Posts Tagged ‘blogs’

Top Ten Tuesday – NEW Blogs!

Well, over the last two weeks, as I have been getting more heavily into marketing, I’;ve discovered a BUNCH of great new blogs. So here goes:

More Design Please – great ideas! I’m seeing some great ideas – would love to do some serious purchasing…..Love these lasercut lamps!

 Another blog called Observatory Mansions – an ongoing discovery of all that is visual yet more than just visual (from the site) –

Ball Droppings – hours of fun, and be sure to have the sound on! The picture does not do it justice!

Mood music at your fingertips….StereoMood – just a small piece of moods!

From StumbleUpon I found this interesting article  Amazingly Creative Drawing vs. Photography. My art taecher friends tell me this is similar to a drawing exercise they have students do in finishing a photography. In a class with Lyric Kinard, we needed to extend the color on a postcard – very interesting attention to details!

Loads of tutorials and DIY projects at Craft Gossip:

Another cool DIY blog – 20 Awesome Do It Yourself Projects

25 Spectacular Movies You Probably Haven’t Seen – I think I’ve seen two on this list, but the Netflix queue is going to be filling up. Interesting plots……The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is one I’ve seen – A.MA.ZING. movie…..

Some pretty amazing paper sculpture – here’s Calvin’s Behance site.

While Banned Books Week has ended, I’m getting caught up with Letters of Note, and this is a marvelous letter by Pat Conroy concerning the banning of two of his books. Well stated, quite eloquent. If you don’t like a book, then don’t read it, but stay away from telling me what I can read myself.

Have a great week – let me know cool stuff that you find on line!

Monday Marketing – Creating a Schedule

It’s Monday again….and it seems like all I did was read, look at emails, and set up buttons and the like. This is the “time-sucker.” So my goal for this blog post is to try and identify what needs to be done each week for marketing and set up a kind of calendar to work with.

This is what I’m dealing with: Ebay, Etsy, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Cafe Press, Zazzle, newsletters, a website, lynda.com, flickr, and a blog. I am trying to avoid doing all of this every day, because nothing else seems to get done. I’m brainstorming as I write, with the hope that by the time this post is done, I will have a plan.

Ebay: hubby handles almost all of this, including postal trips. But…if we are going to increase sales, we need more product, and I would like to help with the actual marbling. So…..marbling weekly. I do need to update the About Me page…..

Etsy: the bulk of the organization is done. But…I need to be adding product on a regular basis, which means I need to keep making things. It would be nice to have one new product up each week, if not more often. One of the goals this week is to add some of the major artwork (even though I don’t expect to sell it on Etsy, it is more exposure) on the site, as the pictures are redone. I want to continue with the circles marketing, which, if I have enough products, could be done every day – 15 minutes for this. Plus, I need to keep working…….

LinkedIn: profile is done, and I have registered for several groups for business. I have found already difficulty in keeping up with reading emails each day from the groups and have already deleted one group. This week I will determine which groups look to be the most advantageous. I also need to complete the setting up of a profile of artwork.

Facebook: I read this several times a day. I have a fan page which needs serious work, as well as Art From The Heart, which is to support healing art after the Tucson shootings in January. I have added FB buttons to my blog and this week to my website. I have read the Terms and looked at all the privacy settings. I also went through the photo stream stuff for FB and fixed photos for both the personal and fan page. I need to really think through what is going to happen with the Fan Page.

Twitter: I am finishing a class from lynda.com on using Facebook and Twitter for business, and I highly recommend the site. For #25 you can choose different trainings all available for a month at your schedule. I picked up all kinds of little tips, most of which have already been implemented. But….and this is a BIG but….the time for tweets and what to tweet. By syncing a lot of the programs, my blog appears on Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, my tweets appear in a couple of places. I don’t think I can go further with this – the tweet button is on the blog and soon to be on the website. This is one area that needs some serious scheduling. Since I use TweetDeck (which is free…), I can schedule and keep track of who’s following and what is getting retweeted. So…I’m going to use Sundays for scheduling business tweets for the week, and I will look through the twitter feed once a day to see if there’s some good stuff to retweet.

Cafe Press: I have a site, a free one, so I am limited as to the number of products I can put up. I haven’t looked at this in several months and it needs serious work. To have a store isn’t much money each month, and I could have a lot more products available, but the issue is marketing and driving people to the site. I have some great digital stuff already to go, and I need to start planning around the holidays, reading about marketing through Cafe Press, and so on.

Zazzle: Ditto for Cafe Press……both are not a high priority right now.

