craft business resources

Italy Vacation recap

Why didn't anyone ever tell me how amazing Italy is? We spent the first two weeks of April in Italy and had such an incredible time. I was leery about going on this trip for a few reasons-- first of all, G had already been there with his family years ago. I really wanted us to go someplace neither of us had been before. Secondly, this trip was part of a church tour. I was a little (okay, VERY) apprehensive about being stuck on a tour bus. I'm more of a loner (or very small group) traveler. I like being able to go along at my own pace and stop when I want to stop. I was worried that we'd spend all day on a tour bus and that we wouldn't have enough time for me to take photographs (because you know, trips and adventures are all about the photos!)

The trip far exceeded my expectations. It was, if I had to sum it up in one word- AMAZING. Really and truly life altering amazing. We spent at least one day in almost every place we visited--which made the time on the tour bus bearable. We saw some pretty incredible things-- incorruptible saints and relics, a Eucharistic miracle, and the most amazing art ever! Bernini and Michelangelo statues and sculptures are just hanging around EVERYWHERE! Also, because we were with a church group, we had a lot of older folks who were a little on the slow side so I had plenty of time to stop or step away and take photos and catch up with the group again!

Rome, Assisi, and Venice were my favorite cities. Rome was so modern and lively. The locals were so fashionable and beautiful. We couldn't believe how there was no road rage (the traffic in Rome was nuts!) No honking, no cursing, no flipping the bird. And the history! Ancient ruins are EVERYWHERE! Rome does an amazing job of keeping the old and blending it with the new.

Ruins in Rome
St. Peter's Square and the Vatican
Navona Square
Day 3- Rome. Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva

Assisi was gorgeous with it's super steep hills and quaint little shops. I wish we could have spent more time there (we were there for two days only) So many cute little stores and streets to photograph!

Assisi, Italy
Street Scene in Assisi
Street Scene in Assisi
Basicilia of St. Francis of Assisi

Now Venice was a photographers dream (at least, it was this photographer's dream!) It was so vibrant and fun! The gondola ride was awesome, the architecture was so gorgeous, the history was really cool! We took a boat ride across the lagoon to the island of Burano which had to be, hands down, my most favorite place to photograph! I LOVED LOVED LOVED all the brightly color buildings and the laundry hanging from clotheslines! How FUN!  

Venice04.jpg
Venice Canal
Venice Shop
Burano

here are a few of the highlights from our whirlwind, action packed 10 day trip:

Rome:

  • Trevi Fountain and the Forum & Senate at night.
  • Audience with the Pope
  • Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls
  • Basilica of St. John Latern and the weeping stairs
  • Basilica of Mary Major
  • Sistine Chapel
  • St. Pete's Basilica
  • Colosseum
  • Arch of Titus
  • Piazza Navona
  • The Pantheon
  • Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva
  • the Jewish Ghetto
  • Mass at St. Peters Tomb inside the grottos of St. Pete's Basilica

Cascia:

  • St. Rita's Basilica


Assisi:

  • St. Mary of the Angels Basilica and the Portiuncola
  • Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
  • Basicila of St. Claire of Assisi
  • Carceri Hermatige
  • Monastery of St. Damian
  • Spello (and the most amazing dinner at Il Molino)

 

Siena:

  • Piazza Del Campo, theater of the biannual Palio, Siena’s spectacular medieval-style horse race
  • Sanctuary or St. Catherine
  • Basilica of St. Dominic

 

Florence:

  • Santa Maria Novella Basilica
  • Checked out the exterior of the Duomo, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,”
  • Signoria Square
  • Santa Croce Basilica with the tombs of Michelangelo, Dante, Rossini, and others
  • San Gimignano

 

Pavia:

  • Carthusian Monastery

 

Milan:

  • Church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie
  • Last Supper Painting

 

Padua:

  • Basilica of St. Anthony

 

Vience:

  • St. Mark's Square and it's Basilica
  • lavish Doges' Palace and the Bridge of Sighs
  • Venetian Master Glassblowers
  • Gondola Serenade
  • The island of Burano

 

I have approximately 2500 photos to sort through (I know, only 2500!)  I'll be adding some to flickr everyday. If you'd like to check out more photos from my amazing trip to Italy, check out my flickr:  Italy Adventure Photos

 

Have you been to Italy? I'd love if you commented below and let me know what your favorite part of the country is and what your favorite moments were!!!

