crafty connections

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>

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

Crafty Connections- April 19th

Hello! I'm back! Thankfully, I am having a much better week (so far!) than last week!!! I'm super excited to bring you this weeks Crafty Connections. I think you'll 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!
20 Ways to Skyrocket Your Motivation
Cardboard rocket
by Matt Biddulph, via flickr
One of the reasons why people don’t follow through on their goals is because they lose their motivation along the way.

15 Things an Artist Should Never Say
Paint Your Rainbow
by shewatchedthesky, via flickr
Oh, I've been guilty of saying almost every one of these...

20 Personal Brand Building and Monitoring Tools You Don’t Want to Miss
Mabel
by SaraCarr66, via flickr
With the social media realm being at our fingertips and larger each and every day, there are a plethora of tools to assist in building our personal brands, monitoring them and promoting them.

Writing a Business Plan
Do you have the feeling it might be time for the next step but you’re not sure what that next step is? Are you getting comfortable with your art/craft/thing but a little part of you wonders if you’re missing the opportunity to stretch a little?

Handling Copyright Issues
Gingerbread Biscuit Bunny in blue tea cup
by florenceforrest, via flickr
How to handle when you discover someone ripping off your work.

DIY-Paper-Craft Sugar Posy Cake
DIY- Paper-Craft Sugar Posy Cakeby Rosie from Sweetapolita, via Paper*Cakes Finds
Gorgeous eye candy, and seems really easy to do! What a simple and fun addition to add to your next plain birthday cake or cupcakes!

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

Crafty Connections- April 5th

Hello!!! Wow-- time flies, doesn't it? I can't believe it's Tuesday already!

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!

    Hopefully there will a few new ideas or new articles here that will help make things happen for you and your shop!
unfinished projects 013
  • You know most startups fail “only” because the founders stop working on them, and often, it’s because it’s emotionally draining.
  • Other ways to increase your brand recognition and help other brands at the same time.
Create your own backgrounds
  • Fabulous tutorial on how to create your own textured boards for those who are tired of taking pics on plain white boards.
Vintage Parchment-Colored Replogle Globe
DIY- Bunting 101
  • Whether you are planning a bridal shower or picnic reception, these little flags provide major impact with humble materials and a little elbow grease.

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!