Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Which ad should I use?

Please help select an ad for my Etsy shop - Which of these would you click?

I am showing them in the real size.
If you have any ideas for improving them, do tell!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Some quick shop updates in all sorts of red

Here are a few quick shop updates, before I get to work.

My end of the year sale continues today, and shifts a bit to 10% off all purchases 10$ and up (not including shipping, of course).

1) Buy whatever you like on my Etsy shop in a total of 10$ and up.
2) Enter 10% off on your Notes to Seller on checkout.
3) I will refund you via PayPal once you paid.

Note: Due to time zone differences it may take me a few hours to get back to you. Do not worry!

I had a little shop update this weekend.

I am starting to add Valentine's Day items these following days. Last year's items were a hit, which I hope to repeat. My last international shipping date in time for holiday is January 29th, so please complete your shopping in time.

And last but not least, my new treasury, with a lots of lovelies, and several Israeli sellers. Please view and click the items!

My new treasury - 29.12.08

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Banners and sales

I am having a hard time deciding between these two banners, what do you think?

Should I stick with my old one?

Or use this new one?

Besides that, I am having an End of the Year Sale on my Etsy shop today:

1) Buy whatever you like on my shop in a total of 20$ and up.
2) Enter 20% off on your Notes to Seller on checkout.
3) I will refund you on PayPal once you paid.

Note: Due to time zone differences it may take me a few hours to get back to you. Do not worry!

Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm taking my new hamster on a Picnik

Today was the first sunny day in a while, so I grabbed my camera and headed to take some photos. I chose a light mint green background to my photos, which proved to be a not so wonderful choice after all - looking more like a dirty white than a fresh green. What ever shall I do? Shall I rush up again to take more pictures? Of course not, I had my new buddy Picnik come to the rescue.

Picnik is a rather new online photo editing tool, which is built into Flickr. You can upload your photos from your workstation, but I found that it makes my entire system hang, and I get better performance if I upload to Flickr first, and click the Edit button on the picture. So I uploaded the pictures of Benson the miracle hamster pincushion (just added to my Etsy shop) to Flickr, and from there the road was short to way better looking item images. A bit of color moderation, some toying with the exposure (use the Advanced option always, that's what makes the object really pop out) save it back to Flickr, and voila! A whole of a lot happier looking Benson. See?

Also, last night I finally found a nice looking, just the right size, and okay price too Christmas tree on Tiv-Taam (a local Russian chain of supermarkets) and took some new photos of Santa and Twinkle Flutterbutt. It is too late for this year, but next year, I will be ready with good looking pictures for the holiday season.

Last note of the day - I started listing in my new art shop on ArtFire. I have a lot to learn about how to operate that website. I have no idea what Karma is for example, and their online help is not very useful (I spent the last two years of my life writing online help, so I know!). I am also having problems with the Bio part. Each time I enter an HTML code, it gets cut in the middle, very annoying. Does any of my readers sell over there and can offer some advice?

Anyway, I hope to get my first sale over there soon. I am not quite sure how to promote it. I have no intention of working another forum. No way Jose. That is just not going to happen.

Anyway, that's it for today. I wanted to go for a bit of a walk (to start losing those Hanukkah donuts weight) but had no time. What a shame..

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Third Hanukkah candle

Pinky is sharing the holiday spirit with Micky and Jewish Wormie and explaining why we light candles on Hanukkah (in English)

BTW, I just opened an account on ArtFire. I am moving all my art and jewelry over there, so stay tuned! I will update with the new shop details when it is opened. Hope it will be better than Etsy, which I am starting to get tired of. Time will tell!

Special Hanukkah offer for my blog readers today (December 24th) - Spend 12$ and up on my shop, and get 20% off your order (shipping not included). To enjoy this offer, enter "Special Hanukkah offer" in Notes to Seller on checkout, and I will refund you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Second Hannukah candle - With Shay Aaron

Brought to you by Shay Aaron

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah special - Nick is singing the dreidel song.

Tomorrow - Rita will be lighting the second candle, hosted by Shay Aharon.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's an ornament! IIt's a door hanger! It's a Flutterhead!

