Etsy Shop Homework

Turns out, one of the awesome unique things you can get in Etsy is...
Coaching for your Etsy shop!

First of all, stop by In Nonna's Kitchen on Etsy for the most interesting kitchen gifts. Seriously, there's personalized spices, teas, sauces..... But wait - there's more- Nonna is also an Etsy marketing coach!

The hardest part of working from home is that you are a one-man-band. There's no IT guy going to come when the printer jams, no secretary to take messages. Consider yourself extra lucky if you have home help like a gardener or a maid so that you get to focus your time on your business. You know what I mean.
So finding a marketing guru like Nonna, especially someone who understands Etsyland, is a very big deal to me.

Nonna really gets you thinking about your shop goals, and tailors her advice to meet your needs.
When I started in Etsy, there weren't all the fancy statistic and promotion tools that they have now. Turns out there were lots of new thing I hadn't taken time to keep up with. Nonna showed me how important these measurements really are.

Studying my shop stats for the first time, I felt like Steve Martin in The Jerk when he found his name in the phone book.
Examples? Yes, we have examples!

  • I wanted to quit FB. People don't talk there anymore, only "like," and never bother to link through. Or so I thought! Turns out my nice FB friends are my #2 traffic source.
  • Etsy has lots of tools that help promote shops, and they all work! Do spend time on profile page set-ups, others' FAVE lists, Treasuries (and I thought Treasury was just for fun;) and Teams.
  • As a librarian, I thought I was pretty good at Tags. After all, assigning search terms is what we do best;) In truth, I am pretty good at SEO. But Nonna, of In Nonna's Kitchen, showed me how Etsy has different algorithms than Google, and that not all Etsy shoppers think like librarians. I see now ways to adjust; more shotgun and less laser focus description.

Thanks, Nonna!

Personalized BBQ from In Nonna's Kitchen

Pattern Cover Up-Dos

Thanks to Library card, I got some Photoshop manuals....
Ta da! Better than the old pattern cover, right?
To celebrate the end of summer learning Photoshop [and the start of return to writing more new patterns!], we made a special new listing in our Etsy shop where you can get both RHQ patterns with their updated covers for one special price: RHQ Pattern Library
Tell Santa ;)

Bee Welcome

Speaking of Hospitality Symbols, here is a hexagon welcome quilt I designed in QuiltCanvas.
I hope it conveys a fun welcome message, and is equally fun to construct:)

The 10 pink alphabet fabric themed patches on the left side of pattern should be fussy cut with an alphabet fabric or embroidered to say, BEE (across) W-E-L-C-O-M-E (down).

QuiltCanvas is so clever, it gave me some fun choices for the bees' striped fabric from the "fabric database," and then I was able to spin the stripes in the right direction with the "Fill Manipulation" tool. [BTW when I signed in QuiltCanvas with my old Threadbias account, it had saved my stash fabrics from Threadbias!]
TIP-  How to make an EPP map in QuiltCanvas: 
Use the "Tiling" feature to make a row of hexagons, then copy and paste the row until you have a set of 4 rows, then copy and paste the set to complete your design size.

This project is for Paper Pieces 1" Hexagons (#HEX100) and will finish 26.5"W x 38"H.
If you would like a tutorial for hexagons, please try
Very Easy English Paper Piecing.

In addition to the 10 alphabet patches mentioned above, you will also need scraps for:

          • Sky    77
          • Pineapple    78
          • Border    66
          • Leaves    32
          • Bee Body     8
          • Bee Wings   8
          • Hive Door    6

Symbols of Hospitality

What says hospitality to you?
The correct answer, of course, is coffee.

As we begin the holidays here celebrating us - the Hostesses, I'm hunting for traditional symbols of hospitality. What do you recognize most as cozy, open door, a true sign of welcome?
  • wreath
  • pineapple
  • Quilt!!!
  • rocking chair
  • pie
  • watermelon
  • coasters
  • gift tags
  • canning jars
  • cupcakes
  • apron
Do you have a favorite theme or symbol I have missed? Is there a sign you associate with a time you felt most welcome? Have you made a welcome quilt?

For this Totally Tech Tuesday, here is a Treasury of Hospitality in Quilts
Always fun to see how quilts are used in artistic ways, and how many other arts reference quilting.

Bonus- here is another Treasury, More Hospitality Quilts,
just for quilt patterns with welcome themes:
Tomorrow we'll post a FREE hexagon quilt pattern with a welcome message!

Caroling Party Shout Out

Remember Christmas Caroling at Grandma's house? A little snow, everyone bundled up just to go out on the porch and listen to the carolers. Our Grandpa always spent the Autumn cooking crate loads of his old cowboy treat, homemade salt water taffy, as favors for trick-or-treaters and carolers. Sometimes caroling groups were lined up on the sidewalk, there wasn't even time to run back inside for hot cocoa! And we didn't care how many times we heard Jingle Bells, we were always ready to sing along.....

@SandyFowler brought back all those chilly cozy fun memories when she totally surprised me! calling out our Caroling Party Planning in her Podcast yesterday (link at Sandra Beck interview 8/31/15). 
Sandy ends each Heart Filled Holidays Monday morning Podcast with
Christmas Corner, my favorite feature of the whole showwhere Sandy makes sure we get a head start on holiday plans with fun projects and practical advice for updating and maintaining traditions. I'm so thrilled our tradition was mentioned here, Thank you, Sandy!! is my Pinterest Board of Caroling Party ideas for favors, treats, activities and decorations. I've updated the board with new invitation pins, just for "chiming in" ;) Please have a look, as all the pictures for this post are in there. I hope you will find some fun things for your holiday party planning.

And speaking of celebrating us- The Hostess, here is what I've learned from Sandy's book and podcasts about party planning:
  1. Start party planning with a theme, and start your theme with a really focused color. {The above oversized yard-sale mugs became the focus of my caroling party d├ęcor: purple and green plaid}
  2. You don't have to do it all yourself or all at once: pot-luck, assign helpers, consider what can be created in advance, make sure you have time to enjoy your own party! {As an introvert, for sure I'll be asking someone else to lead the singing.}
  3. Disasters will happen and they are not the end of the world, nor necessarily the end of the party. They may even become the best remembered of events;) No fear, Hostess!
You can "chime in" too! Have you hosted a Caroling Party? Remembrances of caroling traditions? Rules you follow for party planning? Or share your party planning board below!
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