Friday, June 29, 2007

A "Small" Obsession!

I'm beginning to think that besides having an obsession with dolls, crafts, genealogy, floral crafts, and books that I have an obsession with "things that are small."

Now you might wonder what I mean by that - well, I mean objects that are "miniature, tiny, and smaller than normal."

Why would I think this? Well, for example, I love dolls, especially "small" dolls. In fact I got bored with sewing clothes for myself and switched to "doll" clothes. Why? Because they were "small" and took less time.

My dog is "small" and I have always loved "small" dogs.

I have an obsession with shoes - especially "miniature" shoes. Why? because they're "small."

I love creating ornaments or "ornies!" Why? You guessed it - because they're "small."

I like the "tiny" post-its the best.

My cell phone has to be "small" as does my digital camera.

And, here's the best one, my husband is actually "smaller" than I am. I'm about 2 inches taller than he is.

So, am I "small" obsessed?

You might think so if you had been with my Mother and I the last time we went to the bookstore. I, of course, found lots of doll and craft books that I just had to add to my collection.

And, then I found the "small" display of 3 x 3 x 1 1/4" boxes. They were the cutest, most adorable, display of tiny little boxes filled with tiny books, craft projects, and other items. I was there for an hour just looking at them and laughing my head off. I can't imagine what everyone must have been thinking about this 5'10" woman laughing her head off about a display of "small" boxes and books.

Oh well, I had a grand time. That is, until my Mother came over and said, "Linda, that's enough - let's go!" Even though I'm well past the age when my Mother can tell me what to do - and I do mean well past the age - I dutifully said, "Yes, Mother!" So, I picked up the 3 little boxes that I wanted and went to find a register.

I hope you're wondering by now which 3 "small" boxes I chose. If you are, here's the ones I decided to buy and why.

Why do I like it? Because it has the cutest little gnome inside and a tiny little book all about gnomes. Now I know that some people can't stand garden gnomes and some people can't get enough of them. I, personally, just love the little gnome and gnome history book. Maybe he'll bring me good luck. I'll have to put him on the top of my monitor for good "gnome" luck.

Fairy Fancies contains a tiny little paper fairy with two sheets of clothing and accessories to dress your fairy by and a tiny little book on "fairy folklore." I was thinking of giving this to one of my granddaughters as she is "fairy obsessed" but have decided to keep it for me. It just the cutest little "paper fairy." Maybe I'll put her next to my gnome on the top of my monitor. Then I'll have "gnome and fairy" luck.

Now you might wonder why I wanted this little box about calligraphy. Well, I have loved calligraphy and have wanted to try it for a long time. I've just never had the time to so so. Add that to a long list of crafts I want to try. In any event, I was intrigued by the tiny little history of calligraphy book inside the box. It also contained a few sheets of paper, a tiny calligraphy pen, and a tiny bottle of ink. I thought, maybe I could read about the history of calligraphy and give it a "tiny" try. Hmmmm..... Maybe not! So, my tiny bottom of ink and calligraphy pen are sitting right next to my gnome and fairy.

Reminders of things I'd like to learn and my "small" obsession.

Oh, well. There are worse things in life than a "small" obsession. Now if I could just get my Mother to go to the bookstore again I could get some more "small" boxes.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The #1 Mistake of Crafters With Blogs!

I have been blogging for awhile now and have reviewed a lot of blogs for my "I Love Crafts and Craft Blogs" blog and for my "Top Blogs By Crafters Toplist." In doing so I have noticed something that I consider to be the #1 mistake of crafters with blogs.

More often than not I will come across a terrific blog by a phenomenal crafter who has a blog and maybe a website and is selling their wonderful creations on the Internet. I don't know about all of you, but if I'm thinking of buying something from a small business crafter on the web I usually want to know more about whom I may be dealing with. Or, I might have a question that I want to ask them about their creation.

