Tuesday, November 30, 2010
To be honest I felt a little despondent about the lack of sales at PeanutButterPie this weekend and to be very honest I just wanted to sulk a little bit. Fortunately for you, sulking isn't an activity that I indulge in for very long at any given time and once I was able to type out the "Oh Woes" and the "Alack a days" I got over it. Then I decided to focus on what I did to get ready for my sales event, what was successful and what wasn't. I also want to look at why and what I can do next time around.
Going into this sale weekend I did some groundwork for promoting by writing about the sale in my blog, on my facebook and facebook fanpage and adding my shop link to a few sites that were linking to sales over the weekend. I made use of Etsy on Sale and Etsy Coupons to put my sale on and to promote it as well. During the sale I tweeted*, I facebooked and participated in the Etsy forums and I visited and commented on my own blog lists in the hopes of bringing some more traffic to my shop. (*keep in mind that when I say tweeted I did not blast spam continuously over the course of the weekend but retweeted other artist's sales, carried on tweetversations, posted links to items of interest and posted about my families tradition of giving a new ornament to put on the tree every year in between linking to items in my shop)
To look at GA it all worked to one degree or another. This weekend I had a record number of page views and unique visits. If I compare this month with last months views in PeanutButterPie, my traffic was more than doubled with the bulk of visits made over last weekend. Looking at this last weekend compared to the weekend before, visits were up 80%. That's a big jump in visitors. Enormous, really. Monstrous. When you look at it that way it's something to be proud of.
So out of all the promotion steps I took what worked the best? According to GA the bulk of my page views were made from referring sites. These would be the visits that were made by clicking on the links to my sale on the Blogs that I mentioned above, twitter, facebook, my blog and the Etsy Apps Etsy on Sale and Etsy Coupons. The rest of of the traffic sources were made via what GA classifies as direct traffic which on Etsy could come from visitors clicking on their favourites, visiting treasuries or from the Etsy forums. Overall, the least productive steps I took involved my own blog posts. Traffic sources from this blog and others made up only 1% of all visits. Of course I still need to go into GA and look at the traffic on my blog and the number of clicks the links to the sale received. They could have been lumped into the direct traffic numbers on my shops analytics in which case they may not be as concerning as I think.
What I want to focus on for next time is focusing my promoting on my target market. The question is who is that?
Did you do a promotion this weekend? How did it go? What did you learn. Please feel free to share, if we pool our information and thoughts our next event can be even better right?
Monday, November 29, 2010
This year we've done a mini gingerbread village instead of a house. I'm not sure we'll go this route again next year but the Peanut had lots of fun with them and can't wait to decimate each tiny house.
I'll be posting a post mortem on my first ever sale tomorrow. If you're looking for something different for your tree head on over to PeanutButterPie and check out our ornaments. The sale ends tonight at midnight Pacific Standard Time.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Today we'll put out our tiny village and train set and then we'll be going out to the family swim at the community pool in the hopes that the Peanut will tire herself out in the water and that I'll be able to enjoy a certain weightlessness that being in a large body of water while pregnant gives a person. I'm starting to see swollen ankles at the end of the day and also early in the day too. The Bean is on the move all the time with kicks and hiccups and rolling over.
And last but not least: My ornament sets sale continues until tomorrow Midnight. Save 15% off of the regular retail price of $60 USD. The rest of PeanutButterPie will go on sale later today, starting at 6PM Pacific Standard Time when you'll be able to save 10% to 15% off of the regular price on everything in the shop. If you're looking for unique one of a kind tree ornaments, want to add something extra to a gift for someone special or need the perfect host or hostess gift for that party you're invited to these ornaments fit the bill.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
We've already put together a gingerbread creation this week so our holiday celebrations are well underway. This year we came across a village kit with 5 tiny buildings. We let the Peanut be in charge of decorating them. I'll be posting some pictures soon; before she starts to pick the gum drops and sprinkles off of the roofs and walls. Also on the to do this holiday list is a trip to the Bright Nights train, a ride on the carousel at Burnaby Village and the Lantern festival on the Solstice. Add in a little baking, some crafting with the Peanut and of course gift shopping and we've got a nice full holiday platter lined up.
I'm battling a minor cold with an irritated throat and sinus and various of aches and pains; although I'm pretty sure the aches and pains are from my not shoveling the sidewalks and driveways during the monster snowfall we had the other day. I say not shoveling because I generally pushed the snow off of the sidewalks with very little lifting of snow involved except for the huge pile of snow that is still sitting melting in the rain in our back yard. I know that I'm probably going to hear from some of you about how a pregnant women shouldn't be doing heavy labour like that but, BUT I was having fun, and it really wasn't that hard and AND it kept my blood sugars well under control all day long. The above mentioned aches are good ones and really are almost nearly gone and so is all that snow.
