Monday, July 30, 2007

Etsy Hawaii Street Team

I'm proud to say I'm now an official member of the Etsy Hawaii Street Team! This is a group of Hawaii sellers on that are "On a mission to spread Aloha to the world one creation at a time," as it says on the team blog, Our first meeting was on July 14th at Borders Bookstore in Pearlridge Center, and it was great to meet some of my fellow sellers.

Kathi ( is one of the co-founders of the team. She makes amazing jewelry that really draws the eye -- just stunning. Another co-founder, (oops, I forgot her first name) is dmollison. She makes sock puppies, sock kids, and more, all very cute. The other member that was at the meeting was Angela ( She makes all kinds of baby items, like bibs, slippery blankets, onesies (my personal favorite on her site is the one that says "Green food equals green poop"), and more, including totes.

It was great to be able to put faces (rather than Etsy member avatars) to the names. All of them were great fun to chat with, and I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot more from this team in the future.

Unfortunately, I guess the place we picked for the meeting wasn't the best (plus we forgot to describe ourselves, what we look like in real life), and so a couple of street teamers didn't make it to the meeting. I was especially disappointed that I couldn't meet Keala from, and Holly from Keala is another amazing jewelry maker (including some terrific island-inspired pieces) and I've been coveting Holly's vivid, whimsical paintings for some time -- I may just have to break down and buy one soon.

Please stop by the shops and check them out, and to find more from other members of the Hawaii Street Team, you can do a search for the tag "hi808" in the search.

Now Available: Art Unframed

I've decided to list some of my art without frames on I've done this for a couple of reasons. 1) It gives my customers the option of picking out their own frame, locally, if the black lacquer frame I normally provide wouldn't work with their home's decor. 2) It saves them on shipping costs, as well as item costs.

The first unframed art I added is the Kanji "Yume", or "Dream," in silver foil on an 8x10 velvet background. More will be coming soon.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Google Checkout

I've finally added the option for Google Checkout to my Etsy shop. Google checkout is similar to PayPal, it's a service through which an online retailer can accept payments. To celebrate the change, I've decided to run a special: 10% of any purchase $20 or more, not including shipping (One item or a combination of items) -- if you opt to pay through Google.

Google is a little more involved than PayPal, mainly because it's not yet integrated with the Etsy website. To use it, you select "Other" as a payment method, then wait for me to send you an invoice.

I know that a lot of international shoppers think they can't use Google, but it's only the sellers that are limited. Sellers have to live within the U.S. or the U.K. There's a long list of countries where buyers can sign up for the (free) service. It's on the Google Checkout website.

I've always been told that it's never good to put all of one's eggs in one basket. That was the main reason I've decided to add another checkout option. I don't want to remain completely dependent on Paypal only. Only time will tell how it works out.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

How to Create a Website Banner

Hmm, the title should probably say, "How to create a website banner when you're a computer dummy (Like me!)" I've been meaning to get a banner for my store for a while now, but I couldn't think of anything I actually wanted to put on the banner, especially if I took advantage of one of the services that uses your photo files to create a banner for you (Several of these services are available on Etsy, as well). Then I was playing around with the "Paint" program on my computer, trying to create a business card, when I noticed that it could be used to create a jpeg image. So with a little experimentation, this is what I came up with:

1. Under the "Images" Heading, click on "Attributes". Here you can specify what units (inches, centimeters, or pixels) will be used to size your image. Choose pixels. Then enter a size that will fit on your website. For my Etsy banner, I put in the width of 760 pixels by a length of 100 pixels. Check your website provider for the correct size for your website.

2. "Draw" your images. This does take some practice if you're not used to using Paint. If you have photos you wish to use, you can add them in by going to "Edit" then selecting, "Paste From".

3. Click on "Save As" and type in your title. Then set the file type to JPEG.

4. Save, then upload to your website.

The Etsy banner I created is now at the top of this blog, as well.