Newsletters: oy, it’s been months since a newsletter went out, and I have all these contacts where nothing is happening. I used Constant Contact last year for a few months, until I couldn’t keep up with the demands and school at the same time. I was happy with it, but disappointed that not many people actually read it. I need to go back to a newsletter and offerings at least once every three weeks, and more during the holiday seasons. I need to check out Mail Chimp, which is free, and I have heard people have good luck with it. I’ll try and make this a priority this week.

Website: Most of the changes to the website have been made by my wonderful web lady Suzan. I need to get a couple of buttons set up, and then do something about newsletters and contacts. I also have some pages to add on Digital Marbling (TN), and I need to evaluate “print on demand” for artwork. This is a “need to think about” topic…..

lynda.com: I have until Friday to finish my month of training. I still need to finish Twitter, and I want to get the html newsletter course done. I am not going to continue with Dreamweaver because it isn’t a priority.

Flickr: I have photos up, not all of them with copyrights, and there is a class on lynda.com if I have time. I’m not really sure what I want to do here….

And finally, my blog, Marbled Musings. I went a bunch of months with no new writing, and I’m at maybe three times a week. I need to get back to at least four times a week, and eventually every day. I have plenty to write about…and I need to stay up with my Google reader – as well as comment more on some of the posts. This is probably the biggest area for marketing that I have to schedule.

Weekly:

* Marbling fabric

* Work on Etsy products

* Sewing and other design

Mondays:

* Add Etsy product

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read newsletters from LinkedIn groups

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog post Monday Marketing

* Google reader and at least three comments

Tuesdays:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog post Top Ten Tuesday

* Google reader and at least three comments

Wednesdays:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read newsletters from LinkedIn groups

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog Work in progress Wednesday

* Google reader and at least three comments

Thursday:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog – Thursday Thoughts

* Google reader and at least three comments

Fridays:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read newsletters from LinkedIn groups

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog Photoshop Friday

* Google reader and at least three comments

Saturdays:

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog posting on Specials

* Google reader and at least three comments

Sundays:

* Read Twitter feed

* Schedule Tweets for the week (i.e. Etsy, Ebay…)

* Blog Sunday Stories

* Google reader and at least three comments

Goals for next week:

* FINISH LYNDA.COM

*Update “About Me” page on Ebay

* Update Etsy products, especially note cards

* Evaluate how calendar is working

* See if buttons are added to the website

* Decisions on what will happen with the Facebook Fan page

* Long-term thoughts – what to do with CafePress and Zazzle

* Read and decide about Mail Chimp for a newsletter

* Spend some time thinking about what the website still needs….

Okay, I think I have a handle on this…we’ll see next week as I evaluate how the week goes. And…I’m taking some online classes!

Thoughts??

Top Ten Tuesday – Cool Stuff on the Web

It’s Top Ten Tuesday again….seems like it was just a day or so when it was Tuesday…that’s what happens during the school week – time usually goes so fast! Some interesting stuff this week gleaned from the blogs I read each week. Enjoy!

The Top 75 Art Blogs – some interesting stats here  -I am hoping to discover a couple of new ones to read.

Alyson Stanfield of ArtBiz always has great ideas and hints on her blog – this one in particular – photographing your art on  a wall so potential buyers can see what it would actually look like.

Tara Reed at Art Licensing asks the question Do You Need a Password Protected Portfolio? Something I had never thought about, and it’s certainly worth pondering.

BBC has done some spectacular work on the planet and the environment. We were enthralled with Planet Earth and then fell in love with Galapagos. This site has some amazing photography.

I am rapidly falling in love with Daily Grommet. This time it’s heated or cooled stadium seats…..

Dumb Little Man – once again so much stuff I never knew existed…it would have bee wonderful to have had this note-taking ability when I was doing my thesis (as it was, thank goodness for word processing…).  Eight Awesome Tools for taking notes.

I love Vicki Welsh’s dyed fabrics. She posts some incredible designs and combinations of colors. Hop on over to her blog ad then her Etsy shop.

The Best Article Every Day has at least one bonus each week that I love. This one is about the poster at the bottom of the article….which I particularly loved this week, as it seemed like my algebra students didn’t really want to do any math this past week.

I am slowly becoming a fan of science fiction movies, and I must confess a Trek fan for a long while (although not as obsessed as I probably could be…).  Also from Best Article Every Day, 5 big budget films that understand actual science.

And again from The Best Article every Day – 25 websites to download free photos. We all need this for our blogs. Send me some good stuff to surf!!!

Top Ten Tuesday – Cool Blog Visits

It’s been interesting keeping up with the web, now that I am back at school full time. This weekend I had a chance to get caught up with my regular followers, and once again some really cool stuff. Enjoy!!

The Textile Blog had three really cool things this week….I am fond of William Morris prints, especially some of his flowers. This one just seems to have some really exceptional symmetry. I love the colors, the repetition, the geometry – everything!