I made a couple of new Flutterheads today.

First is the Pink Flutterhead Lady. Well, I sold the first one I made, so I thought I better get another one ready. Only she really is terrifying I think. Just look at these eyes!

That doggy keeps popping up in my photos!

I made the eyes from a pair of turquoise flower shaped metal buttons with sparkly center. Very nice. Her hair is purple and I decorated her hairdo with the amazing cupid buttons I bought on Etsy.

Her little sister is yellow and nice. She has two braids I decorated with Love beads (from the same shop) and a little yellow and red polka dots bow with a pink heart.

Tea my dear?

Anyway, the two seem to be getting along wonderfully, so I guess I have nothing to worry about!

Story telling, antennas are up

Friday, December 19, 2008

Custom made puppets

Here is my latest custom made mini puppet.

It was an order for a young grandpa, with black-gray hair and blue eyes. I like how he turned out, apart for the glasses which are totally unusable. Ordered real mini glasses but they didn't arrive yet, and I don't know what to do. I will try to make something again on the weekend, but I think I will simply send the customer a pair of glasses once they arrive (hopefully it will be on Sunday, or else..).

Mini puppets are always half naked, so don't be shocked!

Custom made puppet
Standing on his own two feet

Custom made puppet
These glasses are a plain no no

Custom made puppet
He is useful around the house too

And earlier this week, I shipped this custom angel. She is intended to be a tree topper, so her mouth cannot be moved, unlike my usual puppets. The customer wanted her to have blond hair and pink highlights, so she matches her tree decoration.

Custom made Foamie
Majestic isn't she?

Pink bows
I should wear my hair like that too.

Custom made Foamie
It is well known the angels wear a lot of bling.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

First we'll take Taiwan and then, the world!

Some of you know I was contacted back in June by a publisher who saw my shop on Etsy. She was interested in interviewing and featuring me in a book that was planned to be published in Taiwan and the far east about dolls and their makers. We emailed back and forth for several weeks, till I finally got the okay that we are done.

Yesterday it arrived in the mail!!

Pinkelshtein is rather pleased
Needless to say Pinky is very excited

Here is a bit of the interview I translated online. You gotta love Babel Fish LOL

How do you establish present's brand style?

I have had the painting pictures custom, but I draw the character, has the big eye, the stupid expression and little the few hairs and the most important big nose. When therefore starts manufactures the puppet, these naturally turn my puppet's characteristic. In body's structure, because I have made the puppet play's performance, therefore wants to let the cloth doll from the very beginning also have the free active body, therefore this becomes my another style. Finally is because of collects the knot, and any may make the eye and nose's little thing, what is very interesting, I start from the eye and the nose to extend the creation, this probably is also establishes now one of unique style reasons.

I have less pages then I was supposed to initially (in the draft I received a while ago) and there are a few types and strange image quality, but the guys are thrilled to have the book and so am I, and as long as the shop link is correct, I am very very happy!

The guys are SO excited

And finally, a little shop update - I updated my profile and shop policies. Any comments you may have are welcome!

Sales improvement weekend

I am making this my "sales improvement" weekend. All weekend will be dedicated to making my shop, blog, Flickr, and Twitter better.

I would appreciate any feedback you have to offer on my:

1) Photos
2) Item description
3) Sections
4) Profile and shop policy
5) Banner and shop title
6) Prices
7) Anything else you can think about (including this blog, Twitter, and Flickr).

I will eventually add it to my (oh so huge) to do list.

You can write it here or leave me a comment here. Bring it on and thanks in advance!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Come to think of it..

I woke this morning (okay, noon) with this thought - I set a goal of at least 12 sales for this month, and thanks to Mrs. Nutty I went way beyond that!

Friday, December 12, 2008

This is much better

I just got this email from the (I believe) support team leader -

Dear Sharona,

I will do my best, and I am sorry that you are crying or feel that our actions protect ravenattic rather than you. My staff has looked into this matter for you, and are all very sorry if their responses did not reflect that. Our policy is to look into the matter, and we ask for 24 hours to hear back from the buyer. With your feedback, I will revisit this policy so as to better serve you in the future. I do believe, however, that the full scope of your problem was not fully understood by my staff, and that faster action might have occurred had this been the case. This is our fault, and we are sorry for the improper diagnosis.

