Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Show Me Your... Blue!

This week lets show off our Blue!

This is a live post, so post a link to your items in comments and it will be shown here. After the 5th item this post will be closed. And a new one will be opened.

This is a weekly thing, so please keep checking back every Wednesday!

I will also link to your item and give a good comment on your item!

So I start first!

These are Czech glass beads that are blueish greenish and purplish. Very unique and cute!

Silky Body Wash with Botanical Extracts & Luxury Moisturizers (No SLS) by essensu

This is a great SLS free product, which I think is very well priced. If you are wondering what's the fuss is about SLS, short for sodium laureth sulfate, it is a chemical that creates the foaminess of bath products, shampoo and just about anything that foams. It has a corosive nature that 'degreases'. In the case of bath products, it strips away your natural skin's moisture and can slowly weaken your body's natural moisture regulation mechanisms.

Correct me if I am wrong here, but I think it is bad for the environment too.

Blue Peacock All-Occasion Greeting Card by Actuali Design

This is a lovely and neat card. Truly suitable for all occasions also regardless if the receiver is a lady or a man. I can't think of any
occasion or purpose where this card is not suitable.

Great work!

Baby Boy Booties Card by Valmade

These are just so adorable! Baby booties that were actually knitted by the maker! I just love the colours too, they are really sweet!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Off this weekend

Sorry if you don't see the weekly posts this week. I am off, celebrating my birthday! :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Show me your... Green!

This is a live post, so post a link to your items in comments and it will be shown here. After the 5th item this post will be closed.

This is a weekly thing, so please keep checking back every Wednesday!

I will also link to your item and give a good comment on your item!

So I start first!

I love these, they are actually really cute in person! I am going to make my mom a bracelet hopefully with green beads.

Balloons Birthday Card by ValMade

This is a unique card! The balloons are actually metal stuck on the card with raised adhesives so that they look 3D. How cool!

Grass Stain Soap by SubEarthan Cottage

Grass scented soap? I love the smell of freshly cut grass and frankly don't know who doesn't. So this is a great idea and would be a wonderful gift.

Handbuilt Earthenware Ceramic Catalpa Leaf Bowl by HarmonArt

This is lovely! This will be great as a 'key bowl', a beautiful piece waiting for you at the door. I love things like this - it's decorative and yet has a function or a purpose.

Uplifting - 9 ounce Palm Wax Candle with Wood Wick by Jennuine Candles

This candle has a lemongrass/citrus scent with just a hint of sage! Did you know that in South East Asia (mosquito's favorite hang out) we actually use lemongrass candles to keep bugs away? So this to me must be the modern and stylish version.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday - Time to Reflect

It's Sunday here down under! As I prepare for a busy week ahead with work and getting my new supplies shop up WorldInColour and running, I want to stop and take a few minutes of my time to re-flect on how fortunate I really am.

I struggle everyday to get out of bed early enough to catch the early train to work and get there on time before my boss pulls a long face at me. Then I struggle again to understand what my really weird colleagues are trying to tell me when they explain what they want from me. Then I struggle again to get dinner on the table and look all happy and prepped-up before my partner things that something is wrong. Struggle? I don't think I really know what struggle is.

What I am going through is what some people wish they could have, a normal life. I can't help but to say (what we all already know) that there are some who has it worst than me. How lucky they think I am, to be able to have something to cook, while they don't even have something to eat! To be able to afford to get on the train and have somewhere to go, while they are stuck, both where they are and in their lives.

"Put all your complaints aside, and you will make way for your heart to truly appreciate the best you have in life!"

Small change can make big changes:
“I saw a little girl on TV who’d lost her whole family in the tsunami being treated at a makeshift Australian hospital. Afterwards, she was being put back on the streets.That’s when I knew those kids needed our help.”
Father Chris Riley

Redkite is an Australian charity that supports children, young people and their families through cancer by providing emotional support, financial assistance and educational services.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Choice ArtFire Shop - HarmonArt

My choice ArtFire Shop for this Saturday is HarmonArt! This wonderful and unique ArtFire shop is the work of husband and wife, Brian and Emily Harmon. Even their avatar is a picture of them both. I get a great sense of family warmth here and it is wonderful to see a couples working together!

Thier items are unique as this is the first time (maybe need more exposure?) I've seen gourd that are so beatifully decorated and used in so many different ways. Coming from a Chinese background dried gourd in ancient China were used as a water bottle or to keep wine. In mordern day Chinese culture, the gourd symbolises longevity in feng shui. So this is a wonderful give for someones birthday, it will be like wishing the person will have a long and good life!