In between tree assembly and decorating I'll be checking in at PeanutButterPie to answer convo's and questions since my Black Friday Sale is still up and running. We've had a record number of visitors to the shop and I'm looking forward to seeing more customers over the rest of the weekend and all day Monday. In case you're just hearing about my sale, all ornament sets in my shop are 15% off of their regular retail price of $60.00 USD. If you haven't had a chance to come by and have a look now's a good time!
How are your holiday preparations coming along?
Friday, November 26, 2010
In order to give back to the generous Etsians who are thoughtfully sending gifts my way for the Bean, I wanted to feature each of them in a five question feature post over the next few weeks. Unfortunately the beginning of the holiday rush has delayed these plans but that doesn't mean that I can't share a little bit about each of the creative and talented artists and artisans that have been so generous to me.
Since I also wanted to give as well as receive to I'm also planning a feature on the other new Etsy Mom's Etsy shop who will receive something from me. Now did that read as totally confusing? To simplify watch over the next few weeks as I feature shops from the Etsians who are either giving me an Etsy Baby Shower Gift or receiving one from me. Once things slow down enough for these talented folks to send me the answers to my thought provoking questions I'll be posting 5 question features on each of them.
In the meantime I wanted to share a little about Yvette from NursingBling. Yvette is a jewelry and accessory designer whose shops roots are fairly similar to why I started PeanutButterPie; creating a personal gift for a friend which led to requests for gifts for still other nursing Mammas.
NursingBling is a fantastic stop for a baby shower gift that goes beyond baby clothes and receiving blankets (not that those gifts aren't welcome either but a gift from NursingBling really stands out). In Yvette's shop you'll find Nursing Covers, Nursing Wraps Breastfeeding Covers, Nursing Shawls, Nursing Bling and Nursing Jewels all beautifully made and in the case of the Bling and the Jewels simply beautiful to look at too.
With the Peanut I breastfed up until a month before her second birthday. The first days of breastfeeding were days of sleep deprivation full of a frustration as I slowly got the hang of the proper latch and making sure that the newborn Peanut wasn't falling asleep mid feed. I suffered from not one, but two cases of mastitis in the first year and figuring out which side I last nursed on was done by juggling each breast to feel which one felt lighter and which was heavier; classy right? Had I been gifted with some nursing bling back then I think at the very least I'd have felt a little more stylish and at the very most I'd have had a beautiful charm to pass onto the Peanut if she decides to be a Mamma herself one day.
To find out more you can of course click on the NursingBling links above or any one of the photographs here. You can also keep up to day with Yvette on her breastfeeding blog, as well as on Twitter and her Facebook Fanpage.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
The Sale price lasts through Monday (or as long as supplies last) when the rest of the ornaments will be on sale as well; making every item in PeanutButterPie discounted from 10% to 15% off of the regular prices. Happy Shopping!
One of the advantages of building a snowman with your Daddy
is that said snowman will be about your height.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
This morning I set up my sale using the Etsy On Sale Application. I'm so excited to put this application to use since it will makes putting on a sale so easy and nearly hassle free. I say nearly hassle free because I'll be writing up a shop announcement that will include a list of what all the items in PeanutButterPie are priced regularily today. I like to know what the regular price is when I'm shopping so it makes sense to me to share it with any customers who'll be stopping by this weekend. It helps that all my items are pretty much the same across the board and that I only have three different regular prices to list instead of hundreds.
I'll be trying to get a few more items listed over the course of the next few days so that my inventory is up and I also need to post shipping deadlines for the holiday season.
And on top of that I have some Etsy Features to work on, laundry to do, paper snowflakes to cut and glitter with the Peanut and some nesting instincts that I need to take care of since I'm in that stage of pregnancy. It's been very cold here over the last few days and after spending yesterday afternoon bundled up and still feeling cold while out and about I'm just pleased to have an excuse to stay inside.
Now tomorrow is another story. The Peanut and I have to be up and out the door to make it to an appointment by 9:00am. Then it's back home to more prep.
Monday, November 22, 2010
So far this morning I've sent an update to my facebook fans letting them know all the details of the sale this weekend as well as a special coupon code for them to use before the sale even starts. Are you a member of my fanpage? You can get in on the special deals available to fan members by adding my page to your favourites.