1) I have removed the feedback, however, just so you know, canceling a transaction does not remove feedback.

2) There is no way to restore hearts or views.

3) There is no way to ensure that she will not open a new account.

Again, I extend my deepest apologies for this.

I have to say I feel a lot better now. All I wanted was a clear response and not the copy & paste stuff. I hope they will have an update for me tomorrow.

Now I am going to bed. I had enough for one day.

My shop is closed till futher notice

I just returned from a night out to find ravenattic "bought" 6 items again, leaving me negative feedback and a smiley on the notes to seller.

Etsy finally suspended her now after I called everything out in the forums, I had no choice since I didn't get any serious replies to my emails. They suspended her and warned me not to post about their support not being good, cause "they have emails to prove otherwise" whatever that means.

1. Etsy should not try to teach me about customer support. I have been managing international customer service and tech support for years before they even existed. I know what excellent customer service is - Prompt, professional, courteous. Their support is just courteous (when they do take the time to reply). For example, I just realized they removed the negative feedback she left. But they didn't notify me about it.

2. People have been telling me "don't do this, that is exactly what she wants you to do". Let me make this clear - I don't give a damn about her. I am upset about Etsy. I cried because of Etsy doing nothing to protect their shop owners. I have been promoting Etsy like am idiot for a year now. Telling people about it, trying to get the Etsy Israel team to work, promoting and promoting and promoting not just my shop but the concept of Etsy - a community for artists to flourish and work together. Now I realize my dream of Etsy for just that, a naive dream. And it hurts. It hurts big time, cause I invested so much in it.

I am too hurt to do this anymore. The shop is closed till further notice.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Etsy sellers should be protected against this jurk (and others like it)

This is what I wrote on the Help forum this morning:

I just had my shop raided again, by the same little piece of false user (who buys from herself, and leaves a positive feedback on both profiles). I guess I deserve it, cause 6 months ago I told her it is not nice to flood the forums with many copies of the same thread. Yes, indeed I deserve to keep losing my most hearted items again and again.

So now she returned again, this time to buy 3 items from my shop and leave me curses in the "notes for seller" just like last time.

Etsy didn't even close her account, just had me relist the items losing all views and hearts.

I want this person banned from Etsy based on their IP.
I want them blocked from my shop.
I want my views and hearts back.

Etsy, what are you going to do to protect us sellers from such incidents repeating?

Since Etsy never replied any of my emails from last time she did this to me (I actually started emailing abuse@etsy when she first started sending me rude convos, before she even did the false purchase) I don't know if her other user's shop (jlocke38) was closed by herself, or by Etsy following my complaints. I bet she has another shop open now, though. And I also bet she will open a new user for false buying after this one is closed, cause Etsy does not prevent this in any way currently.

And now, for your enjoyment, some colorful pictures.

ravenattic 1

ravenattic 2

I started a thread asking admins to add a new feature - allow sellers to confirm purchase before it is committed to the database (hance losing all of its hearts and views). Please show your support by commneting on it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Another sinusitish weekend

Geesh, this is the second weekend in a raw I spend sick. My head is about to pop and my fever is enjoying itself. Me? Not much so.

I also had three almost sales this past three days, which is disappointing, but at least new people are aware of my shop.. On the other hand, this lovely feature was just published on the Storque, thanks to lovely Alona and I think the picture of me swinging Nick in the playground is mighty cute!

Yesterday was a fun day, with the girls coming for a long visit and even modeling some of my new creations.

New on the shop - the big and beautiful necklace, you can see on Ruthi in the picture above, and two new Flutterheads.

Flutterheads in a box

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The pen truly is mightier than the sword

A few months ago, I was approached by Dave from Craftiness with an exciting suggestion. Dave makes the most beautiful wooden pens (among other things) and he asked me whether I would be interested in drawing a couple of barrels, one for him and one for myself. He will then make them into pens for us. I, of course, said yes!

