Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Worktable Wednesday - the storybeader's studio

Italian paper beads on Etsy
Welcome to the storybeader's studio... well actually, my home.  I've got lots of paper all over because I'm working on three or four different projects all at the same time.  Our  team has just been talking about multi-tasking and how we all cope.  This is my way of handling it - spread out!

desk in our converted garage
The desk in our converted garage is where I pay household bills.  It also acts as my studio desk, so I try to keep it organized.  I'm preparing my art journal for Gesso (above).  In this round of AlphabeThursday (one of my favorite memes) I decided to create pages for a children's Alphabet Book.  This week's letter is D - I'm thinking of painting my DOGS from a photo.  Last week we wrote about the letter C (naturally) :

AlphabeThursday - C is for Cat

Another project I'm in the middle of is making paper beads.  This is something I'm always doing; cutting, rolling, coating, photographing, or posting to my Etsy shop.  Below (left) is where I cut my paper, on a thick piece of glass.  I used to have DH cut my paper, but I’ve learned how to handle a utility knife on my own.  On the right (below) are some rolled beads.  I place them on toothpicks in syrofoam, and spray them out on our porch - never in the house.  The smell is just too strong.  And it’s not healthy, for us or the pups!   

On the 15th, I started my mandala class given by Guadalupe, an artist from Buenos Aires (she accepts donations).  I just love mandalas and was so excited to learn some of her  techniques.  First thing was to clear off my work table (in the living room).  Then add  intersecting lines to the template (below, on the right) she gave us.  Next step: color.  Guadalupe uses watercolor pencils, but I used markers.  You see, my printer won’t accept thick watercolor paper.  It's just too old and perspicuity.  This week she's teaching us how to draw our own templates.  Problem solved!

drawing mandalas with Guadalupe on

There are other things I'm looking forward to doing, like getting my sewing machine running and making more cards.  And I'm wanting to make some foam stamps, something that Moira Richardson taught us in my art journaling class, Falling for You.  So many projects to try, so much to do!  

You can find the storybeader all over the internet:


Flickr , and on 

Facebook (personal and business)

Phew!  Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Creating a Blog Navigation Bar

You have most likely come across this situation; you like a blog post and want to look around but cannot find a HOME button or method of navigating around the site. You either have to mess with the URL or worse, you just leave the site.

navigation bar of this blog

A navigation bar is important to let your visitors search your site, it helps with clutter in valuable sidebar real estate, and it lets you decide what you want to showcase.The Blogging Business Artisans have five tabs on the navigation bar: Home, Challenges, Join, Members, and Contact. These important areas are at the top of the blog and do not have to fight a reader's attention with things in the sidebar.

But you need to have a HOME tab or button somewhere on your site.

Luckily, Rose of Random Creative, wrote a very thorough article on the importance of a navigation bar and the how-to. She has numerous links and resources highlighted so it is well worth checking it out!
Read the article here:

QUESTION: Is your site easy for readers to read and navigate? Are you sure?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Black Friday and Thanksgiving Weekend Sales

Shop Local. Shop Handmade. Get a great experience! Several members of the Blogging Business Artisans are having sales, discounts, free shipping, and other promotions during the 2011 Thanksgiving weekend. Gather up the wish lists and find terrific deals while supporting talented artisans. (Read their individual shop announcements for more details).


Miss Millificent's Mesdamoiselles: Odd Art Dolls Free Shipping (Friday-Monday)

N.Fallon Design(NFall2rt): Sale Section & Free Shipping
Cards up too:
Free Shipping use code FACEBOOKFAN


Discount: 10%
Effective Dates: Thursday, 11/23/11 thru Sunday, 11/27/11
Discount: 10%
Effective Date: Monday, 11/23/11

StoryBeader: Free Shipping November 25-December 25

ForLoveofCupcakes: Free Shipping Friday- Monday


BeadedTail:  Sale Section & Shop-Wide Free Shipping

Greenbead: 15% off - coupon code TAKE15

LindaB142: Free U.S. Shipping with purchases over $12 Must use Coupon Code TREASUREHUNT

Miss Millificent's Minis: Jewelry, Charms, Minis 50-75% off (going out of business due to carpal tunnel)

MysticWynd: Free Shipping and Daily Specials. Shoppers can also convo her prior to purchase for a unique coupon code that will give them a discount of up to 50%, determined at time of purchase.

N.Fallon Design(NFall2rt): Sale Section & Free Shipping (use code FACEBOOKFAN)

PruittDesign: Free Shipping Thurs-Sunday

RandomCreative:  Free Shipping with the code FREESHIP for the entire Black Friday/Cyber Monday long weekend. and Holiday Sale Section
sale section:

StoryBeader:  Free Shipping November 25-December 25


Discount: 10%
Effective Dates: Thursday, 11/23/11 thru Sunday, 11/27/11
Discount: 10%
Effective Date: Monday, 11/23/11

N.Fallon Design(NFall2rt): Sale Section & Free Shipping
Free Shipping use code FACEBOOKFAN

Happy Shopping and have a wonderful holiday weekend!
~Blogging Business Artisans

Monday, November 21, 2011

Reach Potential Customers with your Email Signature and a Winner

by Arosha Taglia
Do you have an email signature set up to automatically share your business name, tagline, and appropriate links? If you don't then you are missing a valuable (and free) opportunity to tell others what you do and how to find you.

A free marketing tool, email signatures that get my attention tend to have a call to action:
*Shop our holiday gift guide (add your link)
*Stay on top of specials. Join my email list (add your link here)
*LindaB142 has a great email signature in that she shares her different social marketing profiles:

Or email signatures have a memorable tagline:
*BeadedTail, Making Tails Wag One Bead at a Time

I tweak my email signature from time to time to see what gets the most response. Currently my shop email signature has both a tagline and a call to action.

