitmap images become pixellated if resized too much, vector graphics retain their clarity. Also, drop shadows, gradients and special effects done in these programs don't always print out the best quality either.

Print Color

Another thing to keep in mind is that print colors are not always the same as what you see on your computer. Computer screens, web and printers all have different gamuts for color. Which basically means the entire range of colors available on a particular device such as a monitor or printer. A monitor, which displays RGB signals, typically has a greater color gamut than a printer, which uses CMYK inks. When a color is "out of gamut," it cannot be properly converted to the target device; for example, to a different type of printer. So the colors may vary slightly on your printed items.

Keeping your look uniform will help your business 'brand'. If you have a banner that has one design, a business card with another design and stickers with yet another design, you may be sending the wrong signal to your customers. Coming up with a look that is unique to you is another step in marketing yourself as a business and not just a hobby.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happy Sunday!

It's Sunday, yay! My sit around in pj's and relax day. The day I get to catch up on my favorite TV shows, read my book, and spend time with my honey! What are your plans for today?

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Marketing Tips - Part 1 - Banners and Avatars

You've opened your shop, you're all excited to get that first sale and hover around the computer checking your views, your hearts and wondering if the sales fairy will come while you're asleep. Sound familiar? There are so many wonderful shops on Etsy, which makes it pretty hard to stand out amoung the crowd to potential customers.

You spend so much time taking photos, editing them to make them perfect, putting as much detail into your listing as possible and finding the right tags so people can find you by doing a search. Not to mention the time and creativity making your product. If you haven't already done so, now is the time to give your shop the one thing that will make you stand out, a banner and avatar. Imagine if you will, you went to a mall, and every storefront had the same look, not very interesting. How would you define the difference between them? Large companies know that marketing is the key to success in a world where you can purchase just about anything whether it be from a brick and morter store, or a website.

If you have a photo editing software program, you can easily make your own banner and avatar fairly easily. For Etsy the banner size is 760 x 100 pixels and the avatar is 75 x 75 pixels. Don't have the time? Not computer saavy? Not to worry, there are tons of shops where you can get a great banner with matching avatars! A few tips on what to look for when researching graphic designers for the perfect look. There are plenty of shops that offer premade banner sets, one thing I would suggest is to check the listing or ask the seller if the item will be relisted and resold to anyone else. Remember, the key is to make your shop unique, why pay for something that any other seller could have? If you know exactly what kind of look you are going for, have a custom set made.

Your banner is your first introduction to your customers, the last thing you want is for someone to happen upon your shop and find a banner that is blurry, almost illegible because of font choice or size and unappealing. Once you have your awesome new banner and avatar, it's a good idea to keep them consistant. Constantly changing the look of your shop is fun, but once you start promoting in the forums and on different sites such as Myspace, Twitter and Facebook, you want your customers to immediately recognize you. You can easily have matching sale, vacation and holiday banners and avatars made up as well as listing graphics that can be used for custom orders, reserved listings and feedback.

Stay tuned for more great marketing tips on image editing, business cards and product tags, the benefits of joining Twitter and whatever else pops into my crazy little head!