Once I received the maple barrels, however, I got cold feet. They were so small, and round, and I thought anything I will paint of them will look terrible. It took me a few weeks to get the nerve to start working on them (I'll say that for Dave - he is very patient!). Dave asked for something which has Etsy written in Hebrew and a peace symbol. So I used my acrylic paint and a toothpick to paint a peace dove, a few olive branches and the word אצי in Hebrew. I used the world tiniest brush to paint a little silly bear on mine, an signed my name on the back.

A cross-sea project in the works

Once I was finished, almost three months after we decided to start on this project, I sent the barrels back to Texas, to be turned into pens. I was shocked to receive mine a couple of weeks later. I never imagined it will turn out that beautiful!!

International pen project

International pen project

Dave's wife Tina wrote about this project in her blog as well. You can also see pictures of the second pen over there (I should have made one for Tina as well..).

I can't wait to do this again, and this time Dave, I promise I will be a hell of a lot quicker!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Still ill

Every time I am sick for a long time (or rather, a too long time) I get reminded of this song. I was sickish and tired all last week, and now - I am sick again (a head cold this time). How annoying. I lost hours of work, which annoys me as well. To sum it up, you may say I am an annoyed person.

You cannot tell that from these pictures though, taken by my friend Maya this morning. Lots of concieler on my red red nose, and some blush and hop - Nick and me posed for the camera in a cute little playground across the street. This is supposed to be in a "shop local" article on the Storque. I hope they will like this shoot as much as we do.

Nick and mommy Nick and mommy
Nick and mommy

As for new items, I added this little showgirl to the shop last night. She is made out of wonderful embellishments Kat sent me from Portugal. Obviously, I had to name to name her after Kat. Here is some fun with colors.

Andy Flutterbutt

If you want to adopt her, you can find her on my shop.

And speaking of my shop - I have a special Black Friday & Cyber Monday deal going on tilll Monday the 2nd. It is Free Shipping on all items 20$ and higher. I hope to get some nice sales out of this one. I don't usually FREESH anything, so this is a one of a kind deal.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Etsy Israel

There has been a lot of interest in the Etsy Israel Team lately, and God knows I worked hard to get that attention.

First, I arranged an "Artist of Etsy exposed" treasury for the Israel team members. These treasuries, curated by VickiDianeDesigns usually get the featured artists tons of views and indeed, our list got almost 2000 views total! It was a great publicity for us and we all got lots of hearts (and maybe some sales as well).

Artists of Etsy Israel Exposed Treasury - 6.11.08

Next, with the help of Neta (who gave me a sock-doll making workshop which I highly recommend!) I found this commune of Israelis in Etsy on Tapuz. It seems a bit strange to me that a person with a shop with so little sales can offer private tutoring on selling on Etsy (not that I am a top seller myself, but I have my 14 years of tech support management and technical writing experience and a lot of experience in international customer relationship management). Anyway, I invited the members of the commune to join our Flickr group and team, and many of them indeed came forward asking to join! I am very happy about that. A growing team means our promotional endeavors have a much better chance of actually coming through.

Unfortunately, Rachel asked to stop being the team leader and contact person, so I took over (as if I don't have enough to deal with right now, blah! But I do enjoy this). I will do my best to revive the team action and website (I am not even sure what the URL is at this point in time!).

On top of this, I added a new Hebrew guide to my "Etsy for Hebrew readers" series. Now you can learn how to open a shop, list items, and create a treasury - all in the holy language :o)

Etsy for Hebrew readers - Guide to creating a Treasury Etsy-חדש! מדריך לישראלים ב Etsy Israeli shop opening service

All are available at the Hebrew section of my shop.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Jaffa flea market finds

The Jaffa flea market used to be our dwelling place when I was 17 (a period I like to call "my new age period"). We used to hunt for trinkets in those narrow passages, breathing in the scent of incense, dark strong sweet coffee and fear the solicitations of the merchants to buy from their old and sometimes rusty merchandise. These days, I find, I can go there and enjoy the antique shops without even entering the clothing and jewelry allies I don't like.

Just look at these amazing perambulators! I bet they were carrying the script to an unpublished novel, and a baby, at some point in their existence.

