Saturday, April 29, 2017

Let's Celebrate Our Nurses - Nurse's Week May 6 - 12, 2017

Thanks to the Nurses!

Celebrate Our Nurses

I appreciate the nurses in my life. Some of them have literally helped to save my life. All the nurses who attended to me were courteous, supportive and efficient. They spoke with authority but not with bossiness.

Nurses are people of action. They do what needs to be done in the moment. No easy task since many of them work 12-hour shifts.

I remember when I "passed-out" on an asphalt parking lot and came to with severe contusions to my face and a broken arm so bad that people said to me "don't look at it". An ambulance took me to the hospital and doctors and nurses came to my rescue.

Several years later I met one of my nurses from that event at my daughter's baby shower. It turns out she and my daughter were friends with children in the same school. This nurse and I were seated at the same table, and we connected. She remembered me from that day, and she shared how worried everyone was for my health. It was fun to talk with her and get to know her a bit as a mom. She made me feel good to know she remembered me and my circumstances from that day that was so traumatic for me.

I am not a nurse, but I worked with some of them when I was a compliance analyst at a health care system here in Colorado. The nurses there were caring and dedicated to the welfare of the patients, and they actually wanted to comply with the regulations and policies.

Now that I am working from home selling my handmade lanyards and badge reels, I really need to admit some of the regulations made it extremely difficult for the nurses to do their jobs. Like having one hand tied behind your back. I really appreciated all their efforts to comply while caring for their patients.

Yes, I sell badge reels and lanyards that nurses can use. But most importantly I want to let nurses know how valuable they are and how much I appreciate them.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Social Media Scheduling Made Easy

Grow Your Small Business Using Social Media

Almost all of us know that social media is powerful in reaching multitudes of people and getting your message to your ideal customer.  Yet for those of us with a handmade business, where we design and create our products, photograph our products, and post them online for sale, time management is a constant challenge.

How do you find the time to post your content and promote your products throughout the various social media networks?  
  1. You can stop at various times throughout each day to create and post your social media content on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, and Tumblr.  But if you do that, can you really fulfill your orders or make anything new for your shop? 
  2. You can just focus on one social media network and post on it several times a day.  This is more manageable. But is it a good marketing strategy to put all your eggs in one basket?
  3. You can choose a scheduling app to post your content for you to the channels you want them to go to. You need to decide what you want to post, and then tell the app what should go out when and where. 

Use Social Media Scheduling for Best Results

I found Viraltag to be the best social media scheduling app for me.  It is a pleasure to use this tool, and it works with many different social media networks. Viraltag is a "Marketing Platform for the Visual Web". Their goal is to help you grow your brand by using the power of images.

Connect to -

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr

Once you connect to your preferred social networks, you will find the Viraltag logo at the bottom right of images online or you may upload an image from your files.  These photos can be selected and posted to your social media accounts at the timing you prefer.

In the screen shot below, you will see that I chose a photo of a product from my shop, clicked on Viraltag, and it now appears in my Viraltag scheduler. From here I can write a description, add or change a link, and choose the social media networks on which I want to share this image. I can then add it to my queue which places it in the next time slot for the network I chose, I can schedule it for some other time, or I can post it immediately.

This is a quick process.  Once you have scheduled some posts to social media, you may go to your dashboard on Viraltag to see what is scheduled for the various dates, times and social media networks. You can edit from this page. You can see below that I have one posting for Facebook, one for Pinterest, and one for Twitter.  They will each post at the same time.  This can all be edited or deleted.

If you want to design or tweak an image, you can click on Content from the menu on the left, and then you have the option to design your perfect image in Canva for the social media network you are using.  The best thing about this is that by clicking on the Design in Canva button Viraltag sends you directly to Canva.  You can then create your design there perfectly proportioned for the social media network you have chosen. You then simply click on Publish and Viraltag brings you back to their app to finish writing a description and posting your design.  So smooth!

Now, we all know that we should be measuring the results of our efforts.  Viraltag comes to the rescue on that as well.  Viraltag displays all your recent posts and lets you know the shares, likes, and comments you have received.   See the screenshot below for an example of that.

I hope you will give Viraltag a try for scheduling your social media images.  The team there is very responsive if you need help, and they provide education as well.  Words cannot express how good I feel about having this tool available.  Now I can focus on my social media calendar once or twice a week and then go about my business of designing products, making them, photoing them and selling them to my customers.

Note:  I am updating this post on 1/12/16 to let you know that I am now an affiliate of Viraltag.  Please click on the Viraltag ad in the sidebar of this blog if you wish to join.  They will provide me with credit toward my monthly fee if you join through my affiliate link.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How to Make A Unique Custom Photo Glass Cabochon

As I told you in my last blog post, I want to share how to take any picture you have and edit it to make a photo glass cabochon.

Choose Your Photo

First you need a digital photograph that you would like to use for this project.  For the purposes of this tutorial I will use the picture below.  I chose this one that was sent to me by a customer because it is way too big and contains more in it than we would want to include in the photo glass cabochon.

We will select the face of the kitty, whose name is Kernel, for this photo glass cabochon.

Cat and Dog

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How to Make a Photo Badge Reel

Photo Glass Cabochons 

Badge Reels made with photos supplied by my customer
Badge Reels made with photos supplied by my customer

Many of the id badge reels that I sell in my shop are made with photo glass cabochons.  These are very popular.  A photo glass cabochon  is made by placing a photo or graphic design under a glass disc.  These are used by many jewelry artisans to make photo glass pendants and earrings.  I use them to decorate the top of id badge holders.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Handmade at Amazon - A New Venue to Buy and Sell Handcrafted Items

handmade at amazon tag
Thursday, October 8,2015 was the big day.  Many serious artisans of handcrafted items were waiting for Amazon to launch their new Handmade at Amazon platform.  Artists applied to be a part of this group of people allowed to sell their wares on Amazon.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Five Benefits of a Well Made Beaded Lanyard

 Turquoise Blue Butterfly Beaded Lanyard

I enjoy creating lovely beaded lanyards, and I hope many of you like them as well.  However, a lanyard is not just a decorative item, it is a functional item as well.  It gets hard use every day.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Believe in Yourself!

Believe in Yourself!

Without believing in ourselves we can be swayed to live according to what others want and not what we really believe is right for us. We can also be defeated by all the obstacles along the way.

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