Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Feature -- Magdalene Knits and Magdalene Jewels

Today's Friday feature is the featured Etsyblogger of the Month: Pamela, who runs two Etsy shops. Magdalene Knits and Magdalene Jewels.

You'll find lots of lovely, cozy items in Magdalene Knits. I especially love these precious Christmas Mary Jane booties!

And you'll find lots of pretty shiny things in Magdalene Jewels, including this beautiful Cobalt Blue Vintage Bracelet:

Enjoy the interview -- and congratulations, Pamela, on being Etsyblogger of the Month for November!

1. Please tell us about the items in your Etsy shop. What do you make? How did you learn your craft?

I have always loved doing something creative, whether knitting, crocheting, embroidering, quilting, painting, and for the past few years designing my own jewelry, all of which I have taught myself.

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a creative nature within. The many Necklaces, Bracelets and Earrings in my shop are all created and designed by myself. As I just started making jewelry a few years ago, it has and still is a learning process. I never had any intention of selling my work, I would just give it away.

As for my knitted and crocheted items which are in my newest shop, “MagdaleneKnits” - when I found out that my daughter was going to have her first child (my first grandchild) I started crocheting little baby booties, and baby sweaters, and other little baby items, even a little lamb for Easter. I originally had scarves and neck warmers in my jewelry shop, but they have now been relegated to my “knit” shop as well. For any of you who do knit or crochet, you will understand when I say it is a very relaxing activity?

When I first started, I never had any intention of selling my work, I would just give it away. If someone said how much they liked a certain piece, well, it was then theirs – I still tend to do this with my friends, even when they want to pay me

2. Are we teammates on any Etsy Teams?

Besides being a member of the “EtsyBloggers Team”, I also am a member of the “Bbest Team”. Since I opened my Knit/Crochet shop I have joined the “CreateCrochet Team”, and “CrochetOriginals Team”.

3. What is involved in your creative process?

I imagine my creative process evolves from my own personality, and what one would term my very vivid imagination. In my “Jewelry” shop, often I will see a beautiful color crystal, which when in the light can reflect so many possibilities that my mind becomes absorbed in a certain moment or feeling or a certain song will come to mind, from there the creativity begins. The same inspirations and creativity can be found in my Knitting and Crochet work. As you can see from most of my pieces, I am one who is truly a romantic and love the feminine aspect of my being.

4. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.

I think the most important achievement I have accomplished are my three children, Kelly, Keith & Ryan. I have been a single mother since the boys were infants, which only made us closer as a family. No matter what, they have always been there for me, as I have been for them. For those that read my blogs, you know that my newest joy is my little grandson Zachary, who just turned 2 in October!

In between all of this, I am also member of a local theater group as their costume designer, as well as having had a few small parts in some of their plays. I have also managed to joined forces in my work, while designing the costumes, I have also designed jewelry pieces for some of the actresses to wear on stage.

5. What inspires your creations?

I imagine that my inspirations evolve from my own personality and what one would term my very vivid imagination. As all my pieces are made with Swarovski Crystals, often I will see a beautiful color crystal, which when in the light can reflect so many possibilities that my mind becomes absorbed in a certain moment or feeling, or a certain song will come to mind, and from there the creativity begins. Those that truly know me will understand this. As you can see from most of my pieces, I am one who is truly a romantic and love the feminine aspect of my being.

6. What is your favorite item in your shop? Why is it your favorite?
This necklace which I call “The Rose” after one of my most favorite song, “The Rose” by Janis Joplin. It’s Victorian, very feminine look reflects a lot of my inner self.

7. What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?

Firstly, I would say to enjoy what you do, that is where you will find your creativity. I also suggest to those that are not part of a team to find one that relates to what their craft is, or interests. One, it is a good way to promote your work, and definitely do some Treasury’s – they are a lot of fun to put together. Also, definitely communicate through your Blogs, Facebook or Twitter, they are good networking tools. Most importantly since I have been here at Etsy, is not the sales I have made or hope to make, but it is the dear friends I have made during the past few years. We are there for each other during our many ups and downs, and very supportive during the many obstacles we often are challenged with.