The rest of the shop is filled with earthenware in a warm autumn tone. There are bowls, decorative items, jewelry ... etc, which I find to be very practical and useful. They will make the perfect gift for a nature lover!

World In Colour on ArtFire

Yes finally! I have successfully re-invented my ArtFire shop to become a supplies store. Actually it is a little bit also a de-stash store as since I started making some jewelry for myself, I have collected not only beads and finding, but a list of wholesale suppliers. I figured that if I could get them at wholesale price I would be able to reduce the cost of my new found hobby and share the rest with others.

All the prices are all kept at $1.00/pkt, small cost covering some of my time and packing material. And they are all categoriesd by colour so that you could instantly look for that one colour you are looking for.

In the future I will be adding a colour guide for each item for easy colour matching and product matching. And you will see new things every day or two, so please keep coming back to my shop!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Feature Me Friday - Glitzer

Glitzer is a handmade jewelry store inspired by nature and florals, especially the vibrant colors in flowers, and where products are colorful and bold and will be the focal point of the wearer.

Shown Above (clockwise from top right) -La Vie En Rose Necklace, Morning Dew Leaf Necklace, Fuschia Glow Ribbon Pearl Drop Necklace and Petite Pois Vintage Ribbon Earrings

Price Range - $10.00 to $40.00

4 Most Popular Items - Signature Glitzer Rouge Earrings, Hawaiian Tropic Dazzling Floral Earrings, Pear and Leaf on Jade Earrings and Serendipity Earrings

Look out for the new fall line which should be released pretty soon and in conjunction with store owner's birthday, look out for upcoming store discounts at Glitzer!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Themed Thursday Treasures - RED

This is the first Triple T - Themed Thursday Treasures! Therefore the theme is Red! Would love to see what other themes you could think of, so please do comment and leave a suggestion.Clockwise from top right -
1)Red Hawaii Tote Bag with Small Purse by Glorious Hats
2)Sitting Still by yumi yumi
3)Victorian Tea Red Hat Luncheon Accessory by GypsyGoods
4)Roses are Red - Oxidized Sterling Silver Ring by BeadinBabe

Monday, July 13, 2009

Inspirational Mondays - MoxieRings

It's Monday again! For many of us it is frustrating that the weekend went by in a flash, but for some of us it was a disappointing weekend with low sales. But it is the thing that keeps us going that actually get sales coming. Just like MoxieRings, started by Susie in July 2005 the shop manage 1097 sales to date. Here's how -

RROF - Is your Etsy shop your main source of income? If not what is your regular job? (This question is intended to give an idea about how you need to divide your time, which is common issue amongst a lot of people here),

MR - Nope not the main source of income by a long shot!, I wish!I am a graphic designer, currently seeking employment, so I am spending huge amounts of time just searching for a job these days, but at one time Etsy was much businer for me,

RROF - When you started listing your first few items, was the response what you expected?
MR - I signed up to Etsy as member #1150 so it was very early days, and there was nothing happening sales wise. I had my first sale after 6 months and then focused more energy into it, as I saw potential.

RROF - Looking back, share with us some of the mistakes you think you've made when you just got started, and how you overcome them.
MR - No mistakes per se. I would recommend to new craters that they realize not everything will sell though, and just because you can make it does not mean there is a market for it.
I do recommend making sure u have a creative niche, especially when it comes to the jewelry category, which is overfilled and nearly impossible to to get any action in unless you have some outstanding product or insane prices!

RROF - Have you ever felt like giving up? What made you stay?
MR - HAAHAA I gove up all the time but cannot really since I am a creative junkie!

I am compelled to make jewelry and other crafty stuff. When I realized jewelry was a ridiculously overstuffed category I thought why not sell the custom earring cards I make for myself in a customized way for others? I also have always made notepads so started to sell those too! And of course I started offering web banners for Etsy or any other site, ad or blog, was among the first to do so, so it was good to start wit early on…

RROF - How do you promote? And in your opinion, which works best for you?,
MR - I used to have 40-50 orders a month, so I think I should probably check into the forums more often, though I find that promoting there does not net sales or even hits like it used to, and I had also tried purchasing banner ads on other sites (cannot recall names) but I found that was fruitless, too. If I thought a particular site would net some sales I would advertise again.

RROF - If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently?,

MR - I would probably do it all the same!

