Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Wonderful Birthday Present!

I just got a package in the mail from my sister Marcy. In it were these two beautiful antique photographs. They are so lovely!! It is really hard to find these old pictures wherein the subjects are smiling and these are both smiling so beautifully!! I just had to share!!
Thanks Marcy!!

Happy Birthday To Me

This was my wonderful surprise yesterday!! I was at my friend's for a day of music. We meet every week to play string quartets. This week is my birthday so they made me a very special cake. I am eating low-carb so they made it out of hamburger!!!!! It looked just like chocolate!! LOL It was delicious and so sweet of them!!
Thanks to Claudia and Pie, and Janet and Heide for a super cool birthday!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Joy Of Making Treasuries

I have finally started making treasuries and I think I'm hooked! There is such a rich and deep pool of artists on Etsy, it is mind-blowing. Gathering collections of these amazing artists is just sheer joy to me. Now that the new Treasury East has opened up, I am taking advantage of the fact that we don't have to wait for the number to go below something. It's open all the time and is unlimited. You can make as many treasuries as you want.

Here are some screen shots of a few I've made so far. You can click on the pictures below to go directly to the treasuries. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sweet, Spicy, Smoky Chicken

I'm having my lunch of leftover chicken from last night and this is so good I thought it would be nice to share the recipe. I'm sorry I don't have any pictures. You'll have to trust me when I say it looked as good as it tasted.

I call it a recipe but I didn't actually measure things for it, so just use your own taste judgment as to the amounts of the flavorings. Go easy on the Cinnamon - it is easily overpowering.

I used chicken thighs but you can use this on any part of the chicken you like.
Sprinkle the chicken liberally with:
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Cinnamon
You can season the chicken in advance and put it back in the fridge until you are ready to bake it. The flavors permeate the meat even more that way.
Put the chicken pieces on a wire rack over a foil covered pan. Lots easier to cleanup later and it lets the grease drip off. I cut up some yellow and orange bell peppers into wedges, sprinkle them with olive oil, and a little sea salt and bake them right alongside the chicken.
Bake at 375° until the juices run clear and the chicken skin is crispy.

Bon appetit!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hittin' The Books

How does having no sales in three weeks affect you? It motivates me to dig deeper, to find out if there is something I can do to improve my chances of getting my stuff noticed out here on the world wide web , then I am determined to find it and do it!

This week I have been reading and studying every bit of information I can about SEO - that wonderful term we all know and *love* - Search Engine Optimization. [Insert scary music here].
Reading and studying is one thing. Understanding and implementing is another!

I have been on Etsy just over a year now and I have attempted to read and understand SEO from the very beginning. I confess, it has taken me this long to just begin to get a slight handle on it. Often I find an article that looks promising and as soon as I get 2-3 paragraphs into it, I realize I haven't heard a word I've read and instead I'm thinking about the dishes I need to wash or the garden I need to weed.

Here's what I've learned so far about SEO, in a tiny nutshell. When you give an item in your Etsy shop a title, make sure that title contains the most important keywords for Google to find. For example: I make lots of necklaces with skeleton keys so the most important search keyword would be "skeleton key". I need to be sure to include that in my title. Then I also need to be sure the first part of my description repeats the same keywords, and also I need to repeat them in my materials and in my tags. I can't explain why, but I know repeating those keywords is important - it makes them stronger. Stronger is good. It means chances of your item being found in Google searches is better.

So I will be spending the next however long it takes, working on all my listings.
Here's to hard work paying off in sales!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just a Few of my Latest Pieces

I do have a thing for keys! They are so beautiful. They are intriguing. Where have they been? What have they locked? What have they unlocked? What secrets do they hold? What kind of lives did they exist within? I let my imagination run wild with the keys. I hope you will too!


Seeing Eye



Bates Motel

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Oooh Treasures From The Ruins!!

Hi one and all! I hope the month of April is bringing nicer weather to some of you at least. We had temps in the 80's last week and now we're back down in the 30's. Very typical northern Illinois in April.
Well, I was very fortunate to be able to go antiquing with hubby a couple of weeks ago. I found some very nice little treasures at one of my favorite antique shops in Wisconsin. I try to get there every few weeks. They always have something tiny and wonderful for me! This visit was especially rewarding. Here's a couple of pictures of what I got.

The pink box is a doll's trunk. I just HAD to have that!! The little gold box with the designs is a slide-open box just the right size for pills in my purse. That large key is a motel key to room 416 - two of my favorite numbers 4 and 16!!

I put the other treasures inside the doll's trunk. There's three antique watchworks, a couple of wonderful skeleton keys, a green glass charm, a gold octagon locket, a very nice bug that is already on a necklace in the shop, a sterling silver chain with beautiful deep purple gem in a heart shape, and last but not least, a sterling silver rhinestone studded moth pin!

I think my best find of all of these is this snapshot. I could say something about it, but I think it doesn't need any help from me. Enjoy!