8. If you had a gift certificate to Etsy for any one item you wanted, what would you buy?

These earrings -- actually I would love anything from this shop!! It is my favorite Jewelry shop – I purchased one of their rings “Karma” which I always wear.

9. Which one song describes your life the best? Why?

I would definitely have to say “Let it Be” by the Beatles. When I find life gets to much, and things have let you down, I start singing “Let it Be” and the words “speaking words of wisdom” brings an inner peace and I try to see things in a different light.

10. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?

Shops: Magdalene Jewels and Magdalene Knits
YouTube: I often do Video’s of Treasury’s I make

Posted for the EtsyBloggers team by: Mama's Magic StudioSee EtsyBloggers team membership requirements here: etsybloggers.comGot a blog? Love Etsy? Check us out!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Welcome to another Mini Monday here on the EtsyBloggers blog!  This week's feature is PeacoxCreations again!

PeacoxCreations specializes in original hand coiled pine needle bowls and crocheted scrubbies.  And now you can get gift baskets and gift certificates, too!

Our Mini-Mondays feature the EtsyBlogger team member who starts our Weekly Promo Thread over at Etsy.  Click here to find out how you can be featured here on Mini-Monday!

Brought to you by: BunnyKissd of FaerieGardenFancies

on behalf of the EtsyBloggers Street Team. Got a blog? Love Etsy? Check us out!
See EtsyBloggers team membership requirements here:

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Welcome to another Mini Monday -- er, THURSDAY! here on the EtsyBloggers blog!  This week's feature is:

PeacoxCreations specializes in original hand coiled pine needle bowls and crocheted scrubbies.  And now you can get gift baskets and gift certificates, too!

Brought to you by: BunnyKissd of FaerieGardenFancies

on behalf of the EtsyBloggers Street Team. Got a blog? Love Etsy? Check us out!
See EtsyBloggers team membership requirements here:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Guest Blogging for Success

It is Wednesday again and I welcome you to yet another post of the How to Blog Like a Pro series, originally published on Kanelstrand Organic Living.  Read the rest of the posts: Post 1, Post 2, Post 3, Post 4

To be successful online we all try to market our brands in the most prolific manner and are always on the lookout for productive ways to advertise and get seen. And advertising can be done in many subtle ways without annoying our readers.

Guest blogging is one of the most cherished (and rightfully so) ways of popularizing ourselves and our brands, regardless of which side of the fence we are at - the guest blogger's or the host's. If you have noticed, the most successful blogs on the net regularly invite guest bloggers. I also love my experience as a guest blogger and as a host equally well and here are some of the reasons why:

From the guest blogger's point of view: 

Get backlinks
It is considered good manners when you are invited to guest blog to be allowed to add a link to your blog/website/etsy store and this is great because it is a wonderful way to create backlinks and make your blog's rating higher. By writing a guest post you get the chance to have a permanent link pointing back to your own blog!

Show yourself in a different light
Guest writing for another blog makes your brain change the frequency it works on and you may come up with great new approaches or themes. This will ultimately have a great effect on the development of your writing style, and it can lead to amazing new personal discoveries! 

Get quality traffic
When you offer your expertise to a new readership you get not only exposure but new fans as well! People are naturally curious and if you manage to catch their attention, many of them will click on your link to find out more about your knowledge and interests. What better way to gain even more followers!

Spread the word
When you guest post you take advantage not only of the readership but also of the distribution network of the host and your article may get quite popular. Consider the host's Twitter and facebook followers and you will get a rough idea how many people you didn't know will be able to read your words and probably re-distribute them!

From the host blogger's point of view 

Break the routine
As much as your readers love you, they would appreciate a new "voice". Opening up for guest bloggers will allow you to make a change in your blogging routine and maybe even give you new ideas. It will also provide you with time to work on your SEO or anything else you deem valuable for your blog.

Get fresh content
A guest blogger will offer a different perspective on a theme you and your readers are passionate about. This will inevitable raise the interest towards your blog and very soon you will be able to see a change in your Stats.

Have new conversation points
By inviting guest bloggers to your blog you offer your readers diversity and new themes. What is more, a guest writer can have a slightly different point of view which will invariable sparkle discussions and will liven up your blog.