So, I usually try to find something out about the blogger by looking at their "profile", their "About Me" page, or maybe a post about themselves. Sometimes there is some wonderful information about the blogger and crafter, sometimes not. However and here's the number 1 mistake of crafters with blogs - more often than not, they don't include their email address in their profile or anywhere on their blog. Sometimes they don't even include it on their website. Without the email address it is impossible for the blog customer to get in touch with the crafter. Translation - no sale - lost business.

If I'm really interested in buying something from the blogging crafter I might try and see if they have listed their website in their blog profile or listed it on the sidebar of their blog. Sometimes their website link is included in their profile and sometimes it is very visible and at the top of the sidebar, which is great. Other times it requires searching for it. At this point I think the average blogging customer would just give up.

However, since I really want to buy the product and have a question I continue searching to see if they have a website. If they do have one then, again, I look to see if they have an email address or a "contact me." Sometimes they do, and sometimes not.

What I am always amazed at is that not only is their a lack of an email address on the blog, but the blogging crafters doesn't even put their name on their blog. If you are anything like me (and I suspect most customers are) I won't buy from someone on the web who doesn't list their email address, their name or business name, their street address, and their phone number. It's one thing to buy from huge retail stores with a website. It's another to buy from a small business crafter. For the latter the customer has to feel confident that they will receive the product they are paying for and confident with whom they are dealing with. By not including this information you promote a lack of confidence in the customer for buying from you.

Now I know you'll say that you don't include you email address on your blog and your name because you don't want to be inundated with spam mail and don't want everyone on the Internet to know who you are. That is totally understandable for a personal blog. However, if you are blogging to help your small crafting business generate sales that is a major mistake. By trying to prevent unwanted spam email you prevent the very customer you are trying to entice from contacting you.

I list my email address and my main web page in the "Contact" information of my blog profile. I also have a separate article post in all my blogs that contains more information about me. There is a link to this post in the sidebar of my blogs just under my profile information. So, if the blogging customer wants to find out more about me they have all the information they need right at hand. I also list my email address, business name, business location, and business phone number in all the "Contact" information links of my websites.

So, if you want blogging customers to not only read your blog but buy your products then provide them with the means to get in touch with you.

Copyright © 2007 - All Rights Reserved - Written Linda Walsh of Linda Walsh Originals and Linda's Blog. Linda is a doll maker and doll pattern designer.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Husbands & Wives, Brothers & Sisters, Grandma's & Grandpa's

"It's not right! It's just totally unfair, Linda." exclaimed Peter - The Primitive Farmer. "We're hard working and, well, we are responsible for rearing the next generation aren't we? Surely that entitles us to our own category, doesn't it?"

Linda really didn't have time for this now, but Peter was such a likable and hard-working farmer that she had to talk to him about this. He was clearly very upset by this so she said, "Well, I don't know Peter. You are extremely hard-working and, yes, you and your wife, Margaret - The Dutiful Farmer's Wife, are responsible for rearing the next generation. It's just that this category business could really get out of hand! Let me think about it for a minute."

"Okay, Linda," Peter replied, "I have to water my vegetable garden. I'll be back in two minutes and you can let me know what you've decided. Okay?"

"Okay, Peter. I'll let you know in two minutes."

Well, Linda knew she had to think quickly. Peter - The Primitive Framer was not only hard-working, but he was extremely punctual and would be back in exactly two minutes.

"So, what's the big deal if I add another category called "Husbands & Wives" to my website?" she asked herself. " What's the harm?"

"I already have "Brothers & Sisters" and "Grandma's & Grandpa's." What's one more category?"

So, she thought about it and decided she would add this one category for Peter. But, she decided that's it. She was NOT going to add "Aunts & Uncles", "Mothers & Daughters", "Fathers & Sons", "Grandparents and Grandchildren", or "Friends and Foes." It could get downright ridiculous and she wasn't going to allow that to happen. But, Peter was such a hard-working farmer and he and his wife, Margaret, hardly ever asked for anything. She'd do this for Peter - but, no one else.

