Friday, December 19, 2014


If you missed last nights show, then the title of this post won't make any sense.
But if you did catch last nights show, you should at least be giggling.
Now if you want to be "in" on the joke, here's last nights show.
We started out with some business discussions, promoting your shops and items, Boxing Day, and more.
Then we showed off some crafty stuff.  
Bethan took some doilies from Chameleon
added some rhinestones from Rhinestones Etc.
and totally blinged out a jean jacket.  It looks so good!!!
There is so much you can make with doilies and rhinestones, and we are even having a giveaway of some doilies and bag of stones.
Then came the wing wing wing trick.
No I won't tell you the joke here, you need to watch it.
So silly you can't help but laugh!

We have a few new shops her at The CraftStar that I would like to share with you.  We are growing every day!

Look at this!  Midnight Lace Chain and Swarovski Elements Filigree Pendent with matching earrings from Eclectic Chic Jewelry Designs.

You can never have enough supplies, and beads are my downfall.  I have a wall of beads in my art studio, just hanging there so I can look at them and be inspired.  And there is a new supply shop on site called Royal Gems and Supplies and that's where you can get these amazing blue stripe turkey turquoise strand of beads.

I can't remember the last time I saw tatting...outside of living history program.  Now there is a whole shop of tatting...
Look at this red pentagon necklace.
Such delicate work.

I bet you would be the only one at the Independence Day celebration with this totally cool Red, White, and Blue glass bottle pendent from Jinxxed Chaos.

Rhonda...this one is for you.
(Watch out Myrna).

That's is for today, now it's your turn.  Visit the new shops, and watch the show so you'll understand the inside silly jokes.

Have a wonderful week celebrating and relaxing and visiting with family.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

What's Up For Discussion Tonight

Tonight will be our last live show for 2014, and boy do we have some great ideas to discuss.  Here's a sneak preview...

What do you get when you take a little bit of this and a little bit of that?
Well, if you're the creative type, you may get something AWESOME.  Bethan did, so join us tonight to see what she created with some doilies from Chameleon and bling from Rhinestones Etc.  

We will also be talking about post holiday marketing and sales, will customers continue to shop or take it easy?  And are we ready?  What do we need to get ready to finish 2014 on a high note and be ready to tackle 2015?

The day after Christmas is also know as Boxing Day, and it is THE largest on line sales day of the year...even bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Here is some information that Rhonda found...
The following information is from Experian : 
For the sixth consecutive year, Boxing Day 2013 was the single biggest online shopping day of the year, with UK Internet users making 129 million visits to retail websites and setting a new daily retail visits record in the process.
With online traffic to retail websites increasing by 15% between 2012 and 2013, we predict that Boxing Day 2014 will continue this trend and will once again set records as the biggest online shopping day of the year.
The chart above is from Digital Strategy Consulting and the whole article is very interesting and worth a read.

I will also be expanding our discussion on the show with step by step posts on how to get your shop ready and totally AMAZING for the post holiday shopping spree.  We'll look at our banners and avatars, shop greetings, shop and shipping policies, coupons, categories, and everything else.  So be sure to follow this blog either with GFC or Bloglovin.  You can find the buttons on the side bar.

If you have a particular question that needs answering, leave it here in the comment and we'll do our best to help you.
And don't forget to catch the live show tonight....

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tags..What Are They and Why Should I Care

If you are an creative small business owner, you should care about tags because outside of very expensive and detailed concentrated advertising, it is the tags you use that will help you and your items to be discovered.
Now, let the class begin.

1.)  What is a tag?
A tag is a detailed description of an item, blog post, or web site.  It could be as simple as the color, and as complex as the material and use of the item.  It is the tag that any search engine uses to match up your item with a potential customer.  So you can never have too many tags on each listing in your shop.
(Do not confuse an item tag, with a title tag, which is a whole different animal, and a whole separate lesson.)

2.)  Common tags.
Of course you want to include these as tags.
item (scarf, toy, quilt)
color (red, yellow, blue)
size (small, medium, large)
material (yarn, paint, beads)
technique (crochet, knit, wire wrapping)

3.) Detailed tags.
Don't forget to expand on your common tags.
ruffled scarf, stuffed animal, bed quilt
burgundy, lemon, turquoise
choker, matinee, one size fits most
worsted weight yarn, oil paint, lampwork beads
popcorn stitch, cable stitch, metal work

Here's a few helpful links to get more detailed tags...
thesaurus / color thesaurus

4.) Overlooked and forgotten tags,
your shop name
shop catergories (accessories, children, home decor)
holiday (Christmas, Easter, birthday)
item uses (cleaning, gifts, beauty)
recipient of item (women, men, children, pets)

5.) Detail tags.
Every item is unique in one way or the other, expand on that.  Use item specific tags that a customer might use to find a particular item.  If your listing a stuffed animal that is a red cow, use red cow in your tags.  Use multiple word tags as well as single word tags.
red, cow, toy, stuffed animal can also be..
crochet red and white stuffed cow.