Gain new readership
Guest bloggers are also social! They would love to brag about their latest article, published on your blog, thus creating more links for you and bringing more traffic your way. They will also mention their post on their own blogs, so this is a wonderful way to attract new followers and backlinks.

Original content

A very important aspect for both guest bloggers and blog hosts is publishing original content. Many people are willing to copy and paste a previously published article on your blog but  since February 2011 Google stopped indexing duplicate information. You can read Google's point of view and reasons why they consider duplicate content spam here.

So, quite in line with this information I must admit that I love my guest writers and have so far had great experience with their contributions! If you want to become a part of the Kanelstrand community, don't be shy and look at the submission guidelines. I am very easy to talk to and more importantly, I am open to new ideas!

Posted for the EtsyBloggers team by: Kanelstrand See EtsyBloggers team membership requirements here: Got a blog? Love Etsy? Check us out!

EtsyMini Monday featuring MamasMagicStudio: Handmade Jewelry, Knitting Needles, and Beadwork

In the handmade market place there are a wide variety of jewelry artists and artisans out there to browse through. But, sometimes it becomes difficult to find those that offer something truly original.

That's not the case in Mama's Magic Studio on Etsy, though. In this Etsy shop you can find some of the most original jewelry designs that I've seen in a long while!

There are little bird nest pendants with colorful eggs inside and peas-in-a-pod necklaces sitting along side some of the cutest knitting-needle and ball-of-yarn earrings I've ever seen.

There are also memory wire bracelets and bangle bracelets as well, made with shiny wire and shimmering beads in pretty colors.

Jen Johnson, the artisan behind Mama's Magic Studio on Etsy, lives in Santa Clara, CA as a stay at home mom with her two kids where she balances her love for creating crafty, artisan items with her love and care for her family.

Jen believes that when an artist creates, it's a form of magic that gives birth to something new and beautiful. She has a true understanding of the labor of love involved in creating handmade items no matter if they are jewelry, art or any other crafty endeavors.

Jen's shop focuses primarily on jewelry, beading and wire working with a touch of some woodworking that is involved in making her handmade knitting needles like those seen to the right.

She also sews, knits and cooks and is always on the look out for new, interesting artistic and crafty pursuits!

To visit Jen's Mama's Magic Studio on Etsy and take a look around, you can click on the links above or on the pictures themselves as well! You'll love the visit and the browse and if you have someone who loves nature or knitting, this shop will be perfect for finding special items to give as gifts for birthdays, the holidays, or just to give a special gift.

Mama's Magic Studio
Etsy | Blog | Facebook

Note from EtsyBloggers Team Captain, Joey & Aleethea: thank you to Gilliauna for being an EtsyBloggers Team Volunteer and writing this fabulous EtsyMini Monday feature! As nobody ele knew, MamasMagicStudio was secretly selected today to be this month's EtsyMini Monday on our team blog :) because she is also herself a team volunteer, and a contributing author for our EtsyBloggers team blog. She has been a team volunteer for years now, she is consistently blogging here for our team on a monthly basis, featuring her teammates in beautifully written posts! Thank you, Jen from MamasMagicStudio, for supporting your team, your shining positive attitude, and overall, well, for just being the awesome you that you are. Rock on, Mama!

Posted for the EtsyBloggers Team by: Bits n Beads by Gilliauna. See the EtsyBloggers Team membership requirements here: Got a blog? Love Etsy? Check us out!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

EtsyBloggers Blog Carnival - for 11/14/11 thru 11/27/11

Ah-ho! I bet you all thought we'd forgotten to post the Blog Carnival for this two week period, didn't you? Well you'd be partially correct in that assumption! LOL! I certainly did forget to post it until very late last night, and it's taken me until NOW to finally get here to post! Whew!

But here we are! I've chosen two topics that are close to my heart, and hope that all our team members remember to answer and post their links in the comment section, right here! (I'll do so too!) Here are your choices:

1. November is National Novel Writing Month. As a blogger, have you ever though of crossing over and writing a book? Have you ever tried NaNoWriMo? Win or lose, tell us about your experience!

2. November is also National Diabetes Month. Do you have diabetes or has your life ever been touched by it? Please share any stories you have...

Please be sure to visit the blogs of the other participants too!

