Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ramblin Rose

I missed blogging yesterday due to technical difficulties (storm knocked out electricity) so today as is my Saturday norm I've compiled a beautiful treasury.

'Ramblin Rose' by crememagnolia

Romantic Getaway Weekender -...

Wonderful shabby chic hand a...

Handmade broken china Mosaic...

Pink, White and Yellow Roses...

Pink Bunny Wreath - Perfect ...

Dried Rose Pomander Ornamen...

h o n e y s u c k l e - pink...

NEW LISTING Heart Felt Roses...

In the Rose Garden - Tsumami...

Marie Antoinette Romantic So...

Cottage English Roses - 5 x ...

Lilac Rose Vegan Handmade So...

Orchid Rose Garden Tapers - ...

Shabby Rose Easter Egg Quilt...

Shabby Chic Pink Flower & Ri...

PDF 505: Layers of Ruffles C...

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

Don't forget to stop by my CremeMagnolia Etsy store to see all lovely items discounted 20% for the month of May!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tax time or Procrastinate Time?

Is it Tax Time or Procrastinate Time? I'm one of the latter! For whatever reason I absolutely hate putting our tax records together in some semblance of order so our accountant can make sense of it. I look for reasons, any kind of reason to put off until the last very minute dragging out the scraps of paper that comprise our tax return.

Every year I vow to keep better records, and every year I spend hours digging through envelopes, files and computer just to submit a coherent, accurate return. I know I miss deductions but I figure if I'm ever audited I can add them later. It's sort of a tax savings account...just in case.

This is one annual task that is totally within my purview and my husband just doesn't get my procrastination. He doesn't understand why January 1st I'm not diligently working on our taxes. It's hard to explain so I don't even try...I just keep making excuses.

Yes I've already filled out my planner, compiled my papers and sent everything to my accountant but I really doubt the return can be completed in time. Geesh, you would think that since we have a few extra days this year I would/could make the deadline. But there is the fact that my account DOES have other clients.

So it is with this blog this morning that I urge my fellow procrastinators to get off your duff, drag out those deduction scraps and put them to work! I did it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What I can live with and without during a Storm

This week our area suffered torrential rain storms and tornado's which caused us to be without electricity for many hours. During this time it gave me pause to think about all the things I could live with and without (more the latter than the former).


I am a coffe'aholic and readily admit to being a coffee snob. Since I'm the only one in the house that drinks coffee I think it's one indulgence we can afford. Without electricity coffee isn't possible.

I am addicted to my heating pad. It gets my sore bone going in the morning; soothes my muscles in the evening and anytime I'm cold I crank up the heating pad. No electricity, no heating pad!

The microwave is one if not my most favorite kitchen appliances since it is the the largest needed appliance to heat up my coffee. I rarely use it for anything else! Alas, no electricity no coffee no need for a microwave.

While my computer (laptop) has power when it's out in the rest of the house, if I have no Internet access I nearly develop a case of the vapors! Think about it, no news, no checking my Etsy Store, no gazing at my PayPal account and no blogging! I can live without the television but the computer with Internet access is almost more than I can stand...and I didn't have access for almost two days!


I can live without television and don't even have a problem with lights (we do have a stockpile of candles) but given that I love to do laundry, that's out too!

Electricity literally controls the things I can't live without - or better said,the things I love. What did people do before Internet, heating pads, coffee pots and microwaves? I remember when we didn't have these things but that didn't make the hours tick away any faster.

All I can say is that when all my "loves" came back to me I was a very happy woman.

Don't forget to check out my CremeMagnolia Etsy store as everything is discounted 20% for the month of April.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dogs and Cats are like Children

My husband just got home from a vacation in Oregon. Notice I said "HE" just went on vacation and not "WE" went on vacation? Due to the fact that we have two cats and a dog, all with distinct personalities and quirks, someone has to stay home with the "kids."

We actually tried to find someone to house/pet sit two months before the Oregon trip but all the applicants bowed out when they met our pets!

We have one cat that lives to go outside - 300 times a day. She is mentally ill in that she wants in and out between snacks - which occurs from the time everyone wakes up on the morning until we go to bed.