Well, just as she had predicted Peter was back in exactly two minutes. "Have you decided, Linda"Peter asked.

"Well, yes I have, Peter," Linda replied, "and I'm going to create a "Husbands & Wives" category just for you. You are so hard-working and never ask for much so I will do this for you. But, Peter, you MUST make it clear to the other "dollies" in "The Dollie Storage Room" that this is it. There will be no more categories created. OKAY?"

"OKAY! OKAY! I'll make it clear," Peter responded, "to all the other dollies. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. You won't regret this, Linda. You're a good woman. You've got a good soul, you're beautiful, you're .......

"That's enough, Peter," Linda interrupted, "I get the picture! Off with you now."

"Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, Linda," Peter kept saying as he ran over to tell his wife Margaret.

Linda knew this was probably a BIG mistake. To give in to one "dollie" was ALWAYS a problem. The other "dollies" were just so jealous. They could never be happy for a fellow "dollie," They always had to think of themselves first. Jealousy amongst "dollies" is not a pretty thing. It can get downright vicious and Linda knew it. She had seen it first hand. But, she didn't want to think about that now. As Scarlett would say, "I'll think about that tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow is another day!"

Surely, nothing would happen right away. Or would it?

Monday, June 11, 2007

An Obsession With Brothers and Sisters! No Way!

My husband thinks I have an obsession. Then again, he thinks I have many obsessions. My primary being dolls and doll making. My secondary begin genealogy, my third being books, and my fourth being floral design. He wishes I had an obsession with housecleaning.

He told me this while moving my books, yet again, from one bookcase to another yesterday. You see, my brother had made me some more bookcases for my doll and craft books and I wanted to get them all sorted and organized by category. I know that does sound obsessive.

In any event along with my obsession with books he told me he thinks I have an obsession with "brothers & sisters!" I asked them why he thought that and he said, "Just look at ALL 200+ of the dolls you just made and tell me how many of your NEW dolls and soon to be doll e-patterns are "brothers & sisters." So, I of course, went to count and prove him wrong. I hadn't made that many NEW "brothers & sisters" - or had I?

Well, I started to count. YIKES! The number was getting up there. I started to move backwards and, of course, backed right into hubby.

He stood there with a look I know you all are familiar with. It says "told you so!" without even saying so. My response, which I sure is your response too, was a look that said "SO! So what!"

He just smiled and left the room. He was satisfied he was right - once again.

To my obsession I say, "So what! I come from a big family. I have 3 brothers and 1 sister, 3 sisters-in-law, and 1 brother-in-law. That's a LOT of brothers and sisters don't you think? Just one BIG happy family. Maybe that's why my doll creations reflect so many brothers and sisters.

However, I know it has to do primarily with my older brother and I. You see we are "Irish twins." He's 10 months older than I and I never have known a time without him. We were like "two peas in a pod" growing up. He, of course, always got me in trouble. I would have been the "perfect" child if it wasn't for him. I can hear my Mother reading this now. "Yeah, sure, Linda! Guess again," she'd say "dream on!"

In any event I figure my obsession isn't necessarily about "brothers & sisters" as it is about "pairs." For every "ying" there's a "yang." After all I do have quite a few NEW "Grandma's & Grandpa's," too. And, don't forget the NEW "Husbands & Wives." PAIRS! I'm obsessed with pairs.

In thinking about my NEW doll pattern designs I began to wonder if I was going to have a problem with my existing groups of "Brothers & Sisters", "Grandma's and Grandpa's", and "Husband's and Wives." So, I thought I'd be preemptive and showcase these three groups of doll patterns and handmade dolls & crafts before I had a "dollie" riot coming out of "The Dollie Storage Room!"

The dolls won't have anything to complain about if I showcase them before I promote my new doll designs and new handmade dolls. After all, I'm still a few months away from finishing all my new designs so there's plenty of time for showcasing everyone else now. Wouldn't you agree? I hope the "dollies" do?

Stay tuned.....