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“20 Things You Might Not Know About Me” Blog Tag

Hey everybody, I just got back from another amazing CreativeLive course, presented by the phenomenal and wise Tara Gentile. My brain is so tired from absorbing all the knowledge the Tara was pouring into it, I am doing a fun little cheater blog today, prompted by the spectacular and delightful April Bowles-Olin. I will tell you all about my incredible experience Friday, so maybe subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss it. In the mean time, “20 Things You Might Not Know About Me”…

creativelive with Tara swiger marketing for crafters class july 2014
My prize winning beaded snake necklace

Question 1: How tall are you?

5’5″. Yeah, not that exciting

Question 2: Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what?

Hidden talent, no. My superpower is that I can untie any knot and I tell everyone about it.

Question 3: What’s your biggest blog-related pet peeve?

80 million ads.

Question 4: What’s your biggest non-blog related pet peeve?

CGI talking animals.

Question 5: What’s your favorite song?

I have a lot of favorite songs, but right now my fave is a guilty pleasure song that I listen to once or twice a day. “Without Me” by Eminem. Don’t judge.

Question 6: What’s your favorite Etsy shop that isn’t yours?

My favorite Etsy shop besides mine is Shadoan Photographic Arts, but that might be cheating so I will say JamesieWaymsie. PLEASE check him out, he is so talented.

Question 7: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time when you’re alone?

I work from home and therefore I am alone all day, so I don’t really like to spend my free time alone. My husband and I love to go travel camping, and my favorite thing is to bliss out in nature. And I even blog about it here.

Kings Canyon May 2014
Kings Canyon May 2014

Question 8: What’s your favorite junk food?

as far as absolute garbage food, I would say Cheetos Puffs. I am very lucky that I am satisfied with just a hand full, they go down so easy.

Gladys & Lola
Gladys & Lola

Question 9: Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?

Yay! I do have pets and if you know even a little bit about me you probably know that I have two Boston terriers, (Gladys and Lola), one regular hen (Coco), one Showgirl hen (Liza), my sweet little Silkie hen (Elsa) and Frank, a Sulcata tortoise who thinks he’s a cat.

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Question 10: What are your number one favorite nonfiction and fiction books?

I very rarely read fiction, but I would have to say either The Dead Zone by Stephen King or East of Eden by John Steinbeck. My favorite book is non-fiction, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese

Question 11: What’s your favorite beauty product?

Inner peace and sunscreen.

Question 12: When were you last embarrassed? What happened?

I honestly cannot remember the last time I was embarrassed. It rarely happens, and it never lasts.

Question 13: If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Alright so, this is probably going to sound really gross but, my if I could only drink one thing it would be very watered down orange juice. Like 4 to one water to juice. I know. But I guzzle it. And I wouldn’t get very far in life drinking nothing but Guinness.

Question 14: What’s your favorite movie?

INCREDIBLY hard to narrow down. I have a long list of movies that I would watch over and over again.  I would probably have to say Star Wars IV: A New Hope. Or The Waterboy.

Question 15: What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?

Lovable scamp.

Question 16: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Probably San Francisco, CA.

View of Coit Tower from one of my favorite vacations
View of Coit Tower from one of my favorite  SF vacations

Question 17: PC or Mac?

Mac since WAY back in the day.

Question 18: Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse?

My husband picked me up from the airport with flowers. He is the best.

Question 19: Favorite celebrity?

Hmmmm. Probably Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Question 20: What blogger do you secretly want be best friends with?

Well, I am already good friends with lovely and fabulous Ms. Jane Dolan, so I think I would like to pal around with Kris With a K.

If you would like to read more quirky stuff about me, go here. I am going to tag three bloggers I would like to know more about: Nela Dunato, Amy McClain and Cara Vincens.

This blog post is a part of the ’20 Things You Might Not Know About Me’ Blog Tag started by April from Blacksburg Belle. She began this blog tag experiment to build community among creatives, help us bloggers to connect more and get to know each other better. This month’s topic is all about sharing just a little too much information about yourself. If you’d like to participate or want more info, check out the beginning post right here.

 

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Blog

What a Weekend. And It’s Barely Started…

A quick post, as all I have is a smart phone and not a laptop. Maybe I should get a lap top. Another aMAzing experience at CreativeLive. One of the best parts, again, is the people. New friends and old.
And also I am getting a first rate education from Tara Gentile. I really think the time to order bracelets is now before it is too late 😉
One more day of this fabulous adventure, then it’s time to get down to serious biz. I am so ready.

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Blog Business

What If They Figure Out I Am An Impostor?