Our second cat has no front claws and cannot go outside. However, he is black, stealthy and likely to fool an inexperienced "sitter." Since we open the door 300 times a day for the mentally ill cat there is a very high likelihood that he make make his way out the door. He also tends to spend his nights howling if anything changes in his world. Typically it's when I'm not around.

The little dog is quite another story. We call her the Velcro dog! She weighs 9 pounds and if there is a lap to be had she's in it! She also watches television - I mean really watches it. That means that if she sees a dog or cat (and you would not believe how many they are in commercials and network television in general) she launches into a barking frenzy! We've tried everything to break this annoying habit but she just loves to watch television.

So as quirky as our animals are, no one is up to the task of taking care of them while WE are on vacation!

It's really too bad because I'm going to Mexico in June and my husband has to stay home with the KIDS!


Don't forget to stop by my CremeMagnolia Etsy Store to check out my 20% discount for the month of April!

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools Day!

Well here it is April, and April Fools day at that. It also happens to be my 20 something wedding anniversary! So I was thinking, what could I do in my CremeMagnolia Etsy Store that would be a great celebration for the month of April? I was in the shower and it came to me! I am offering a lay-away plan for all my antiques and photography! Don't know why I never thought of it before.

I have loads of traffic in my store (well March was a great month)and I feel that during these times, while shoppers may want to buy, money might be tight. So I'm offering a plan that will allow buyers to pay for their purchases in three easy payments through PayPal! My antique plates and photography are great gifts and we have Graduations and Mother's Day coming up. All the buyer needs to do is Convo me that they want to Lay-away and it's a done deal!

Here are some examples of what is offered in my CremeMagnolia Etsy Store!






Check out my CremeMagnolia Etsy Store and be sure to look at my antique plates and photography. Everything is authentic antique and the photography is 16x20 limited additions.

If you simply want to send me an email...that's great too!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blog Format and Layout

We design our blogs with cool templates, fun widgets and ways for our readers to contact us. But do we layout our blog pages for optimum results? Do we make it easier for your reader to see what we WANT them to see?

Using Newspapers as the best example and analogy for blog layout, I'm going to discuss where to put your most important information; the do's and the don't's.

Everything that a reader can see when they open their browser is what we call "above the fold." This means your reader can see the most important information without having to scroll down. Everything below the fold is what the reader sees when they are scrolling down. The most important information is where you create an action. That action could be your store information or feed (you want them to click on it); or your "follow" button; or your button grab. Whatever is the most important aspect of your blog - that which you are promoting "action" should be placed above the fold.

Many times I visit blogs where I have to look for the "follow" button. I've also visited blogs that have their store information below the fold and in so doing the reader is not likely to see it much less take action. Blogs are selling tools and we as the "designer" must place our action tools where our customers can readily see and act.

My advice is to take a long look at your blog. Is your important "action" information above the fold and does it attract attention? In any kind of selling it's important to "tell" the buyer what you want them to do. In the case of the blog platform it is placement of "action" buttons or information to catch their attention first! If your focus is on advertising and "clicks" then is stands to reason you would want them to appear near the top - above the fold. If not, they should be located lower "below the fold" to make room for more important information (like your store information or feed).

I'm constantly arranging and rearranging my sidebar to reflect what I want my customer/reader to see. As a seller on Etsy I want them to see my store feed. I also don't want my reader to "hunt" for the "follow" button. I want both of those things to be prominent and readily available. Remember, most readers skim through a blog so you want every advantage...just like a newspaper - above the fold!

Don't forget to visit my CremeMagnolia Etsy Store to take advantage of the last day of my March Madness 25% store wide discount!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

April Customer Appreciation

As March comes to an end, most of us are thinking about what we can do to increase business in April; and what, if anything we can do to show appreciation to our customers.

I deeply discounted my store for the month of March because I wanted to attract new business and establish repeat customers. Obviously as a business person I can't do that every month. I've wracked my brain trying to decide what I want to do for the month of April. I think it's important for customers to feel like they are getting something along with a good price. Everyone likes a good sale, right? It's important to state that my inventory is not expensive, the highest priced item is less than $20 unlike some who have a much higher price point.