 

Related posts:


2011 in review and my top 10 posts

via SaraLynn

2011 was a crazy year. An absolutely wild year. It started out pretty tough (my grandma was in the hospital in December of 2010, and then in February, we had snowpocalypse, and then my mom was in the hospital. I joined ARTprenuer as their resident photography expert, was in a minor car accident and unveiled my brand new website and blog in April.

May was busy, but pretty quiet. I opened up my aprilbernphoto etsy shop with the hopes of focusing on selling my fine art prints.

Things picked up again in June when decided to relax and slow down my hectic work pace and I got engaged (holy moly! i still can't believe it)

At the end of July, we bought a house and the end of August, we finally heard back for sure that we got the house! September was just as busy packing, packing, and packing some more and opening up a new photography portrait business with my good, good friend.

October and November were spent settling in the new house, and doing a ton of fun photoshoots!

December has been great so far (only 3 days left!) and barely an inch of snow has fallen all month (I can handle this kind of winter!) Christmas was sunny and 41 degrees. NICE! The Christmas break was spent with friends and families and was wonderful!

 

Here are top 10 most popular blog posts for 2011. If you haven't yet, be sure to check out the the valuable resources in my Crafty Connections posts-- I think you'll find a ton of valuable resources to help with marketing your handmade art and craft products. If you happen to read anything that is particularly helpful, drop me a line and let me know!!!

Also, if you're looking for help in particular topics, let me know and I'll do my best to find helpful resources for you. If you have a question or need help in a certain area, know that there are others that have the very same questions so please ask!! Also included in this list is a fabulous round of of Granny Square tutorials and carefully curated collections of wonderful etsy items I found while doing (ahem!) research. Don't miss these!

1. wednesday inspiration- april showers

2. crafty connections- march 15th

3. crafty connections- april 26th

4. granny square mania

5. crafty connections- january 18th

6. i'm getting around! check out my guest post!

7. crafty connections- october 5th

8. photo friday- graceful

9. featured handmade artist- sewsweetstitches

10. coffee junkies-- is one or two cups of coffee enough?

I'm very much looking forward to what 2012 has in store. I have a lot of new projects I want to work on, a house to settle into, a business to grow, and a wedding to plan! See you in the new year!!!!

Crafty Connections- August 9th

Hello! Happy Tuesday! I'm super excited to bring you this week's Crafty Connections! Don't forget to check out the DIY at the end of the post-- I *so* want to try this! If you do try it, let me know about your results!

Each and every week I scour the interwebs and gather the best tutorials, tips, and informative links to help with your handmade craft business. In addition, I’ll post links to cool crafty DIY projects, and blogs I think are worth following. I hope you find something useful and helpful! If so, please let me know. I would LOVE your feedback!

You & Me Venn Diagram Embroidery

via Spec-ta-cles

6 Tips for beginning Etsy shop owners- Did you love this post? I have more! Sign up with your email address to receive monthly free printables, desktop + iphone wallpapers, and updates!

via Plumed

The World's Shortest (and Probably Most Controversial) Guide to SEO The things that are really important–like creating powerful content–are often overlooked...

Fall 2011 Fashion Color Report Taking cues from the great masters, sepia tones of old Hollywood, Chinese opera, cityscapes and countryside, designers are paying close attention to texture, contrast and color for fall 2011

via Pantone.com

 

Pros & Cons of Selling Your Products On Consignment There are pros and cons to consignment that you should weigh before making your choice

DIY- Handmade Custom Paper Tape It’s crazy easy, if you have the right materials and tools.

 

If you know of any good handmade craft marketing resources I should include in the next Crafty Connections post please don’t hesitate to email me, or leave the link(s) in the comments section! I would love to be able to share these great resources with everyone! Thank you so much! 

-April

NEW SHOP! http://www.aprilbernphoto.etsy.com

 

 

Crafty Connections- August 2, 2011

Hello! I'm back to posting my Crafty Connections!! I've had a very fun and eventful summer (so far!) and I feel like I am ready to get back in the swing of things! Thanks so much for your words of support and encouragement while I was on my little hiatus!  

Each and every week I scour the interwebs and gather the best tutorials, tips, and informative links to help with your handmade craft business. In addition, I’ll post links to cool crafty DIY projects, and blogs I think are worth following. I hope you find something useful and helpful! If so, please let me know. I would LOVE your feedback!

 

Six tips for managing Custom Orders
Custom order of NYC pinback buttons
via cutiepie company

Three creative business people share their insight into handling and managing custom orders.



Website Marketing: You've Just Launched your Website… Now What?
If you want visitors and sales, you have to constantly, consistently, and persistently promote your website.