I am about to do the scariest thing I have ever done. This week, as I may have mentioned once or twice, I will be sitting in the front row at CreativeLive for the fabulous Tara Gentile‘s course, “Market Launch and Sell Your Next Big Thing“. That is not the part that is scaring me. Confession: I am afraid to fly. Like really, really terrified. I am scared of planes, actually, which is yet another strange quirk and just part of my never-ending charm. On top of that, I have never traveled alone before. I have never even gone to a movie or a restaurant alone. What can I say, I met my soul mate when I was 18. But I am so excited to be a part of this experience that I am not going to let a little terror stop me.

creativelive with Tara swiger marketing for crafters class july 2014
CreativeLive, straight ahead!

Yesterday, I got an email from Tara, setting up a pre-show meeting. Fantastic idea! It will be very helpful to get some things worked out before appearing in front of a live audience. Then I see who is cc’d in the email. Two names pop out immediately, Ana of Ana Apple Designs, and Sasha Cagen of Quirky Alone, and I begin to panic. These ladies are real business people. Really for real. What the heck was I doing trying to include myself into this group? Make no mistake, I have complete confidence in my art. My business skills, not so much. I frequently “joke” about what a terrible business person I am, and we all know that comedy is truth in disguise.

creativelive with Tara swiger marketing for crafters class july 2014
Eyes on the Prize!

So I had myself a little pity party. I am usually insanely optimistic, so this is not at all the kind of party I like to throw. My saint of a husband said all of the right things and asked, “Do you want to talk about it?” “No, I’m good,” I assured him. Because I knew it would pass. It’s called “impostor syndrome” and it’s a real thing, but I had to get over it. So what if these ladies are more successful than I am? I am not in competition with them. I want us all to do well. I am just not as far along in the journey, and that is ok because I already knew that I was built for comfort, not for speed.

The bracelet I made especially for the trip
Seriously though, you better order one before I get famous.

Whenever I get worried about my slow progress, I just have to remind myself that some things take time. Just keep moving forward and you will get when you are going.

 

I will leave you with that sentiment, and also a picture of my Sulcata tortoise, Frank. He never gives up, he always soldiers on, even if he is stuck under the fire pit and has to drag it 20 feet across the yard before it frees itself.

Showgirl chicken Liza and Sulcata tortoise Frank
Frank takes what he wants. Sorry Liza.

 

But, really, watch Tara’s course. And join the chat! I will be tweeting during the breaks and if you let me know you are in the chat room, I will give you a visual “shout out” during the break. This is going to be a hell of an adventure so you may as well watch.

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Blog Blog

TGIF! Week in Review…

Why do I care if it’s Friday? I work from home, but I don’t work seven days for crying out loud. I take weekends off. At least Sunday.

New Postcards
New Postcards

Another wonderful week here at Red Scorpio Handmade. On Monday I got sa email from Etsy, turning down my application for wholesale status. That bummed me out for a minute, but I got over it. Tuesday i was notified that I had been chosen to be the Featured Designer at Flourish & Thrive Academy‘s blog for this week, so that was pretty special. Etsy will be sorry they didn’t get me when they had the chance 😉

That's me, Designer of the Week!
That’s me, Designer of the Week!

 

I am also working on a collaboration with my friend, artist Jane Dolan. Jane’s lovely art on my beautiful necklace. That is super cool.

A peek at my work...
A peek at my work…

I joined a Fantasy Football League! That’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a wile, so when the chance popped up to join a Craft FFL, I went for it. No idea how to play. I will worry about the details as they come up.

 

I went to see an incredible show by Imelda May. If you don’t know who she is, please click here. If you want to see a video I took at the show, please click here!

Imelda May
Imelda May

 

Next week I will be prepping for my first ever solo trip. I am headed to San Francisco to sit in the front row at CreativeLive for Tara Gentile’s course, “Market Launch & Sell Your Next Big Thing”That is going to be amazing.

Happy Friday, everyone!