Posted for the EtsyBloggers team by: BunnyKissd of FaerieGardenFancies
See EtsyBloggers team membership requirements here:
Got a blog? Love Etsy? Check us out!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How to Find Free Photos for Your Blog

It is Wednesday again and I welcome you to yet another post of the How to Blog Like a Pro series, originally published on Kanelstrand Organic Living.  Read the rest of the posts: Post 1, Post 2, Post 3 

Maintaining an impressive blog which attracts many followers inevitably has to do not only with the content but with the illustration as well. We humans, are visual creatures and having that in mind, the smart blogger should take care to provide an additional reason for her readers to keep coming back!

I recently talked about how important eye candy is in creating quality blog posts and in attracting more traffic to your blog. If your photo archive doesn't cover the theme of your latest blog post, you can find photos and illustrations shared freely on the Internet. Believe it or not, a lot of photographers and graphic designers are not driven by money. They want to share their work with the world, under specific conditions, which almost always include being credited for their work.

Below I have listed in alphabetical order 15 sources of quality free photos and images on the Internet. Whatever source you decide to use, ALWAYS credit the artist, link back to them and, when possible, send a link. This is the best and easiest way to thank someone who has been so generous as to offer her creative work to you for free. By taking the time to be courteous and polite you will allow the artist to link back to your site and not only to show potential customers how her work has been used but to direct even more traffic to your blog! 

Creative Commons

Creative Commons helps you search through Google Images, Flickr, etc. to find free photos. It offers you to search according to your need - for commercial purposes or to modify and build on the photo. I often use photos whose modification is allowed and add a little something from me, like change the hue or brightness, or crop the image the way it suits me. But be careful because you should always verify that the work is actually under a CC license by following the link of the photo displayed. 


EveryStockPhoto is a search engine for free photos that come from numerous Internet sources and are license-specific, currently searching through more than 10 million of photos. You can view a photo's license by clicking on the license icon, below and left of photos. Membership is free and allows you to rate, tag, collect and comment on photos. 

In Flickr there are always plenty of images available for free use. To search for them, in "Everyone's Uploads" you need to type in your keyword and under "Advanced search" you will have to click on "". Of course, it would be good taste to link back to the original image. I usually do that in the caption of the photo.

FreeDigitalPhotos offers free images for use in corporate and personal projects. Downloading is made easy by instant download and lack of registration requirement.

You need to credit the person who created the image and instructions for publishing credits can be found to the right of every image. If you don't want to do that, you can purchase a license, starting at just $3 per image.

FreePhoto is made up of more than 130 000 images organized in sections and categories.According to  the site, it is the largest collection of free photographs on the Internet.

The easy to navigate site offers images that are free for online use, with higher quality versions available for sale. also features exclusive images found nowhere else on the web with new pictures being added every week. It is required that you link back and attribute the images you use. 


You can search the site by keywords in various fields and you can download files in two different ways, as a .jpeg file or as a .zip file. The first option is suitable if you wish to open the image or media file in your browser for viewing, but also for saving it on your hard drive. The zip download is better if the image or media file is very large and you wish to save it on your hard drive. However, this option requires that you have a zip extractor program available.


FromOldBooks is run by Liam Quin, who says he owns a lot of old and antiquarian books with really neat pictures in them. He says: "I thought it was a shame that no one but me could see them, so I started putting them online." 

On his website you will find over 3,000 high-resolution free images scanned from more than 180 different old or rare books, with extracts. The author of the site requires that you let him know if you use any of the pictures by linking back and sending him a link of your post.

ImageBase is a collection of high quality photos of nature, people, cities, and objects taken by David Niblack. The site clearly states that all images are 100 percent free to use. You can use the images on the website for whatever you want, personal, commercial or non-profit use for free. They are licensed under the "Attribution (by)" Creative Commons License.  In short, you are free to distribute and modify the files, commercial or otherwise, as long as you attribute its author (David Niblack).

PDPhoto is a repository for free public domain photos. As the owner of the site puts it: "Unless something is clearly marked as being copyrighted, you can assume it is free to use. But if you intend to use an image you find here for commercial use, please be aware that standards for such use are higher."