RROF - Any other thing, thoughts, advice, links, ... etc you would like to share with the Newbies?
MR - My pet peeve with some pages is that they write so much that you have to scroll down a bunch just to see the featured products! Pictures sell much better than paragraphs of written words, save all that stuffing for the profile page is what I recommend! Keep it a short blurb and then let your pics and graphics do the talking, especially banners, I notice which DO NOT communicate what your shop is all about, either graphically or with a short catch line…
In bricks and mortar retail, it is all about putting your best forward and same with online sales, make the pics appetizing and quick to grasp words where necessary!

If you do not make a killing right away on Etsy, do not give up, focus on your craft fairs and wholesale accounts, as I have found that things I cannot giveaway on Etsy, sell like hotcakes in person! No substitute for hands on selling where the customer can touch the goods! And once u reach a customer out here in the real world, make sure u do not let them go without your Etsy url be it on a business card, bookmark or whatever! Return customers are the name of the game!

RROF - Thank you Susie of MoxieRings for your time with this interview, it is much appreciated! Wishing you the best with your shop!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Advertising on RedRubyonFire

I have always wanted to find an advertising resource that I could share with everyone, be it a list that I am currently compiling on Etsy forum (here) or with my recent June promotion where advertising takes centre stage.

So after much deliberation, I have decided to offer advertising on my blog. I want this to be a good useful resource that is not overly commercialized, so at this point it is only limited to 10 advertisement at a time.

Your advertisement will take the position of 'Regular Post' list, right on top and on the left. Size of button is only 200px wide x 100px high. One and a half month of advertising will also include an advertising button (your choice of animated or static) free!

If you have any question please contact me in Etsy, ArtFire or by email (

Advertising Duration
Your advertised URL
Link to your ad button

My Choice ArtFire Shop - Yours Truli

My choice this Saturday is Yours Truli - a shop with unique Renaissance/Victorian Vintage styled jewelry handmade from a combination of real vintage and brand new components.

What I like about Yours Truli?
Consistency. Yes, I am a sucker for all things uniformed, all things that come in the same looking package and comes in a set, just like those miniature cosmetic give away bags. However, Yours Truli has a consistent style not only with the jewelry pieces that is on sale but also the way it is photographed and presented.

The description is a little too long for people who are just browsing, but it provides sufficient information for the person who is close to making a purchase. We normally browse shops, zoom in on one or two items, then read about them to know what we are purchasing. For this reason the description does help alot. All Yours Truli items again is consistantly described by materials used, over all look and style of the piece, size and other information.

Yours Truli links
Blog -
ArtFire Shop -

Friday, July 10, 2009

Feature Me Friday - Meego

Meego is a shop that has Pearl and Crystal jewelry.

Shown Above (clockwise from top right) -The Unequal Butterfly Necklace, Simple 101 Crystal Choker, My Blue Moon Bracelet and Colourful Bracelet

Price Range - $5.00 - $45.00

4 Most Popular Items -The White Witch Bracelet, The Sunset Necklace, The Grass Necklace and Rainbow drops Bracelet and Earring

is in the midst of designing wedding and party jewelry sets, so do keep visiting the shop for the latest!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Honest Scrap Award

I won an award!

Thank you Lost Mitten for giving me this award! It is the first I received and I am excited.

There are a few requirements and they are as follows:
- I must thank the person who gave me the award and list their blog and link it
- I must list 10 honest things about myself
- I must put a copy of The Honest Scrap Logo on my blog.
- I must select at least 7 other worthy bloggers & list their links
- I must notify the bloggers of the award and hopefully they will follow the above requirements.

10 Honest things about myself -

1) I love to take photos, but most only of food! I don't really know why, but it makes my heart jump with glee to get that one real good, mouth watering shot where you could actually smell the aromas and taste it just by looking at your screen!

2) I started my Etsy shop selling cards! Don't really know where that idea came from, but as you might have suspected I sold none! I made my banner and another and put that on sale and that sold, so that was the way to go I thought.

3) I am a fast learner but not patient enough to get good at what I learned. To be really honest, I learned how to use Photoshop when I made the banner for my shop! I searched out tutorials online and mostly from Digital Scrapbooking site to learn most of the affects and tricks that I use for creating banners I sell. But I do admit, I don't think I would go pro with my Photoshop skills.

4) I never went to University.... well I wanted to add this because sometimes I feel that there is too much emphasis on a Degree and I sometimes fall into a "Oh no! I don't have a Degree" panic mode. But hey, it was a choice.

5) Sometimes I feel like going home, because I miss my parents terribly. Don't get me wrong, Sydney is a wonderful place and I love staying here. But my parents are quirky and funny, and their company always reminds me of who I am and what I want in life.

