Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Holiday Free Shipping And Design Services

Free Black Friday * Small Business Saturday * Cyber Monday shipping at Positive Words Artwork!

 * Black Friday * Small Business Saturday * Cyber Monday *
 11/24-25, 11/27

on all orders at my new shop,

Positive Words Artwork.

All shipping charges will be refunded after ordering.

Thanks for visiting!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!!

Banner Design Services
If you are a handmades seller and would like a Christmas or other banner like this, featuring your shop header, contact me at 
Put Sale Banner in the subject line.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

MARKETING: Free Online Promotion Ideas

At the American Express Open Forum website, Kim Bhasin shares 7 Ways To Promote Your Business Online For Free. The article seems to be geared towards brick-and-mortar shops establishing an online presence, but the tips are certainly useful to handmades sellers and other creatives with online shops.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

BUSINESS: eCommerceBytes Info On USPS 2018 Increase

Ina Steiner, at eCommerceBytes, talks about Tips on Dealing with the 2018 Postal Rate Increase. Flat rate costs going up. Also, various service providers rates to be raised at different times, making it extra-challenging for sellers to spreadsheet it all.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Poetry Writing: Explaining The Free Verse Nature Poem "Be Renewed"

Be Renewed

Look upon nature and receive hope,
For she reminds us
Of the chance for new growth,
Where before
There was nothing.
Look. Drink in.
Be refreshed. Be renewed,
And grow.

You can write a free verse poem by simply writing out a thought, as I did here. It doesn't have to be any certain length. It's not long, or short. It's just a thought in time. Arrange the words in the sentences just as you thought of them. Make the length of each sentence like we all think. We usually think in short, disjointed, choppy sentences. We don't think in perfect English, even if we know it.

You should, however, always check your poems for basic spelling errors, or have someone do it for you. You can also paste your poem into a free online grammar checker or writing enhancer, like Grammarly.com, which will identify your spelling errors.

Photography: ©Artsy Craftery Studio
Poem "Be Renewed" ©SJHolland

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

BUSINESS: Did You Write That? Well Who Did?

Often as I read around the Internet, I have to ask if the OP wrote what I am reading. This is when there is not a byline, and no sources, references or other info on the origin of the material. I think some wonder why I am asking and does it matter, so this is why I ask Did You Write That?
  • When we publish something, it is assumed that the person who created the post also wrote it, but without a byline, by so-in-so, there is no proof.
  • I love to meet fellow authors and poets, and I might want to talk shop with you sometimes.
  • If I really enjoyed what you posted I want to congratulate you and maybe discuss your motivation behind and plans regarding further publication on the subject.
  • If it was written by someone else I may want to locate and read more of that person's writings.
When we run across content, books, poetry and other writings that we enjoy, we love to share it to benefit others. To lead others to think that you wrote it by either intentionally or unintentially leaving out from where it came or who wrote it is a form of intellectual property theft, especially when money is made through it. In the academic world it is called plagiarism, and it is a serious offense.

There is nothing wrong with sharing any content that we enjoy, but it is wrong to not share the origin. It doesn't matter from where it came. If you read it on the back of a cereal box, or on the side of a bus, state that. If you don't know who wrote it, you do know where you found it. If you don't remember where you found it or who wrote it, you should state that at the end of it. If it was written by Anonymous or Unknown, state that. All of the info that you can give about the origin should be shared to give credit where credit is due.

Why should you go through this trouble?
  • The owners of intellectual property often have workers scouring the Internet for offenders. The least they will do is contact you and ask you to remove their property and to not do it again. The worse they will due is to sue you. They do watch and many will prosecute. This is especially true in the creative industry.
  • You project a professional image that may serve you well one day.
  • You develop an honest and trustworthy reputation in writing and social circles.
  • You don't have to repetitively answer questions like Did You Write That?
  • You save your readers from having to repetitively ask Did You Write That?
  • If you don't take steps to respect the intellectual property of others, when it matters most to you someone will not respect yours.
As a creative person, I am aware of an increasing amount of intellectual theft that is perpetrated today, especially on the Internet. Sometimes it is just an oversight, because many don't even realize that they are stealing from others when they don't provide credits. Even if you are not making money from what you have shared or used, it is stealing to receive accolades and appreciation from readers who enjoy what they think you wrote or created.

Take a little time to include all that you know about the origin of what you publish, and join the fight against intellectual property theft. It does matter and I don't like to have to ask Did You Write That?

CRAFTING: Handmade Sewing Accessory A Little Too Much


I love handmade pincushions and other sewing accessories. Saw this on Pinterest this morning, and while it is very cute, it's a little bit too much for me. [rolleyes] It looks cluttered, and I'd be afraid that I'd bend over swiftly and poke myself in the face! More frightening is the possibility of an eye injury! I guess I'm just a little bit too careless to use it safely.

Do you like it and would it be super-useful to you?