If you use pictures from the site, PDPhoto requires you to put the text "Photo courtesy", link back and/or give credit to the author. Anyway, the owner continues: "But you don't have to. Feel free to leave a message in the comment area for the image you're using if it's something you can link to. The pictures are free for you to use and you should feel good about doing so."


Pixel Perfect offers more than 7 000 photos and 3D graphics by 13 000 photographers. You can rate and see how many times an image has been viewed. You can download and use photos as long as you credit the author and keep them for non-commercial use.

Photo Rogue

Photo Rogue is a non-profit web site whose main goal is to increase the amount of free visual media on the Internet. Currently they offer about 700 photos organized in 94 albums

The cool addition to Photo Rogue is that you can even request a picture and volunteer photographers will go out and attempt to take it. It's entirely free, although the owners of the site cannot guarantee that your request will ever be filled.


Here you will find over 25 000 free amazing photos for personal and non-commercial use by various photographers, both professional and amateur.
You can rate photos, see their EXIF, see the date they were taken and much more.


One of the best resources of free images online, launched in 2001 as an alternative for expensive stock photography. The site has developed a lot and currently offers about 400 000 high quality photos from amateur photographers from around the world. The photographers establish the use terms, and most images are available for immediate reuse.


Here you can find free photos categorized by color! Of course, you may not redistribute them to any other websites or offline buyers because they are still the intellectual property of their owners who have given you permission to use them in your designs, art, personal and professional projects, or even as your desktop backgrounds. No signup is required to download photos from the site.


Woophy is a Dutch website offering almost 1 million free photos from around the world for non commercial use. You can search by city, highest-rated photos, country, category keywords, or member to find photos. The categories are animals, culture, landmarks and buildings, nature, objects, and people.

Where do you find your photos and images? Is there any other website you use which you don't see in the list? Share, so we can learn from each other.

Posted for the EtsyBloggers team by: Kanelstrand 
See EtsyBloggers team membership requirements here: 
Got a blog? Love Etsy? Check us out!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Active EtsyBloggers NOVEMBER 2011

Good morning all, 

These are the EtsyBloggers who had checked into the ROLL CALL thread last month, as part of last month's EtsyBloggers Membership Requirements. This list will change monthly, and will be posted in the Etsy forums and our team blog. This thread is not monitored, so if you have any questions please see the ROLL CALL FAQ on our website. You can also read our Membership Requirements there too:


It's always a pleasure to help promote the team and those that help themselves out via team spirit, positivity, team comittment, team volunteering, team promotion, and just overall exude EtsyBloggers team goodness!

Would you like to be a volunteer for your team? Post on our team blog? Have another idea? Awesome! Contact your EtsyBloggers Team Captain. (please note: volunteers' logos get posted as ad space on our team blog, and will be updated again this weekend)

Have a wonderful bloggy day!

Joey & Aleethea
EtsyBloggers Team Captain & Admin

See EtsyBloggers team membership requirements here: Got a blog? Love Etsy? Check us out!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How to Attract More Traffic to Your Blog

It is Wednesday again and I welcome you to yet another post of the How to Blog Like a Pro series, originally published on Kanelstrand Organic Living.  Read the rest of the posts: Post 1, Post 2, Post 4,

Today I am going to tell you how to attract more traffic to your crafty blog. Of course, there is no magic formula and it is not easy but once you decide to develop your blog you will find yourself yearning for more and more traffic, which will of course lead to more popularity of your etsy shop, and eventually will lead to more sales. Because, let's admit it, creating your fabulous items is not enough, you have to market them!

It would be great if you have already built a faithful readership before you start your etsy store, but even if you haven't, it is never too late, why don't you start today! Running a blog is a totally different experience than creating with your hands but it can still be considered hand work, which means that you can do it!

It is worth putting effort in your blog because that will inevitably direct more traffic to your etsy shop. People love to know more about the real person behind the creative facade and your blog is the most powerful tool you can use for that purpose.

Increasing the traffic is not as hard if you follow some basic rules which have already proven prolific:

Determine your audience
Even if your blog is new and you still don't have an audience you need to envision it, so as to know in what tone to write. Knowing your audience will help you determine what they are interested in. Be consistent and try to write in the tone appropriate for the theme you have chosen.