Your Business Plan- the Best Road to Success
I'm sitting here in pieces, and you're having delusions of grandeur!
via pinkpurse

Many liken the Business Plan to a road map, but it’s more than that: a business plan doesn’t just tell you how to get somewhere; it also helps you decide exactly where it is you want to go.

 

8 reasons to comment on my blog
There are some great reasons why you should comment on my (or other bloggers’) blogs.



How to Get Your Indie Business Noticed
+
via kup kup land

Getting featured in a magazine or high-traffic blog is a HUGE metaphorical “pat on the back” but time and time again, you create something fabulous, you put it out there and…. nothing but crickets! Read an informal case study of a shop that's doing everything right.



DIY- An Envelope Tutorial

via the pink couch

With the holidays approaching, there are more reasons to give a card to your favorite teacher, a small envelope with a gift-card tucked inside to the best hair stylist, or just a quick thank you to a sweet friend.

 

 

If you know of any good handmade craft marketing resources I should include in the next Crafty Connections post please don’t hesitate to email me, or leave the link(s) in the comments section! I would love to be able to share these great resources with everyone! Thank you so much! 

-April
NEW SHOP! http://www.aprilbernphoto.etsy.com

http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

 

Crafty Connections, May 31st

Hi! Thanks for stopping by and checking out this weeks Crafty Connections. I hope you find the following links helpful and inspirational!

Each and every week I scour the interwebs and gather the best tutorials, tips, and informative links to help with your handmade craft business. In addition, I’ll post links to cool crafty DIY projects, and blogs I think are worth following. I hope you find something useful and helpful! If so, please let me know. I would LOVE your feedback!

 

50 Best Blogging Ideas That Will Keep Your Readers Coming Back For More
light bulb - balloon

via teconleche

Here’s 50 best blogging ideas and tips to ward off that writer’s block!

 

A Guide to Google Analytics and Useful Tools
You probably use Google Analytics on a regular basis, for basic stats tracking the performance of your site. And, just like most GA users, you probably very rarely venture far from the comfort of the reports shown on the dashboard. That’s all the analytical information you need, you may be thinking … or is it?

 

 4 color palette tools

via Design Seeds

4 fabulous tools you can use to quickly and easily pull a color scheme from any image. 



27 things I need to see on an e-commerce homepage
A retailer's homepage needs to convey what the site is about and provide all the elements that customers are looking for, and that will entice them to explore the rest of the site.

 

Photo Editing Tools – Free and Paid Options

When producing product photographs for your online store, photo editing tools become essential to ensuring your potential customers accurately size-up your items.

 


DIY Fabric Flower Tutorial

via how about orange
This is an easy craft project that's a good way to use up scraps. Use these flowers to make hair pins and boutonnieres, top gifts, decorate napkin rings, tote bags, wedding aisles, you name it.

 

 
If you know of any good handmade craft marketing resources I should include in the next Crafty Connections post please don’t hesitate to email me, or leave the link(s) in the comments section! I would love to be able to share these great resources with everyone! Thank you so much!

-April

http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com


NEW SHOP! http://www.aprilbernphoto.etsy.com

 

<div>
<p><strong><strong><a href="http://marthagiffen.com/50-blogging-ideas-readers-happy/" target="_blank">50 Best Blogging Ideas That Will Keep Your Readers Coming Back For More</a></strong><br /></strong>&nbsp;<a title="light bulb - balloon by teconleche, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/40867595@N00/4174375709/" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2625/4174375709_822fa5cf6d_z.jpg?zz=1" alt="light bulb - balloon" width="452" height="640" /></a></p>
<p><strong><a href="http://blog.aquickstudyonline.com/2011/05/the-color-series-4-color-palette-tools/" target="_blank"></a></strong></p>
<p>via&nbsp;<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/40867595@N00/">http://www.flickr.com/photos/40867595@N00/</a></p>
<p>Here&rsquo;s 50 best blogging ideas and tips to ward off that writer&rsquo;s block!</p>
<p><strong><a href="http://blog.aquickstudyonline.com/2011/05/the-color-series-4-color-palette-tools/" target="_blank"><br /></a><a title="Color Palette A Week - Week 20 by craftsbychrisonline, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/10457924@N07/5725945761/"><br /></a></strong>&nbsp;<strong><a title="Color Palette A Week - Week 20 by craftsbychrisonline, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/10457924@N07/5725945761/"><strong>4 color palette tools</strong></a></strong></p>
<p><span class="full-image-block ssNonEditable"><span><img src="/static/50f47907e4b07b02ee528226/50f55ebee4b0b205b08e436e/50f55ec1e4b0b205b08e4ac2/1306846359074/CraftedColor.png/1000w" alt="" /></span></span>via <a title="Design Seeds Color Inspiration" href="http://www.design-seeds.com/2011/05/crafted-color.html" target="_blank">Design Seeds</a></p>
<p>4 fabulous tools you can use to quickly and easily pull a color scheme from any image.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br /><strong><a href="http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/07/16/a-guide-to-google-analytics-and-useful-tools/" target="_blank">A Guide to Google Analytics and Useful Tools</a></strong><br />You probably use Google Analytics on a regular basis, for basic stats tracking the performance of your site. And, just like most GA users, you probably very rarely venture far from the comfort of the reports shown on the dashboard. That&rsquo;s all the analytical information you need, you may be thinking &hellip; or is it?</p>
<p><br /><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/7019-27-things-i-need-to-see-on-an-e-commerce-homepage" target="_blank">27 things I need to see on an e-commerce homepage</a></strong><br />A retailer's homepage needs to convey what the site is about and provide all the elements that customers are looking for, and that will entice them to explore the rest of the site.<br /><strong><br />

