Tuesday 30 October 2012

What Hurricane Sandy Means For Small Businesses

   Sandy may have lost its classification as a hurricane, but that doesn't mean that it's not an issue anymore. The storm is still capable of causing disruption, for average people, and for small businesses. The Wonder Forest put together a wonderful post of safety that I wish I had shared with you all sooner, but better late than never.

   Businesses may well suffer. In fact, they probably will. Christmas is just around the corner, and while I am not bothered by a few gifts potentially turning up late, a lot of people, understandably, would be. So sales may well drop. Some sellers in the US may even have to temporarily close up shop. I know of a few Etsians who have.

   But whether you are in the US or not, we could all be affected. There are likely to be shipping delays if you're shipping into or out of the US, so it would be wise to state somewhere on your website or shop that shipping delays may occur, and that you are not at fault, and that if something is needed urgently, they may want to find someone else who is closer to them.
   This may even affect orders placed before the storm, especially if you were shipping into the US. I sent a package to the US a week and a half ago before I even heard about the storm, and it's been delayed - I can't say for certain if it's due to the storm, but it is a possibility.

   I urge all store owners to make a point of announcing that shipments may be delayed, and perhaps get in touch with people you have recently shipped to who may be affected to let them know. Everything may be fine, but you never know.

   Another point are custom made products that require frequent communication between the buyer and the seller. It is advisable that such sellers and buyers give their alternate a generous timespan in which to respond to messages if one or both are in affected areas, and that both remain patient. If you're in an area affected by the storm and you do a lot of custom work it would be advisable to mention that you may be out of immediate contact.
   Yes, some of these actions may lose you a sale or two, by people who would be put off of perhaps having to wait a little longer than usual, but it is a natural disaster that you have to work around, and an informed customer is a happy customer.

Thursday 25 October 2012

Etsy Favourite Feature

I've vanished lately, and it's awful, but the one thing I've missed the most from blogging has been
the weekly features of things from my Etsy favourites, and so, to catch up, and get you
all started on your Christmas shopping, I'm going to do a couple of bigger features!
So, to begin with...

Tuesday 16 October 2012

I've Been Busy...

And I'm very pleased with what I've accomplished. It's quite different to what I usually
make, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and am very proud of the outcome of all of it. I don't
usually wear jewellery either, but I made myself a few pairs of these earrings!

Friday 12 October 2012

Destroy This Journal Competition Winner

   The Destroy This Journal competition has come to an end. The competition didn't get the reception that I had hoped for, but the entries we've received have been wonderful. Real work has gone into them, as well as heart, and I truly do love each of them. Unfortunately, there can only be one winner, but each participant has received generous discounts in several Etsy stores as a participational prize and a thank you for putting in the effort.

   The winner, however, is Mima Tims, who grasped her imagination much firmer than any of us expected, and made her journal into a dress. Yes, a dress. Congratulations, Mima, you have won:

A baby monster from Grumble Cave Monsters
A necklace of your choice from Peaches and Pebbles
A handmade golden journal from isavirtue
A pack of handmade teal envelopes from isavirtue
A handmade necklace from Whispering Sweetly
A handmade card from LastSarahAnn
Any pair of button earrings from Emsawhatsy
3 rolls of washitape from CuteTapes.com
A month of advertisement space on A Blackbird's Epiphany
a $20 gift card for Camera Coats

   Congratulations again, to Mima, as well as Sarah and Julie, whose entries are also shown below. Go and give them some love - they've earned it.

Mima's dress

Sarah's journal

Julie's journal

Monday 8 October 2012

Getting to Know You

   I realise I've been quite detached from my blog lately. I'm not familiar with my readers all that much either, so I decided that, in the down time between my serious posts or while I'm trying to find time to write them between the other million things I have going on, I would try to get to know you all a little better.
   Every so often, I'm going to throw a question out there and I'm really excited to hear the answers - who doesn't enjoy talking about themselves? So feel free to be as longwinded in your response as you like!

   Personally, I'm a winter girl. I hate that in the summer it's impossible to keep cool without sitting about nekkid, but in the winter you can put on as many jumpers, socks and hot waterbottles as you like and get nice and cosy. I will admit I'm not a fan of winter light - the sun is so white and cold, and it's difficult to photograph anything well in it - but at the same time, it's the only time of year I really see the sunrise.
   Plus, y'know, Christmas.

Anyone else?

Monday 1 October 2012

Where Have I Been?

   Where have I been?! It's funny because over the past few weeks I've been spending my time actually writing lots of blog posts, I've just not gotten around to posting them yet. I still need to take some pictures to accompany them, but I've done so much work for the blog lately that it's really quite strange to look at it and see a tumble weed roll past.
   Admittedly, no, I have been doing more than just working on my blog. Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's latest expansion, came out on the 25th and I've been glued to it since; I've also been doing a lot of work on Grumble Cave Monsters - custom orders, tribal weapons and tools - and I've followed VividPlease's suggestion and began work on a book of short stories for Grumble Cave, too. I've got two out of a minimum of six stories finished. I've been quite busy, and it's felt great, but trying to keep on top of things is difficult with so many balls in the air.

   I have five posts, maybe more, completed for my series of fantasy writing tips (though some of the posts can be applied to other genres), and I have more planned; I have five posts about collections, a couple of tutorials, and a few other posts in mind, too - one about my favourite job ever.
   I also sent my work out to another agency last week - with tracking - but I don't have high hopes. But it did occurr to me that with the release of The Hobbit December 14th (cannot wait) 2012, December 2013, and summer 2014, there could well be a rise in interest in fantasy. At any rate, sales of The Hobbit will increase. Buuuut at the same time, while it is faaaar from my first piece of work, it is still only the first piece I'm happy to send to agencies for representation, so I really don't see it working out so soon, nine years of work and practise or not.

   How is everyone else? I've not heard from some of you for a while. What have you all been up to? Had any nice days off? Or holidays in Paris? Let me know! I'm interested.