Yesterday I mentioned that I have been making some gift boxes for our ornaments. I also promised that I'd share some pictures of those boxes today. I'll be sharing some of those images today. While I was taking the photographs of the finished boxes I also thought it might be a good idea to share how I made my templates and boxes and where to find ready made templates. So I'll be creating a new tutorial over the course of this coming week. I know, nothing like loading myself down with a little extra work right? I think a tutorial will be a lot of help though and I love being able to share information like that.
So here are what my boxes look like now both in prefabrication stage and in all their finished glory. Of course I've already got plans to make the process even easier for me, it just requires a little leg work and finding a place to do the printing for me. It also means that I may have to go with white or white boxes instead of the lovely purple and blue that I've been making on my own but I'm using up stock from my paper stash that's been hiding in my cupboard over the last ten years so the limited number of coloured boxes was going to be a reality anyway.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
I'm making boxes and boxes and boxes. I created my own template based on one that I found on Mirkwood Designs. Because I want to package our ornaments into special boxes I used the template for the playing card box as a reference and then created my own template in InDesign. Last night I cut out a few and other than not realizing that my printer cut off a small section of one of the ends making the three boxes I made last night a little useless (until I attach prosthetic lids that is) they look fantastic.
I'll be wrapping our ornaments into tissue and sliding them into their boxes for mailing when they find homes. And the best part? The boxes are small enough that they'll fit into cushioned envelopes which means that I'll be able to keep shipping costs down. The other best part? I get to personalize the boxes with one of my hand carved stamps making them easily give-able as they are; instant gift wrapping! I have a few things to do to finish them off, stickers for sealing the one end for one and care inserts for the ornaments for inside. It's been a pretty good weekend so far.
I'll share pictures of the boxes tomorrow along with news of the Black Friday Pre-sale offer that I'm offering to my facebook fanpage followers click the link to favourite my page and get in on some early bird action; or you can wait until Black Friday when I put our ornament sets on sale, or Cyber Monday when the rest of the shop follows suit.
Just so I'm not posting without a pretty picture, here's one from my early morning walk yesterday. It would have made a great accompaniment with the word picture I posted yesterday but since a word picture is just that I'll share it here instead.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
We're also gearing up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I'll be focusing on packaging this weekend I have a template for a small box that will fit our ornaments perfectly and still stay within the limits set by Canada Post's Slot of Doom. I'm going to build a few and see how well they'll work. I'll be making a special Facebook Fanpage member announcement on Monday. To get in on the secret surprise you can add my fanpage onto your favourites here.
Of course all of this is going to be happening while the snow starts to fall, I head to my latest Mat appointment and we start to decorate for the holiday season. What's going on for your weekend?
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I also have the tail end of laundry to do from yesterday and it's bed changing time. Add into the equation the re-introduction of the daily glucose blood tests (up from every three days) and the need to make sure that all meals are carbohydrate low and protein high with a good walk or three to control the sugars and I've got a full day.
What do you have on your plate today?
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
In the meantime I'm getting ready to start listing ornaments from the last soldering session. We're planning on having a Black Friday to Cyber Monday sale this year with the ornaments. I'll post a little more here in the next week with a link for a pre-sale event for my Facebook Fanpage followers. If you want to get in on the fun you can join the page here
Monday, November 15, 2010
On top of that I'll be contacting the councilor that I was in touch with at the beginning of our pregnancy. Now that we're in the final trimester I want to touch base and talk about the anxieties that I've been experiencing lately and make sure that I'm headed in the right direction as we head into the home stretch. The one thing that I feel confident about is the support systems we'll have this time around. Having family close by is a huge difference from our experience with the Peanut. Knowing that we have someone close by who can and will jump in and help is a huge weight off.
Any thing else that we'll be putting into place will have to wait until the Bean makes her appearance. Things like co-sleeping so that my sleep is less disturbed and making sure that I get some time just for me or doing something just for me. I feel like I'm already ahead of the game this time around. The thing about PPD is the sense of failure that accompanies the diagnosis. Having a baby is supposed to bring happiness and fulfillment not deep despair and the feeling that you've lost who you are with that baby. Taking the steps to bypass those feelings now is a big part of getting ready for the Bean.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
that made the front page of Etsy today. That's the good news. The bad news is that I missed it; I was out getting my hair cut this morning and wasn't able to get online. Well that and the fact that our ornaments are on the bottom row of the collection and weren't included on the front page. What we got from this is a lot of extra views today from those people who clicked to see the full collection. As you can see from the screen shot above the Treasury itself is simply stunning and full of items that I am currently lusting after. To be included in this grouping is a big stroke to the ego.