<a href="http://handmademarketing.org/photo-editing-picasa-picnik-fotofuze-handmade-photography-how-to-edit-photographs-free/" target="_blank">Photo Editing Tools &ndash; Free and Paid Options</a></strong><br />
<div>
<p><strong><strong><a href="http://marthagiffen.com/50-blogging-ideas-readers-happy/" target="_blank">50 Best Blogging Ideas That Will Keep Your Readers Coming Back For More</a></strong><br /></strong>&nbsp;<a title="light bulb - balloon by teconleche, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/40867595@N00/4174375709/" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2625/4174375709_822fa5cf6d_z.jpg?zz=1" alt="light bulb - balloon" width="452" height="640" /></a></p>
<p><strong><a href="http://blog.aquickstudyonline.com/2011/05/the-color-series-4-color-palette-tools/" target="_blank"></a></strong></p>
<p>via&nbsp;<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/40867595@N00/">http://www.flickr.com/photos/40867595@N00/</a></p>
<p>Here&rsquo;s 50 best blogging ideas and tips to ward off that writer&rsquo;s block!</p>
<p><strong><a href="http://blog.aquickstudyonline.com/2011/05/the-color-series-4-color-palette-tools/" target="_blank"><br /></a><a title="Color Palette A Week - Week 20 by craftsbychrisonline, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/10457924@N07/5725945761/"><br /></a></strong>&nbsp;<strong><a title="Color Palette A Week - Week 20 by craftsbychrisonline, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/10457924@N07/5725945761/"><strong>4 color palette tools</strong></a></strong></p>
<p><span class="full-image-block ssNonEditable"><span><img src="/static/50f47907e4b07b02ee528226/50f55ebee4b0b205b08e436e/50f55ec1e4b0b205b08e4ac2/1306846359074/CraftedColor.png/1000w" alt="" /></span></span>via <a title="Design Seeds Color Inspiration" href="http://www.design-seeds.com/2011/05/crafted-color.html" target="_blank">Design Seeds</a></p>
<p>4 fabulous tools you can use to quickly and easily pull a color scheme from any image.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br /><strong><a href="http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/07/16/a-guide-to-google-analytics-and-useful-tools/" target="_blank">A Guide to Google Analytics and Useful Tools</a></strong><br />You probably use Google Analytics on a regular basis, for basic stats tracking the performance of your site. And, just like most GA users, you probably very rarely venture far from the comfort of the reports shown on the dashboard. That&rsquo;s all the analytical information you need, you may be thinking &hellip; or is it?</p>
<p><br /><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/7019-27-things-i-need-to-see-on-an-e-commerce-homepage" target="_blank">27 things I need to see on an e-commerce homepage</a></strong><br />A retailer's homepage needs to convey what the site is about and provide all the elements that customers are looking for, and that will entice them to explore the rest of the site.<br /><strong><br /><a href="http://handmademarketing.org/photo-editing-picasa-picnik-fotofuze-handmade-photography-how-to-edit-photographs-free/" target="_blank">Photo Editing Tools &ndash; Free and Paid Options</a></strong><br />When producing item photographs for your online store, photo editing tools become essential to ensuring your potential customers accurately size-up your items.</p>
<p><br /><strong><a href="http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2011/01/diy-fabric-flower-tutorial.html%EF%BB%BF" target="_blank">DIY Fabric Flower Tutorial</a></strong><br />This is an easy craft project that's a good way to use up scraps. Use these flowers to make hair pins and boutonnieres, top gifts, decorate napkin rings, tote bags, wedding aisles, you name it.</p>
</div>
When producing item photographs for your online store, photo editing tools become essential to ensuring your potential customers accurately size-up your items.</p>
<p><br /><strong><a href="http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2011/01/diy-fabric-flower-tutorial.html%EF%BB%BF" target="_blank">DIY Fabric Flower Tutorial</a></strong><br />This is an easy craft project that's a good way to use up scraps. Use these flowers to make hair pins and boutonnieres, top gifts, decorate napkin rings, tote bags, wedding aisles, you name it.</p>
</div>