Antique shop at the Jaffa flea market

I haven't been there in a long while, but as an adult I am starting to like it again. Last night I went there for a meeting, and spent some time searching for my favorite new crafty play - broken chandelier pieces. I was fortunate enough to find these amazing pieces, which I am turning into wonderful jewelry.

Market finds

This I bought to make a necklace for myself. It needs some cleaning, and I might change the center piece to something smaller and rounder, but I think it would make a wonderful Boleyn style necklace.

Market finds

I can't wait to get started on these pieces! Very exciting. I really don't want to go to work today, but I must. Sigh. At least autumn is officially here. You can't quarrel with the Crocus.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Oh! My camera! My camera!

The heart breaking truth is that I have been managing without a printer for the past few months. My Canon printer-scanner was dying for the past year or so, but I always managed to fix it till now (well, my first job out of the army was tech support for Cannon printers!) but now it is gone, dead, kaput. The scanner is still working though, so I am printing what I need at work (which is just as annoying as it sounds).

So now my stupid 4 years old Olympus decided to join. It shuts down with an annoying click each time I touch its front side. Every time I finish setting it for micro shots, I hear the click and poof it shuts to the sound of me cursing and swearing and then I have to reset it all over again, and then it shuts down again and so on and so forth. I can't explain how annoying that is, I can't stand things which should work fast but work unimaginably slow. That is just the kinda person I am.

I managed to take some pictures yesterday and today though (to the horror of my neighbors who had to hear my screams on the roof all morning).

Some new and improved shots of Angelica Flutterbutt

And also, new pictures of Apple and Mimi Flutterbutt

And finally, a picture of my new slippers! The distinct indicator it is starting to get chilly.

And last but not least - I am featured on the Stroque's weekend deals guide. Yay! I hope it will bring in sales. I also start a new ad campaign in Majaba this week. Very excited about that.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Carfty paper galore!

My friend Yael came back from a short but sweet vacation in England and brought me a wonderful Indian paper craft pack by Globe Enterprise. I was first amazed with how beautiful it is, and then worried cause I am a horrible paper crafter. What ever shall I do with all this goodness?

A gift from London

Then came Junie to the rescue and suggested I make envelopes out of them. Oddly enough, while I was waiting for Junie to send me a template, I stumbled upon this blog. So I took my favorite little envelope, tore it open, and made a template - et voila! The perfect envelope for my "Thank you for buying" and mini Moo's.

Thank you Junie! The perfect little envelope!

How wonderful is that? And on top of that, Poopki got a brand new royal outfit for her duckie.

And duckie got a new suit too

Monday, September 22, 2008

Portraits of my husband and I in bathing suits

made for me by a local artist called Ayelet Shwartz. Don't we look great together?

Friday, September 12, 2008

I love the end of summer

The smell of guavas, and summer end of season sales. For the first time in a long while I feel like my old self. With all the things that happened this past two years, and with the weight I gained till lately, I forgot how wonderful it feels to wear beautiful cloths.

I bought these amazing pants at the end of summer sale at Alambika. 30% off, still expensive, but they are just perfect. They are just the right length, look perfect with sandals and a tank top with a a big necklace. And I already plan to narrow the waist when I lose more weight.

The purple blouse is from Zara, and is so cool! It sit very loosely on the body, and has this wonderful pompom, flowers and wood built in necklace. Blouse and accessory in one! I bumped into Flora the fashion journalist yesterday while wearing it, and she thought I made the necklace, which is always a good sign.

New dress
Originally uploaded by Sharona R
And this amazing oh so orange dress from Tovale's was half price. It looks like a nurse outfit gone mad, and fits my very pale skin. It is just the right length, looks wonderful from behind and has beautiful sequin details.There is no way I will not get noticed in this dress.

I have to say "yay" for Naama (the designer). Her last two collections were simply terrible. Old and boring. Nothing like her older inspired work. This year, it seems she made a huge improvement. You can see how I love her designs, I am wearing her on my blog picture! Ah, that is the cutest shirt in that picture. I hope I will lose enough weight to wear it soon. Here is a wonderful picture from 3 years ago with me wearing all Tovale's.