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

NEWS: Fervous Handmades Marketplace

Fervous.com, a handmade marketplace that has been around for a few years is now defunct. See what the owner says here. The Facebook page is still up as of this post.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

MARKETING: Crafty GoGo Promotion Service

Got email from Crafty GoGo, a daily email/social promotions site for handmades sellers. They promote to several places, including their email list. They have thousands of various social media followers, including over 10,000 at Facebook. They are currently charging $15 to submit a product. A little steep, but if you can afford it and the product that you submit is a regular in your shop, then it could be a good investment. Get more info here.

Monday, October 2, 2017

MOTIVATION: How Not To Give Up

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.
- Truman Capote

Never give up on your business or your creative pursuits, no matter how many failures you have.

The failures are educating you.
The failures are providing you with new ideas.
The failures are setting you up for massive success.
The failures are showing you what not to do.
The failures are showing you what to do.
The failures are your friends.
The failures are boosting you upwards.

Be smart and use your failures for what they are.
Don't be stubborn.
Don't be resistant.
Allow your failures to correct your direction.
Change when your failures tell you to.
Your failures are gold. 
Recognize it and prosper!

Friday, September 1, 2017

JOBS: Vida Is Hiring

Vida is hiring. "Here at VIDA, we are excited about building the future of commerce and fashion and creating beautiful products that create beauty every step of the way."

Vida is a POD website. Their products include apparel, accessories and home. They print the artwork of visual artists onto their products. "We handle production and business, so they can pursue their passion and make a living."

Positions are available in merchandising, back end engineering, head of growth, and others.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Time Management: Somewhere Autumn Prep Is Going On!

Image by freepik.com

I read on Instagram today that Heritage STL, a new and vintage seller out of St. Charles, MO,  is in fall prep at their local market booths. We handmade sellers should only be so diligent and time-focused. Have you started Autumn selling preparation yet? Or are you immersed in Christmas In July? 

My plan for seasonal preparation is 4 months out begin creating new products, 2 months out begin listing and un-reserving seasonal handmades. I have yet to be faithful with this schedule though. I'm really struggling with being on time seasonally. It's probably because I really am not yet creating strong seasonal merchandise. Most of my products are good for year 'round use. I do hope to create more fall and winter brands, my most favorite times of the year.

What helps you to be ready when the season arrives?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

TIME MANAGEMENT: When Successful People Check Their Email

For maximum daily production, never check your email first thing in the morning! Do it later in the day, or morning. Got this tip from someone who wrote about the practices of successful people. I'm still struggling with implementing it. I know that once I open that email acct, though, I will most likely get caught up in the messages, whether important or not, for a large part of my day.

It's the non-critical emails that are the problem, and most critical ones can wait until later in the day, or at least later in the morning. I've already tried reviewing my emails first thing, to pick out only the important ones, but it doesn't work. My eye catches other interesting emails.  When that happens, I'm off to a major, and very valuable chunk of my morning being consumed by what can best be termed as frivolousness. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

CRAFTING: Noodle Spacers In Bracelet Design

The long, silver beads at the back of this bracelet are called noodles. They also are called noodle spacers, curved noodles, and tube spacer beads.  

What I like about them the most is that they save time in making my bracelet creations, because they take up a lot of space that individual beads usually would. 

They also easily add a touch of sleek elegance to a design. Just slide them on and bracket them with the beads, cones or other spacers of your choice. Most tube spacers are smoothed or slightly turned inside on the end holes, but be careful with possible rough ends anyway. These sleek spacers pretty much come in standard bead sizes. I used the 2mm x 30mm (1" long) approx size for this memory wire bracelet.

This is my Newbury Street Luncheon Bracelet, available at my Bead Tonic shop at Bonanza. I named it to give the glitzy, ritzy feel of a sparkling midday shopping jaunt to that tony district in Boston, MA.


I buy bead supplies at the usual craft outlets, but enjoy ordering online. I have ordered other bead supplies from this eBay seller, 2012-Hello. Here is a listing for their curved noodle beads, where they have included a handy sizing diagram. This product ships from Asia. While most of my orders from overseas have arrived much earlier than expected, the time frame for delivery from the Orient, especially with free shipping, is very long, like 6 weeks or so.

#howtousenoodlebeads #usingcurvednoodlespacers #curvedtubebeadsinbracelets #BeadTonic #memorywirebracelet #NewburyStreetLuncheonBracelet #CraftingBits

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Income Streams: Font Designing

For font designers, as with other independent creatives today, the key is to find creative ways to generate income through the things that we love doing. I find this article on How To Make Money, from the Guidebook at fontlibrary.org, to be very progressive.

Below is an excerpt that can help you question if you really want to make money through whatever you do. You either do, or you don't. If you do, then you're willing to do whatever it takes, even if it's altering your whole way of thinking about what it takes to live. Of course, the needs would be expanded if you have a family or dependent(s) to support, as well as huge debt that must be paid off quickly. The idea, however, could still be tailored to those circumstances.

"to earn a living and not starve, you don't need very much money. ,000 USD is enough incentive to do a lot of jobs a lot tougher than font development. So a basic strategy might be to concentrate on earning a base level of money to survive, which isn't that much, and then on wealth creation.