I'm getting around! Check out my guest post!

Hello! I'm so excited to let you know that I did a guest post on Meagan Visser's blog, http://www.meaganvisser.com.  Her blog provides a place where moms who want to grow a successful creative business without sacrificing their families can come to get advice, help, inspiration, encouragement, information, & useful tools to turn their small business into a successful business that makes them money.

Meagan is one of the Book Club Babes over at ARTreprenuer (what? you don't know what that ARTtrprenuer is? Click here and get the juicy details!) and is also a successful entreprenuer who runs babyswank.etsy.com.

Stop by and check out my post: Photo CPR: Tricks to Beat Those Photo Blahs and check out my 3 super easy ways to make your photos look way better with minimal effort!

Enjoy!

-April

http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

NEW! http://www.aprilbernphoto.etsy.com 

 

Crafty Connections- May 10th, 2011

Hi! I'm really excited to bring you this weeks Crafty Connections. I hope you find the following links helpful and inspirational!

Each and every week I scour the interwebs and gather the best tutorials, tips, and informative links to help with your handmade craft business. In addition, I’ll post links to cool crafty DIY projects, and blogs I think are worth following. I hope you find something useful and helpful! If so, please let me know. I would LOVE your feedback!

via Paulette Insall

It is not enough today to just be a good artist in order to make a living licensing your artwork.

Tips for Creating an Elevator Pitch for Your Handmade Business

An elevator pitch is a short, simple summary of your product, service, or organization and what it can do for customers.

5 Keys To Selling In Brick & Mortar Shops

To get some insights on how shop owners like to be approached by artists wanting to be featured in their stores, Leigh Rosenwald, Owner of Knack, a brick and mortar shop in Portland, Oregon, gives us an explanation. 

7 Ways to Improve Your Luck as an Artistvia TAK Creations

Fortune is created by hard work, dedication and passion and it’s up to every creative to make his or her own.

 

If you know of any good handmade craft marketing resources I should include in the next Crafty Connections post please don’t hesitate to email me, or leave the link(s) in the comments section! I would love to be able to share these great resources with everyone! Thank you so much!

-April

NEW SHOP! http://www.aprilbernphoto.etsy.com

Crafty Connections- April 26th, 2011

Hi! Welcome to the last Crafty Connections for the month of April! I'm really excited to bring you this weeks Crafty Connections. I hope you find the following links helpful and inspirational!

Each and every week I scour the interwebs and gather the best tutorials, tips, and informative links to help with your handmade craft business. In addition, I’ll post links to cool crafty DIY projects, and blogs I think are worth following. I hope you find something useful and helpful! If so, please let me know. I would LOVE your feedback!

How to Attract Readers

Just Chillin'via kathrynivy.com

What first attracted you to those sites, and what keeps you coming back for more? These answers will help you understand why readers keep coming back to certain blogs.


“It’s Not You, It’s Me…” How to Break Up With Old Hobbies
WIP My Broken Heartvia marielynn

Your project won’t have hurt feelings if you stop working on it and leave it unfinished. No one else will think less of you.


25 Free Resourced for Graphic Designers Crayon Pyramidvia very little dave

Graphic design resources that all designers regardless of experience will find extremely helpful.

 

Use Benefits to Pump Up Your Product Descriptions
Because while features tell the facts about your product, benefits tell customers why they would want the features in the first place.  

 

Where to Find Good Craft Shows
Craft Show
via CharlieSutton

While you should organize your own events whenever possible, you’ll still want to participate in events hosted by others, especially when you’re just starting out.

 

DIY Silhouette Mason Jars

via Lauren Elise Crafted

Mason jars are making a comeback!

 

If you know of any good handmade craft marketing resources I should include in the next Crafty Connections post please don’t hesitate to email me, or leave the link(s) in the comments section! I would love to be able to share these great resources with everyone! Thank you so much!

-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com