Next is Owen Jones and Horse Chestnut leaves, from The Grammar of Ornament. These are so different, simple yet complex in design. These are just visually pleasing to me.

And still from The Textile Blog, some tapestry work from the 19th century that is very “quilty.”

If you haven’t been reading the Textile Blog, its concentration is “Among the subjects covered are printed, woven and knitted textiles, as well as rug, tapestry, quilting, embroidery, lace, and basketry design. It also includes a culturally diverse approach to the history of textile design across the globe.” And there are contemporary designers also features.

I loved The Good Earth by Pearl Buck. Born in China of missionary parents, she spent a lot of later years in Vermont. When I was surfing concerning another book, I came across this one:

This is the story of Buck’s early years in China, and her parents seem typical of missionaries at the time. I want to read this, and then revisit The Good Earth yet again. I read a lot about China, modern and ancient. A year ago I read a woman’s story of her, her mother under Mao, and her grandmother as a concubine before the revolution. Really a great story by Jung Chang called Wild Swans.

I don’t read a lot of education blogs much any more, but The Fugleblog caught my eye. Here’s a teacher incorporating all kinds of technology into her art classes, and I would love to learn some of this! Check out how she gets the kids involved in building on an art lesson.

I am exploring Spoonflower‘s print-on-demand fabrics. I had designed some possible fabrics here, and then two weeks ago I took advantage of their free swatch day. I wanted to check out the quality of cotton, plus see how my design would look. Well, I liked the quality, but I learned that my design was way too intense to translate well into fabric. I need to do some more work on that. But in Fiber Focus, there’s a tutorial on creating your designs to print at Spoonflower. Here’s one as an example:

This is a complex design, and yet it’s much simpler than what I had, as you can see if you check the previous blog post.

Alyson Stanfield at ArtBizBlog has yet another helpful tip: promoting your art in Slideshare. This looks to be another way to have a portfolio on line.

Well, only seven – I lied. I’m pooping out, and it’s only Tuesday…gotta go mark papers……

The Power of Music and Dance

It doesn’t look to be smooth sailing for this year at school, with an extremely difficult class of students. After a very upsetting day and a really rotten mood, I read through Facebook to find a collection of dances from movies. I watched it twice, it made me feel that good. Then I went to my guilty summer pleasure of So You Think You Can Dance and watched Alex Wong with some ballet clips and his amazing hip hop.

I feel lots better. I’m still grumbly, but the mood has broken somewhat. I can watch great dance, listen to amazing music, read a great book, and look at some amazing art and feel so much better. I think the only thing that is going to save me this year is working on fiber art as many evenings as I can. Then I can focus on the stitches and the design decisions and forget about unpleasant children who don’t realize how many people in the world would give anything for a free education. (Okay, political rant done….)

That said, I finished up last night on the bamboo piece and got the jpgs sent on their way. Here’s a sneak peek:

I am very pleased – now to go start something else….

Top Ten Tuesday – Interesting Blogs

It’s been a busy couple of weeks back at school, and I really miss not being able to write and surf the net. But I did get a chance to catch up on some of my most favorite blogs, so here’s a sampling. Enjoy!

Anne over at El Milagro Studio had an unexpected visitor at her house. You need to read the full adventures of Milo from the beginning – guaranteed to make you smile and chuckle like crazy! Start with the August 17 entry….

Alyson Stanfield has great advice over at ArtBiz. This time it’s “always make the best art.” Absolutely – that should be our goal as we struggle to combine art-making and marketing. If you’re not reading her blog, hop on over and subscribe. She has great info.

You might want to check out Artwork of the Day from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s fun to see what gets picked for the day, and you have a virtual tour of some great masterpieces.

From Blurberati, “A Lesson in Fearlessness.” A great entrepreneur story for us all. “How did she get from being ‘an artist at heart’ to one of the most successful female entrepreneurs in San Francisco generating $45million in revenue in 2009 and shipping 1.2 million books to more than 60 countries?” Plus, check out all that Blurb does…

Also from Blurb –  The Secret of Perfect Page Design – very interesting, and so math – Love it!!

I just found The Daily Grommet – to find an article on recycled crayons – very cool idea and so green. Plus, the stars have 5 sharp points to them….outstanding.

I love Cool Hunting – they find the most amazing – and ODD – things. Ya just never know what’s going to come up on their radar….like frozen compost containers….

Dumb Little Man is also a fun site to follow, with loads of practical lists – like 5 Surefire Ways to Strengthen Your Willpower

I discovered some great photography at JPG Mag. Check out Defying Physics.

Over at Productivity501 is a great article on Money Myths.

What have you found on line this week? Drop my a note with some new URLs for us to check out next week.

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