~Create. Inspire. Change Your World.~
Artful Rising

AFRAID TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS? See how other creative entrepreneurs did it in a FREE ebook when you sign up for my Artful Rising newsletter. Receive weekly tips, creative inspiration, weekly challenges, and a free ebook.  Click HERE to subscribe or go to to sign up there.

My tagline is followed by my site name and then I have my call to action. I have words linked and even offer my website URL spelled out for those of us that prefer to cut and paste. When I send out my customer emails I find that many times my call to action (sign up for my newsletter) is responded to and I get a new subscriber. Or, I get an email asking for more information about what I do which is also great.

And in this current market where every cent matters, shouldn't you do something that is easy and free? Get that email signature created!

QUESTION: What do you include in your email signature?

And I want to let you know that the winner for the first BBA hosted giveaway of personalized wine glasses by Memories for Life is.....

Which was the lovely
 Congratulations! Please be sure to check back for more team hosted giveaways!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Features -- Birthday Celebration

Ah! I cannot believe my little girl is turning five! It seems like she was just born, the doctor placing her on my chest, and her lifting her head to look at me--I knew I was in trouble at that moment:)
This is in celebration of all pink-loving gals!

It is time to party!
Custom Word Album for the memories...
Memories for Life Scrapbooks and Engravings

Dollhouse Cake for a princess
Millificent's Minis  
Birthday Banner
Joosy Card Co
Custom Tennis Bracelet for the older birthday girl
Tie Dye Shirt for any artist
Splendid Little Stars

and we are never too old to wear a crown!
Little Pink Tractor

QUESTION: What does your birthday celebration look like?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Worktable Wednesday -- N. Fallon Design Studio

Lately I've been knitting up a storm.  You see, I've had this idea spinning around in my head for quite some time now.  I love to create bags and purses for people who love simplicity, much like me.  In my line already I have the coin purse, a tiny zipper pocket to store small wallet-like items.  I also have a clutch design, but I've been dreaming of something in between.  Finally, all of these thoughts came to fruition, and now I have a hybrid:

The result is a bit bigger than the coin purse at 6 inches wide by 4 inches deep, not quite as big as the clutch.  This product (yet to be named) will be more wallet-y than my coin purses, containing pockets and pouches inside to organize all of your wallet-y stuff.  It also swipes the wristlet from my clutches so that you can be free from a purse on those days that you want to carry just the bare essentials.  At the moment I'm still developing the wristlet component, which will be detachable to offer you the choice!

In summary, this is my most versatile product yet, able to serve as a wallet in your purse, or a simple purse outside of your purse;)

A note about their pattern/ color availability: I've got a dichotomy of design lines going on here.  The first will be my seasons collection including the color schemes show above titled "Fall" and "Spring".  I've also got colors worked out for winter and summer, and other patterns worked out for each color scheme, soon to be revealed!  The second collection that these little guys will be available in called Sparkle, my glamour line.  I'm making you wait to see anything from that one though, so stay tuned!


Find N. Fallon Design Studio on:  
Etsy  * Blog  *  Facebook  *  Twitter 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Artisan Spotlight -- Knit, Nicole, Knit!

7 Questions is our spotlight on our favorite artisans. Please welcome...
Nicole, creator of Knit, Nicole, Knit!

1. What do you sell in your shop?
I've been a seller since March, 2011. I sell hand knit accessories such as scarves, cowls, shawls and neck warmers. I've also been making button earrings, and selling quite a few of those.

2.  What is your favorite thing about etsy?
I absolutely love the variety of items on Etsy. Everything from socks to caramel to toys and clothes, if it's handmade, I can find it on Etsy. There are so many neat things I've discovered this way.

3.  What is your least favorite thing about etsy?
That I can't buy one of everything I see! Really though, my only major issue right now is the forums; I miss the old boards!

4.  What does your studio/workspace look like?

I don't currently have a dedicated studio. We are hoping to rearrange our apartment so one bedroom can be an office that we share. I have dreams of baskets overflowing with yarn, a wall covered in inspiring photos and bits of ephemera. As of right now, my studio is wherever I can take two sticks and some string and turn it into something. That can be the living room, a craft show, on the city bus or nearly anywhere else.

5.  What do you do to relax?
Believe it or not, I knit to relax. I am constantly knitting. My relaxation knitting usually consists of something for myself or a loved one. I sometimes treat myself to luxury yarns (angora, anyone?) and take my time finding a pattern I love.

6.  What accomplishments are you the most proud of?
Finally getting my butt in gear and opening the shop! My boyfriend has been hugely encouraging in that department. This past year has been a year of new things for me. The shop was opened in March, I participated in a fashion show, I will be submitting some knitted items into an art show and I learned lots of new knitting skills.
7. What are some of your goals for the next year?
I definitely want to reach 50 sales. That's my low-balling goal, I would do backflips if I reached 100. In addition, I want to get my items into a couple more stores. I am currently in one local shop, and I am in contact with a couple others.

Knit, Nicole, Knit! (Nicole): knits and button earrings

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Features -- Spice

November conjures up images of pumpkin pie, apple cider, and glorious colors of autumn leaves falling.

Cider Rum Punch Recipe
Verses from my Kitchen
Orange Vanilla Soap
DeShawn Marie soap

Live Your Truth Journal
Artful Rising
Wool Felt Brooch
Art Doll Bella Aylesworth SALE
Miss Millificent

Goldtone Ring with Gold Filigree
Tiramisu Cheesecake Recipe
Food Lovers Odyssey
QUESTION: What do you think of during the month of November?