This is indeed the model many creatives follow. It is not the mainstream approach in present societies, in which the creation of financial wealth is the predominant pursuit."
Source: fontlibrary.org

Thursday, April 27, 2017

MARKETING: Instagram & Desktop Pics

Before I started using a smartphone, which has replaced my plan to get a tablet, I tried to upload photos to Instagram from my desktop. Contrary to what some have said, there is no Instagram-authorized way to do this. All of the search results that I received discussed workarounds. Read what Louise Myers said in her article, Can You Post to Instagram from Desktop? 10+3 Options to Try, in June, 2016. The phrase 10+3 Options, and the word workarounds, are the operatives:
There are a growing number of options, but each has its drawbacks. Instagram doesn’t allow uploads via their API, so all of these are workarounds. Here are 13 options I found. They keep increasing!
Before I started using a multi-functional mobile phone, I downloaded the Instagram desktop app, and tried the Instagram website. Though I could interact with the posts, neither allowed me to upload images from my computer. I was trying to do this because, at the time I had no need for a smartphone. That is when I began to consider getting a tablet PC.

I had read that a crafter uses her tablet to upload pics to Instagram. So, I learned that tablet technology uses many of the operating systems that are used by smartphones. Before I got one, I upgraded to a smartphone though, not to use Instagram, but for other reasons.

A Side Note:  Instagram is so easy to use that it has been taking over my sharing. I've been neglecting my blog more than ever. The Instagram site does allow downloading images. I have tried this, but the images do not look nearly as good on my computer as on my smartphone. In fact, they are not acceptable for listing handmades.

So, it seems that I'm still stuck with taking some duplicate pics with my POS camera. This is because I share quickly to Instagram, but often still want to write about, at my blog, what I'm sharing. I also wanted to be able to use many of the Instagram images at my listing venues. Bummer!



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

CRAFTING: Quick Tut Bead Bowl

Easy Beading Bowl

A cushioned bead bowl to use along with your bead boards.

Supplies/Tools Needed:

  • Clear, plastic, bowl-shaped lid from cut fruit produce or a similar plastic container
  • Piece of foam or felt the size of the lid
  • Craft tacky glue or any glue that will bond plastic and foam/felt
  • Scissor 

I salvaged the clear, plastic lid from an empty apple pie container.

The square, flat foam piece probably was part of the packing for something I bought. I had salvaged it for later use.

Turned the cleaned lid upside down.

Apply a glue line around the inside of the bottom, in a place that will easily come in contact with the foam. So, don't apply it in a well, indention, ditch or depressed channel in the plastic. It will be hard to cause the foam to make contact with it, and to keep it pressed down into the glue until it is dry. I chose a raised ring in the bottom of the upturned.

Center the foam/felt and press it into the bowl onto the ring of glue. I turned it right side up so you could see how easily my foam piece presses into the glue ring.

Weigh your foam/felt down with a bowl, saucer or small book overnight, or at least for several hours. You can see the corners of my foam square sticking up beyond the edge of my bowl.

When it was dry I snipped them off with the scissor.

And that's it! Enjoy using your simple, little, lightweight bead bowl. I love mine!

Monday, March 13, 2017

SELLING HANDMADES: What Are Customers Seeking?


What You're Ultimately Selling Is Something Very Intangible

I once saw life coach Tony Robbins on TV, and he spoke along this line, that customers are purchasing an experience. This means that they are pretty much seeking a feeling or emotion when they shop.

I was purging my files and ran across this gem, on a snipped piece of pink paper. Don't remember from where I got it, and I believe it refers to interaction with potential customers on the sales floor. You will see, though, that it is important to understand for any type of selling:

Selling is a dialogue, sometimes very short and to the point; other times a bit longer because it's a different customer with different wants. It's during these selling conversations that you have the chance to turn visitors into customers and customers into loyal shoppers. However short or long the time with customers, you help them make buying decisions about what they want for themselves, relatives, friends, and their home. What you're ultimately selling is something very intangible.

When customers buy business suits or outfits for casual Friday, what they're really buying is professionalism and self confidence. When a customer buys cosmetics, she wants to feel good and look good. When shoppers buy wedding gifts, graduation gifts or Christmas gifts, they are buying good feelings and goodwill. Customers want to feel good when they shop!

For the creative, no matter how we sell or what, it is important to remember that customers are seeking an ambience, a favorable and compatible environment. That's why branding is so important, as well as business collateral, tone of writing and speaking, attitude, attention to detail, confidence, thoroughness, compassion and the ability to relate, etc. All of these contribute to presenting the experience that your customers are seeking. Learn the difference between shoving a product or service into your potential customers' faces ~versus~ delivering a great experience. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

COPYRIGHTS: Myths Debunked Re Selling Pattern-Made Products

Learn from the So Sew Easy website about myths regarding selling products sewn with patterns. The info is so very interesting, valuable and important for handmades sellers, and anyone else using patterns to create products for sale. You'll be surprised by what you read! I was amazed, but it makes so much sense really. That's why the law supports it!

Sewing pattern copyright law – myths debunked


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Jobs & Employment: Blogarama

Blogarama has a job board. This is what they share at the site:

The Blogarama's Work From Home Job Board is a job board for bloggers looking for work from home positions and for companies looking for bloggers to hire. 

Here are some jobs that I saw in a recent email from them:

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