We've been included in a number of treasuries over the last few weeks which is exciting all by itself. I always get a little thrill in seeing one of my items included in a collection curated by someone else. What's even better, is that I get to share this thrill with the husband who has as much invested in our ornaments as I do. Really it's equivalent to having a work of art selected by a jury for hanging in a show which is something that the Husband has only witnessed through me when I've had that honour in the past.
Feel free to click on the screen grab above and comment on the treasury and click on the items that grab your attention. You might just find that one of a kind gift for someone on your list and be that much closer to a relaxed December.
Friday, November 12, 2010
The husband and I have plans for our future workspace that is currently unused (other than a drop spot for our supplies and equipment) behind the couch in the living room. Those plans involve getting rid of a large Ikea cupboard that we've had for about three years and is currently holding binders, photography supplies, frames and painting stuff. What we want to do is replace it with a low side cabinet and two steel topped tables where our projects, personal and collaborative can be worked on leaving the kitchen table (the place we tend to congregate) free.
But the workspace is going to have to wait a little longer. Today I'll be getting ready to movie the living room area around so that when we put up our tree in the next week or so there's a space for it.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
On my to do list today:
Ornaments, we'll be soldering some of the newest tonight. Yesterday (before things got all wahoonie shaped) I used my newest hand carved stamp on a new batch of ornaments. As with all creative projects the brain starts working overtime and new project ideas have popped into my head. I've talked to the husband about one or two and we'll be working on some prototypes soonish. We've also been in contact with one of our favourite gift shops about possibly carrying our ornaments during the holiday season. It's a wholesale deal and I'll be working on packaging and display for that over the weekend; something that has the shop name attached...
Attacking the mess that is the Peanuts' arts and crafts corner; or you know, leaving it for another day. It's an avalanche waiting to happen and is in dire dire dire need of purging.
Laundry, or rewashing some of the laundry. One of our sheets blew up over the clothes line and collected a little extra dirt the other day.
What are you working in today?
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Well, I'm planning for holiday posts, a special holiday sale for PeanutButterPie and for the features I mentioned last week and wanted something to share with you that wasn't hitting you over the head with all the stuff I've been doing and this looked like fun. Me from A to Z. What do you think?
A - Age: Well, telling would kind of break this rule I have about sharing too much personal information online. Lets just say I'm between 30 and 40
B - Bed size: Queen size and It's not quite big enough except that anything bigger would mean wall to wall bed in our place
C - Chore you hate: Cleaning the bathroom; But doing it does give me dibs on getting to use the clean tub first
D - Dog's name: We don't have any pets at the moment but my last dog's name was Misty
E - Essential start your day item(s): Good Morning hug from the Peanut, socks, breakfast, blogs and coffee
F - Favorite color: Green, no; red, no; blue, no; purple, no green, yes green.
G- Gold or Silver: both
H - Height: 5'2
I - Instruments you play: I can sing but I generally don't
J - Job: SAHM, Artist, Proprietor of two online shops TMCPhoto.etsy.com and PeanutButterPie.etsy.com
K - Kids: The Peanut and the Bean
L - Living Arrangements: in a house
M - Music you love: Depeche Mode, Watchmen, Muse, Aimee Mann, Crowded House, Greg Laswell... I like to think that I have eclectic tastes
N - Nicknames: None that aren't terms of endearment used by the Husband
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: When I was a kid for the Croup and for when the Peanut was born. Also there's a stay in my future when it's time to unveil the Bean
P - Pet Peeve: People smoking around me
Q - Quote from a movie: I'm going to plead pregnancy brain on this one
R - Right or left handed : right
S - Siblings: 2 sisters and a brother
T - Time you wake up: as soon as the Peanut starts to move around, or call my name, or comes into our room to share an interesting dino fact
U - Underwear or boxers: Boxers are underwear, aren't they?
V - Vegetable you dislike: cooked leafy greens, I much prefer raw baby spinach
W - Workout Style: I walk, a lot.
X - X-rays you've had: I broke my arm when I was 11, I sprained my ankle a few years ago, Dental stuff.
Y - Yummy food you make: I like to think that most of what I cook is yummy, but I think my roast turkey stuffed with sausage and bread dressing is pretty tasty.
Z - Zoo, the best place to visit: if you have an animal crazy child, especially if you have an animal and dino crazy child and you live near the Calgary Zoo.
Monday, November 8, 2010
We've been pretty lucky with the weather lately. I've been able to get out and rake the leaves that keep falling off the trees in our yards on a regular enough basis that the hob doesn't seen so enormous.