6) I use to think my grandfather will live forever, but he passed away at the age of 93. To him, he actually lived too long.

7) I have always wanted to write a book. I had the ideas in my head, but just worried that because it is about real people in my life, they might get offended of my interpretations of what happened.

8) I am planning to start a supplies shop on ArtFire. This is mainly to destash some of my jewelry making supplies which I bought wholesale simply because it was cheaper. But I want my customers to get more than supplies from my shop. So I think about this everynight now!

9) I love to cook, but honestly not too good at it. Maybe it has something to do with me not wanting to follow a recipe?

10) I believe that a small group of good friends is always better than a large group of acquiantances. So I appreciate every small but kind gestures, and want to return it in large generous ways!

This has made me spend sometime thinking about myself.... real good excercise in the middle of the year! So I hope the others whom I am passing this award to, will do the same!

Here they are:
1) SevenWestDesign
2) BeadUp
3) kMT Graphic Design
4) Umiko
5) PassionForBeads
6) Albertine's Creations
7) MuffinPuffART

Monday, July 6, 2009

Inspirational Mondays - MuffinPuffArt

This Monday Chianne of MuffinPuffArt a UK based original, cute and funny button badges maker shares with us what got her here and what made her stayed.

RRoF - Tell us something about your shop, how you got started and why you wanted to start an online business?

MPA - Firstly I’m Chianne (real name Jo) and I run MuffinPuffART! Which sells badges, key chains, pocket mirrors and more with my illustrations and designs on.

Well I’ve always been a creative person. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing or making something, as it’s huge passion of mine.
I often got told off by relatives and friends for not perusing my art in a more serious manner. I get told many times by my work colleagues that “I’m in the wrong job.”

I had thought about selling my stuff before, but as always I’m my own biggest critique. I always thought “Who’d by anything you’d make? There are plenty of better artists out there.” Still the idea of selling my art always remained in my mind.

Then one day a friend of mine linked me Etsy. I check around and saw that there were so many people selling so many varieties of items that maybe I could make it work. So many cogs turned in my head and suddenly I had an overwhelming desire to try my hand at a business.
I made an account then and there in Oct 07 but I didn’t start actively selling just over a year later. I spent a great deal of time pouring over the listings and checking out all the other artisan’s and crafters.

I came up with my store name long before I decided to sell. I knew I wanted to make things, but it took me awhile to settle on Button Badges. I suppose I wanted to do something a little bit different. I know lots of artists online but few who actively make and sell Button Badges. I’ve not looked back since.

It cost me a fair amount to get started up, however I inherited some money from my late Grandfather and knew he’d be happy for me to spend it in such a way. He always supported my love of art.

So I ordered a badge machine from a local seller and got started under the store name of MuffinPuffART! The name is taken from my lovely little Jack Russell Muffin Puff Pastry. (Muffin for short) I realise her name is a bit of a mouthful but it makes me smile. She has been my mascot for several years, and I’ve even worked her into several of my designs.

RRoF - Is your Etsy Business your full time job? Or what or who does your Etsy shop shares your time with?

MPA - I wish I could say that my Button Badge business is my full time job, a girl can dream after all.
I have Chronic Fatigue syndrome, so working full time is out of the question for me. I currently work part time in a Primary School (Elementary school) as a Teaching Assistant. I work mainly with children with special needs. I can be challenging but is very rewarding. In my spare time I work on my Etsy store. I don’t think I’ll ever sell enough for it to become my main source of income, but its something I absolutely love doing and I do make some money from and at the end of the day that’s what matters to me.

RRoF - When you started listing your first few items, was the response what you expected?

MPA - I remember the adrenaline rush of putting my first items up online and watching them like a hawk for any views or hearts. To be honest not a lot has changed. I still sit there and watch my listings for views but a little less obsessively these days.
I waited and waited but didn’t get nearly as many views as I thought I would. It was a bit disappointing to be honest, but them Rome wasn’t made in a day and neither was MuffinPuffART! I have a terrible tendency to count my chickens before they hatch. I didn’t get discouraged though. I stuck with it and a few days later I got my first sale. I did a happy dance. It was an awesome sense of achievement for me.

RRoF -Looking back, what are some of the mistakes you think you've made when you just got started, and how you overcome them.

MPA - Mistakes. Hmmmmmmm, let me think.

My biggest mistake was signing up as my internet name “Chianne” rather than waiting till I found a store name and using that instead. Its now much harder to remember my Etsy address and doesn’t fit in with the rest of my webpages. Still I can’t change it now, so there is no point in worrying about it. Thankfully if you google my store name it brings up my Etsy store anyway.