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Blog

30 Days of Art Challenge

I preach here quite a bit about stepping out of your comfort zone. My comfort zone is fairly wide. I don’t get embarrassed easily and I love trying new things. Would I sing the National Anthem at a sporting event? Probably not because for one, that is a hard song to sing, and two I haven’t trained for it. I would love to do it though. So maybe I’ll add it to my bucket list. Would I sky-dive? Not under any circumstances. Well, even that is not entirely true. If I were traveling by plane and it caught on fire or was about to crash or something and I was wearing a parachute, I would definitely try sky-diving. I wonder why they have “floatation devices” underneath your airplane seat and not parachutes? Hmmmm…

 

When my craft cohort, Consu Tolosa proposed a “30 Days of Art Shares” challenge on Instagram, I was totally on board. I had been contemplating a thirty day challenge after seeing my friend and accountability partner, Jane Dolan do one of her own on Instagram. Jane was inspired by Verte-Adelie’s 365 sketch-a-day challenge on Tumblr. Impressive! 365 days seemed a bit ambitious for me, since sketching is not my forte, but I really wanted to expand my “zone”, and I felt I could handle thirty days. It’s actually been a little rough finding the inspiration to sketch. I hadn’t thought about how hard it might be coming up with a new sketch idea every day for thirty days, especially with my limited sketching skills. But it has been pretty fun so far. All of the feedback I have gotten so far has been positive and wonderfully supportive, which makes a huge difference.

Here are the sketches I have shared on my Instagram so far. Full disclosure, I have missed a couple of days. And also these sketches are not that good, but the point is to feel good, not to be good. And I feel pretty good about it.

 

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Blog

10 “Must-Do”s for Craft Businesses

Today’s post is directly inspired by Create and Thrive’s wonderful blog. Jess shares her insights on the “10 Things You Must Do To Have A Successful Online Craft Business”. I wanted to see how Red Scorpio Handmade measured up. Here we go…

 

1. Create something people actually want to buy –

Hmmm, well I am pretty sure I make stuff people want to buy. I know that all of my customers have been extremely pleased with the jewelry I have made, both custom pieces and the statement jewelry available in my shop. Now if only I could find MORE people to love my work!

The bracelet I made especially for the trip
Turning your favorite memories into wearable works of art

 

2. Work on it every day – but be patient –

I work on my business five days a week, and a little bit on Saturday, but I take Sunday off. Nobody should work seven days a week and I am not even sure that is the point Create and Thrive is trying to make. Being consistent but patient is awesome advice. I have been trying to develop a more focused daily routine so I can work smarter, not harder.

Planning my week, month, year with a little help from my friends...
Planning my week, month, year in one of my favorite places

 

3. Be friendly but professional –

Over 20 years of customer service experience has been super helpful in running my own business. You need your customer to think of you as reliable and trustworthy. Part of the beauty of patronizing small, independent businesses is the personal connection. It gives me great joy to make meaningful, custom jewelry pieces.I want my customer’s experience to be joyful as well.

4. Have beautiful photos

Retaking my shop photos is on my ‘To-Do’ list. They aren’t bad, but they aren’t that great either. I know I could do better.

Samurai & Dragon
This photo is pretty good, right?

 

5. Make reproducible items –

C&T advises against basing your business on ‘one of a kind’ items. Oops! Too late, my whole business is built around, and the majority of my marketing focus is on my OOAK custom art jewelry. Not at all reproducible. Even my fashion jewelry is pretty unique because I make each and every piece myself, based on whatever I am feeling that day. But I am totally cool with that.

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6. Believe in yourself and your work – fiercely – but be open to change –

I believe in my work and my art 100%. I am absolutely convinced that my jewelry is the best of its kind. How I market it, however is open to change. I haven’t found the magic formula yet. Still working on it.

7. Get a Mailing List –

Yeah, don’t have this. I have an opt-in form, but not a lot of readers opting in. I am currently working on a free gift for opting in. I think I might try giving away a photo magnet as a bribe.

8. Price for Profit –

In the beginning, I was selling my stuff so cheaply that there was no profit. In fact, if I had to pay labor, I would actually lose money. It took a lot of convincing for me to realize that I needed to sell it for what it is truly worth. Artists and makers frequently undervalue their work and this hurts not only themselves, but other artists by driving down value. You deserve to get properly paid for your work.

 

9. Get your Own Website/Blog –

Yay! I DO have this. I even learned how to make it myself by watching Janine Warner’s awesome course on CreativeLive, Creating Websites the Easy Way with WordPress

 

10. Learn, Learn, Learn –

See above. I am a life-long knowledge junkie so that is no problem for me. One of my favorite places to go to learn is CreativeLive. They offer courses for creatives on a variety of subjects.

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Well, going through this list I can see that I have to work on a few things. Thank you for the prompt, Create & Thrive! Being your own boss and running a business is challenging and rewarding, but if you think that having a successful crafts business will be fun and easy, please think again. There are fun parts, but there is also a lot of work involved. A lot. You have to enjoy sharing your gifts with the world as much as you enjoy creating. Just keep in mind that there is nothing like the feeling you get from making a customer truly happy. Worth it, for sure.

 

So, how are you doing? Care to share your strong points? Weak points? Please comment below!