The best way to think of great tags is to think like your perfect customer.  When you look at your item, what do you see, and use that to create tags.  And create lots of them.  The possibilities are endless, and so are your tags.

You will find the tag section when you list or update an item, and be sure to separate your tags with a comma so it isn’t just one long run on sentence.

Here's a few more links to help you on your way to becoming a tag expert.
The CraftStar how to page on tags and titles.
And of course there are all sorts of helpful videos on The CraftStar TV.

Here's a fun and easy tip, you can use your favorite tags as hashtags, and your favorite hashtags as tags.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

TCS Artist Feature - Meet Elsie Vrendenburg from Quilts by Elsie

"oh, the weather outside is frightful"
What do you need when the temperature drops?  A beautiful quilt, and you won't find any quilts more beautiful than the quilts at Quilts By Elsie.

I asked Elsie a few questions so we could all get to know this artist even better.

 Where, when, how did you learn your craft?

"My dad's mother made quilts and she lived with us when I was in high school.  One day she announced, "You and I are going to make a quilt."  I don't remember being overly excited about it, but my mother encouraged me, Grandma needs to be needed."
Speaking as a Gramma, I can totally agree.  There is nothing better than passing on a talent or hobby, and spending wonderful time with your loving grandchildren.

Check out this amazing and colorful bed quilt, The Misfits.
Elsie was looking through her pile of "orphan" quilt blocks, and created this fun and funky twin size bed quilt.

 Tell us a little about your family life...married, kids, pets, etc.

"I've been widowed for 16 years.  3 children, all married, 8 grandchildren, ages 16-29.  4 great grands, ages 1 1/2 to 6.  No pets, nothing I have to feed or clean up after (except when I watch the great-grands, and that's temporary)"

Tell us a little bit about where you, farm, suburb.

"Rural Michigan, about 10 miles from Cadillac.  I have about 15 acres, of which I rent a little bit to a neighboring farmer, have a garden, a big lawn (riding lawn mower) and a big hill which is wooded, an old orchard, which produces old variety apples (if the frost or the worms don't get them).  I can and freeze what I can from my garden and orchard."
Ah, green acres is the place for me!  As a fellow country girl, I have to admit to a little jealousy for all the acreage. lol

Elsie's quilts are not just functional, they are art!  And if you are a city slicker with a country bumpkin heart, you can hang up this wall quilt, Along the quilt trail.

  Share a story / memory of your childhood. 

"I went to a one-room country school through 6th grade, walked 1 3/4 miles to school.  I absolutely hated going into town to school in the 7th grade.  It took me a while to adjust, after being in a class of 3 kids."
How cool is that?  I bet kids today would "just die" if they had to walk to school. lol

I asked Elsie to pick a favorite piece from her shop, and the piece she picked is also my favorite from her shop, a wall hanging titled Heartsong.
She chose this quilt because she said it was probably the most challenging one she ever made.
The colors and curls and hearts and flowers just take my breath away.

And her favorite item from another shop at The CraftStar?  This steampunk butterfly necklace from Steampunk Beadery.  When asked why this was her favorite, she said that it just appealed to her.  It does to me too. 

Now it's time for you to check out more from Quilts by Elsie, she not only creates wonderful bed and wall quilts, but she also offers patterns, quilt magnets and postcards, and quilted bags.  A plethora of quilted items.  And Elsie is offering free shipping on everything in her shop, that's a great deal!

You can also find Elsie here...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Let's Do Some Shopping

Today I thought we would just spend some time window shopping on 
The CraftStar.  Let's see what I found...

first, for your little princess.

Isn't this ruffle halter dress simply adorable???  I love the bright colors and ruffle upon ruffle upon ruffle.  You'll find this at Designsbybarb.

And the large size of this boutique pink and green bow by Sew Sweet is just sweet.

Here is something every budding artist needs, and roll to carry their tools, and this pirate theme crayon roll does just that, and this boys gecko shirt is artsy in it's own right.  I found both of these at Bubble Boy Boutique.

And every child has a special loved one...their pet...

Every dog needs to be a fashionista, and  Dog Supplies by Sew N Sew can deck out your 4 legged friend in style, like this fleece coat.

And if your pet is even smaller, how about a crochet rodent house from CraftCoalition?

Now that I've got your attention, click on a link and do some shopping for yourself.  You won't be disappointed.