I think my original photographs left a lot to be desired. It can be fairly difficult photographing things as small as Button Badges and doing them justice. I still struggle with light sources even today. I’m getting better over time. The more detail you can fit in the better, after all it’s the tiny icon of your item that pulls people in. If its blurry or just a bad photo people may just skip over it.

Not putting myself out there. I totally thought people would just come and find me. I didn’t make any effort to advertise or post around Etsy. So I didn’t get many views at all. I’ve now realised that you can’t just rely solely on people to find you. I’ve definitely increased my views from putting myself out there.

RRoF - Have you ever felt like giving up? What made you stay?

MPA - There have been a few times when I’ve looked at my store and wondered what I was doing but I’ve never really thought about giving up. This is my dream after all, my passion. Also I’ve invested a fair amount in my badge machine so giving up now is out of the question.

Business can be fairly slow for me. I can go for days without making a sale, but that’s okay, as I get so much pleasure from my store. It’s the journey rather than the destination that I enjoy most. Being able to sell the things I take so much joy making is the icing on the cake really. Its all good.

I do go through phases where I don’t touch my store for days on end and have creativity slumps, but then so do all artisans. You just wait ‘em out and then bounce right back!

RRoF -How do you promote? And in your opinion, which works best for you?

MPA - I do promote my store, but I can’t really comment on it success at the moment. I’m still new to advertising and finding my feet so to speak. I still get the majority of my views from inside the Etsy.

I’ve posted flyers around locally, but I live in a very small town so I’ve not drummed up much interest on that front. I’ve only had one sale from my own Country oddly enough. (For those who are wondering, I’m in England) The rest have all been from abroad. I have really shiny business cards which I hand out to people who display interest in my art. I also tuck one into every package I send.
I use a lot of different websites to promote my store. My most successful place I advertise at the moment is Twitter. I use feeds directly from Etsy which tell my Twitter watchers what I’ve just listed.
My favourite place to promote my Etsy is my blog, although it doesn’t pull in a lot of views. It’s my pride and joy as I’ve put a lot of effort making my blog fun to look at. I occasionally post about my store and business, but also post about all sorts of things that aren’t necessarily Etsy related. In my opioion it’s really the most enjoyable way to advertise. I think it has more of a personal touch.
I do also use other sites like Myspace, Facebook, Livejournal and Plurk but they aren’t as fun.
Like I mentioned, I’m still learning when it comes to promoting although I think I’m just starting to get there. I’m not nearly as good at this as some Etsy sellers.

RRoF -If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently?

MPA - Not to set my prices so low. When I first started out I was worried that people wouldn’t buy my stuff so I set my prices low. I was barely making any profit, what with postage, Etsy fees and Paypal fees. I felt guilty when I rose them at first, and thought no one would buy from me, but I knew I couldn’t go on only just breaking even.

RRoF - Any other thing, thoughts, advice, links,... etc you would like to share with the Newbies?

MPA - Something I always tell the children at work is, “Draw because you love to, not because you want to be the best.” The same applies for many things. If you punish yourself for not achieving what you want achieve or expect to achieve it really drains the fun from things. Always take joy from what you are doing. Creating shouldn’t be a chore, you should do it because it brings you joy.

I’d like to share a quote I read several years ago has been something that I have recalled time and time again when I’ve become discouraged. “Use those talents you have. You will make it. You will give joy to the world. Take this tip from nature: The woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except those who sang best.”

Thank you Chianne! Wishing you all the best!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Artfire Shop - Grand Opening Freebie

I have just opened RedRubyonFire on Artfire! It is not fully stocked yet, but new items will be added weekly, so please do visit me!

Since it's my 'Grand Opening', all items are on sale of 20% off! And if you have an ArtFire shop too, please comment here and I will visit your shop, take a good look around and make you a shop banner, totally free!

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Colour Schemer

Have you ever got stuck with colours? Like you have a real nice green and you don't exactly know what would go well with it? Try the Color Scheme Designer.

It has a real nice and easy to use interface and allows you to choose 6 combination or scheme types. Colours will come up with hexadecimal or Hex numbers which you could just key in on the computer if you are using it for graphics or Photoshop. You could also use it to change your blog colour scheme. Once you got your scheme you could just export the whole scheme to use on your computer!

If you want to use it with Microsoft Words or Excel to create a banner, you need the RGB of the colours. There are many RGB to Hex (or the other way round) converters online.