Write often
Try to write at least every other day. Bloggers who seldom update their blogs quickly loose their readership because in the Information age people easily find another source of inspiration. Strive to be interesting and versatile. Don't be afraid to experiment this is the only way to find your true style.

Answer your email and comment
Be punctual in your communication. To win someone's trust you need to prove that you are trustworthy. You don't gain gain anything if you procrastinate answering emails, on the contrary, you would rather loose.

Comment on your posts. By setting an example you encourage your readers to comment and you create a community feeling. We humans are herd animals and subconsciously try to be part of a group. 

And please, please, please, take the word verification off your comment form!  Make commenting easy and pleasant for your readers by ensuring they can do it quickly and effortlessly. After all, it is more important to know what they think, right?

Here is how to take word verification off: in your Blogger dashboard go to Settings|Comments and there on the Comment Form Placement (the 3rd option from the top) choose Embedded below post

For everyone having spam problems I recommend two solutions:
  • If you already have spam comments, go to your Blogger Dashboard and there choose Comments|Published and manually mark the spam comments. In this way you help blogger identify spam messages and eliminate them in the future. Once you do that, the marked comments will move to your Spam Inbox.  
  • But I believe that the most powerful tool is to disallow anonymous posting by going to Settings|Comments and on the second option, which is Who can comment? choose Registered users instead of Anyone.

Be a part of an online group or etsy team
By joining and actively participating in online communities and groups you ensure yourself yet another source of inspiration and a place where you can share your ideas and communicate with like-minded individuals. You can promote your blog by adding your blog link to your signature or profile.  While there are no signatures in etsy you can still direct traffic from the forums by writing engaging content! If you do so, many people will want to learn more about you.

Use big pictures
Illustrate your posts! People love beautiful images. In photos size really matters. A big photo attracts the viewers' attention and makes them stay longer on your blog. I catch myself ignoring small photos and lingering more to the bigger ones.

Offer DIYs
People are crazy about DIYs, there are lots of crafty websites such as I share crafts and Upcycle Magazine who serve as DIY hubs and have submit forms. Once you have written your DIY just go on promoting it. Those sites will direct traffic to your blog for longer than you can imagine.

Tag your posts
Take your time and tag your posts accordingly. Tags help search engines to find and classify your blog posts.

Submit your blog posts to social bookmarking sites
By adding your posts to Social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon or Digg you increase your chances to be seen by people with similar interests and to quickly boost the traffic to your blog.

Use your blogroll widget
Adding blogs to your blogroll and regularly updating them will direct traffic to those blogs and their authors will check you out. Maybe some of them are your future fans! 

Make sure your blog loads quickly
Get rid of widgets that slow the loading time of your blog. People don't have time for your blog to load even if it is worth the wait. If they really want to see your products they will click on your etsy link instead of waiting for your etsy mini to load. If they don't care about them, they will ignore your widget even if it is XLarge.

Make sure that the most important content of your blog  loads quickly! You can easily determine the loading time your the items on your blog require with the help of Stopwatch. Just type your blog address and click "Start StopWatch". It will then record the time it takes for everything on your blog to load, including images, videos, widgets, etc. Modify the parts of your blog that take longest to load. My result was 5 sec.

Control the number of blog posts on your front page
The loading time of your blog is in direct correlation with the number of blog posts appearing on a page. In the Formatting tab of your Settings you can change that number. Bear in mind that from Blogger recommend that you display 10 or fewer posts on the main page. 

Organize the information on your blog
Take care to make your blog reader friendly. Organize your most important information in the top section of your blog because that is the segment that gets the most views.

Don't be afraid to guest blog
Guest blogging is a great way to promote your blog. By writing valuable guest posts you expose yourself to a completely new readership.  You will get a lot of followers from that effort too. There are a lot of people who are looking for guest bloggers in the etsy forums. Some bloggers, like me also openly advertise for guest bloggers. If you stumble upon a blog with guest posts you can always write an email and offer your expertise. After all, even the most successful blogger is a human whom you can approach.

Posted for the EtsyBloggers team by Kanelstrand 

See EtsyBloggers team membership requirements here: Got a blog? Love Etsy? Check us out!