So this morning I thought I would put it to my readers...what, if anything do you intend to offer for the month of April, and your justification for doing so. I've only been a seller on Etsy for seven months and I'm still wading around discounts and coupons. I would love to hear from you dear reader. If you are not going to offer a sale/coupon for April I'd like to know about that also.

I had planned to pen another subject this morning but this quandary has been rattling around my brain for some days now. Have a wonderful selling day and blog on dear reader!

Don't forget to check out my CremeMagnolia Etsy store to take advantage of the final days (2) of my 25% complete store discount!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Designer Glass Gems

Many mosaic artists use different tesserae (tiles) for their projects and for several years I have been making designer glass gems for their use. I've made sets large and small and the difference is that I use designer fabrics as backing on clear gems.

Lately due to popular demand I've been making small sets to be used as magnets. The trick is the type of glue you use and the ability to wield an Xacto knife skillfully without cutting yourself and making the back as pretty as the front. I use heavy duty magnets so there is no way these little beauties are going to slide off the refrigerator!

I thought I would share some of my latest creations.






My magnets are available in my CremeMagnolia Etsy Store and still 25% off for my March Madness Sale...and time is running out! Thank you for looking!

Monday, March 28, 2011

SEO Marketing and Back Links

My friend Paul Wright is an expert at creating backlinks and syndication marketing. Over the last two weeks he has been working diligently to create dozens of Press Releases to increase the exposure of my CremeMagnolia Etsy Store thus increasing my Google Search Rankings. I have to say that in the short time he has been working on my SEO, my shop ranking has increased to 8150 results in Google (as of today). The wonderful thing - not only does my shop appear but so do my treasuries and blog. The following is an excerpt of Paul's work. You can find Paul to discuss SEO for your store or blog at and I highly recommend his work! He wrote several Press Releases which were submitted to seventy Public Relations sites and the results have been nothing less than astounding. My Google Analytics tell me that my Unique Visitor rate is up almost 17% via Search Engine traffic.

In Paul's words; to increase your websites ranking, you need anchored back links – a lot! To get a particular keyword ranking high. Whatever back links that are created, you need your anchor text to be there as a vote back to your website. This is the best vote.

Distribution of a Press Release through multiple networks has the power of getting syndicated all over the place on the web, hundreds of websites, sometimes thousands, which is pretty amazing.

Back links from Press Releases are highly valued by Google. Google’s job is to organize the World’s information and it cannot afford to lose out on important news. Therefore, if you do a few releases, you are guaranteed to get noticed.

These Press Release’s contain 4 hyperlinks to your website. When this gets syndicated all over the net, your back links get syndicated along as well. That’s the beauty of using Press Release’s to build back links.

However, it must be understood that not every one of these syndication's will carry the hyperlinks, many will be stripped which we have no control over. But there will still be many which do carry the hyperlink. Even the sites that don’t allow the hyperlink, the Press Release will still show the URL for the viewer to enter into their browser if they want to go visit your site.

This technique is so unique that it can build back links in the shortest time you can imagine. These links are coming from websites that are usually authority sites. The critical success factor is the PR sites. They are highly trusted, Google’s spiders almost camp at these sites and they pass trust and authority to your website. This is what you are after.


As an example of the viral effect of a single Press Release. This release was submitted to 70 PR sites on the 15th March.

On the 20th March, there were 3,180 results
On the 23rd March, there were 5,220 results
One day later, the 24th there were 5,310 results an increase of 90 results in less than 24 hours.

This viral effect will continue as more and more publishers pick up the content and submit on their blogs, networks or publications.


What this means is your content, plus website, plus you anchor text as a back link continues to gain exposure on the net indefinitely.

For more information as to how Paul can increase your exposure and optimize your search ranking, he can be reached through his Etsy Store, Online Brand Awareness or emailed at Paul Wright,

Don't forget to visit my CremeMagnolia Etsy Store as the March Madness 25% discount is quickly coming to an end. Need birthday, graduation or other gifts, take a look at my art photographs and antiques!