If you're asking yourself why I'm raking the leaves? I'll answer. It's an excellent way to burn of some blood glucose after lunch (anything to keep those BGL's down and also I can only walk around the block after every meal so many times before I start to get bored of the neighborhood). On top of that I enjoy raking leaves. I love the rustling shush sound they make as they make it into a nice big pile. I love looking at the leaves still clinging onto the branches, and the light that passes through those leaves from the sun. It's a meditative job and one that I enjoy. Also when I rake leaves there's the opportunity for this:
Sunday, November 7, 2010
No time to grab the camera just this short word picture for your amusement.
That is all.
Friday, November 5, 2010
When I found out that we were expecting the Bean I went looking for the shower, I wanted to be on the receiving end and I wanted to give a little something too. Instead of just packing up a card and shipping it off and getting a package in the mail and then leaving it at that I'm also going to give the lovely folks who are sending me gifts a bit more exposure.
It's been a while since I had a Five Question Feature. To be honest I wasn't sure that I'd be reintroducing them until after the Bean makes her appearance. In between launching our ornaments and getting ready for a new addition I wasn't sure that adding a few more deadlines to my schedule would be prudent. Prudence, however is not my name nor is it on the short list for the Bean. I'll be contacting my gift giving shops to see if they're up for answering 5 brain teasing questions and if not I'll just share some of their amazing items with you; with links of course.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
A while ago I came across a bunch of posts on some of my favourite blogs that were sharing some fabulous exchange gifts. I followed the links and found a few new blogs to follow (always a bonus) and some amazing inspirations. Now the exchange is the brainchild of Faerwillow over at Serendipity, Faerwillow has an exchange going on each month and this month's exchange is making a mystical mask for your matched partner, the deadline for signing up is November 3rd; and while I won't be participating I'm looking forward to seeing all the amazing masks that come out of the challenge.
Back to finding Faerwillow's blog though. All the packages that my blog land friends were receiving were full of magical little details and beautiful work that just tickled my creative funny bone. I love seeing other people's creations and always feel a little nudge to keep creating afterwards. (it's one of the reasons that I love picking up magazines like Somerset Studio and Cloth Paper Scissors.) So I thought I'd check out Faerwillow's blog and see what else she had on offer. It just so happened that my first visit to her page was also the day that she was celebrating her favourite number with a number of giveaways. I was one of the lucky first three people to comment on that post and automatically won a special surprise gift.
My package came the other day and I wanted to share my gift here. As you can see; Faerwillow has gifted me with a gorgeous handmade paper goddess and a glass ball for watering plants. I'll be adding my Goddess to our Yule tree. I can't wait to see her reflecting our lights. As for the watering ball I'll be on the look out for a beautiful houseplant to add some life and greenery to our living space. Something that I can keep in the living room full time instead of just until we transplant to the garden.
Today's a bit of a catch up day. I'm catching up on my blog list, cleaning the bathroom and getting some laundry done. Yesterday was spent at the Dietitian; we're still on track, blood sugars are still below the limits and the Bean is still growing at the proper rate. The only thing is that we'll be headed back sooner now that we're headed into the third trimester.
Monday, November 1, 2010
So yesterday we carved our second pumpkin and then headed out to the local mall to take part in the trick or treating that they put on. This is one of the quieter malls I've ever been to and we thought based on our experience of mostly empty stroll ways that it would be similar to what we did last year. Can I just say bad idea? OK, it was a bad idea. It was a mad house with wall to wall people and chaos chaos chaos. We lasted twenty minutes before we decided to head home for dinner.
Dinner was a done and over with quickly with no need from us to prompt the Peanut to eat and then it was back into costume and out the door to go door to door. We went around in a two block circuit and hit any house that had their porch lights on or had jack-o-lanterns, skeletons or cobwebs all over their front door. Even with a large number of homes dark, the Peanut soon required that Daddy hold onto her bag between houses. When we got home and started to sort her treats we soon learned why.
People in this neighborhood like to give out full sized candy bars. In one case she was given a 131gr (a little over 4oz) box of chocolates. They also like to hand out fist fulls of candy. The ones that let their trick or treaters choose encourage picking just one or two more pieces. We should be up to our eyeballs in treats well into November.
As for giving out candy, we had a whopping 5 kids. There may have been more out while we were doing our rounds but from what I saw probably not too many more. The Husband will be taking a nice big bag of mini Tootsie pops to work in an effort to reduce the amount of candy in the house. It's going to be a test of will power on my part to keep away from the tempting chocolates.
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