Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baby girl is finally here!

She finally made her debut!... only 12 days overdue! Guess she wanted to be fashionably late.  

Baby Allie Reina
Born: 9/24/11 at 1:06am
Weight: 8lbs 15 oz
Length: 21.5" 

We are spending some quality time with hubby and big brother but I wanted to thank you all for your comments, emails, thoughts, prayers and gifts! We really appreciate it!
 Juice is so happy to have a baby sister!

Here is quick video I made announcing her arrival...enjoy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2 BIG Announcements!

My husband doesn't let me do too much these days because I am still pregnant!.... but I wanted to leave you all with a quick video where I make 2 BIG announcements...

1) I am going to be on ABC News' 20/20 television show this Friday, September 23rd at 10:00pm EST!

The show has already aired.. if you missed it, no worries!  Watch the full episode HERE now!



Is that insane or what?! I'm hoping the excitement sends me into labor before then so I can be at home nursing a new baby and watching myself on national television! If you get a chance to watch it, please do!  Otherwise DVR or TIVO it!  I will blog about it afterwards and post a link to the full episode which will be available online for a limited time after the official tv airing.

2) The winners of the last YouTube giveaway I hosted are announced in this video as well!  Congratulations to azbelle3  and craftymom7.



Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement!  I really appreciate all your comments, emails and messages!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Guest Blog Post- Maria Peagler of SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com

Maria Peagler SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com

Thank you Vanessa for hosting me on your awesome CraftyGemini blog! Vanessa's readers: allow me to introduce myself. I'm Maria Peagler, author of Color Mastery: 10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts, and the founder of SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com, where Vanessa teaches the YouTube 101 course (she's an incredible teacher!). Today I'm offering advice to those would-be craft designers out there who would love to start their own craft business but don't know where to start.

Color Mastery by Maria Peagler

I've been a quilter for 20 years and never had any ambitions to write a book about it. I was a seven-time published author already, was staying home to raise my children after a high-flying career, and relishing every minute of it. I started teaching color classes at my local quilt shop, and saw an enormous need for a book that really taught quilters how to see color and use it effectively in their quilts. That's how Color Mastery was born.

Except no one wanted to publish it. I was an unknown in the quilting community, and publishers didn't care if I was already a successfully published author. It was too much of a risk for them. So, I self-published, and the first printing of several thousand books arrived in September 2008, when the American economy tanked. Oh, did I mention my husband is a residential homebuilder? Ouch.

I was in trouble. I had a significant investment in those books, and I had to sell them. But I had no budget for marketing or promotion, as those funds went to keep my husband's business afloat. That's when I got creative with social media.

The results? Color Mastery went on to Amazon's top ten list for two years in the Quilting category, won a Benjamin Franklin award for Best Craft Book of 2010, and is on its way to a third printing.

How can you start a successful crafting business, even in a challenging economy, and earn an income? Here are my recommendations:
  1. Start with quality. The best marketing and promotion aren't going to sell a dud of a product. Every decision about the production and content of Color Mastery was about quality and longevity: what would make this the best book on color for quilters, and how could I do that cost-effectively?
  2. Learn how to take excellent photographs. Crafting is big business, your product won't sell unless you have an outstanding cover photo. I studied photographs on Etsy and shot dozens of my quilts and table runners until I was satisfied with my photography. Style your photos, indoors or out, and put your product in the place of most potential. Make your photos so beautiful people can't take their eyes off of them.
  3. Get online. Start with a small website or Facebook page. People want to get to know the person behind the business. Make it easy for them to find you online. Start with a WordPress website or a Facebook page, learn how to use them, and use them to promote your products and ask your clients for feedback on new items.
  4. Find a network. As a newbie quilt designer, I turned to the Yahoo Quilt Designers' Group when I had questions. The ladies in this group were terrific and very helpful as I prepared to go to International Quilt Market, had questions about pattern testers, and pricing.
  5. Learn everything you can about marketing your product. I taught a Quilt Marketing Boot Camp webinar earlier this year, and it answers every single question I had when I started out in this business. No matter what kind of a crafting business you want to start, you'll learn something here. The webinar is one hour long, and has a side-by-side presentation of my slideshow and me teaching and answering questions.
  6. Use video. The power of a video to demonstrate your expertise and your product is huge. Before crafters will buy from you, they need to trust you, and video offers an excellent opportunity to reach out and connect. Vanessa's CraftyGemini YouTube channel is the absolute best at this. Look at what she's done and learn.



Here's your opportunity to learn from the best: I'm giving away one YouTube 101 course to one of Vanessa's readers. Here's all you need to do: SHARE with your friends and colleagues about Vanessa's new YouTube course at SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com and tell me you did it. I'll select a winner from the comments, and you'll all be entered to win the grand prize: the Unlimited Class Pass, one year of classes from SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com. By this time next year, YOU could have a thriving craft business!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Baby Girl Hairbows

...still no baby!  I'm having some mild contractions so I'm sure she'll grace us with her presence in the next few days.  But then again...I started having contractions 9 days before I had my son so I'm hoping she doesn't decide to take as long as he did!

In the meantime I thought I would show you all the adorable little bows I recently ordered from one of my blog sponsors- Hermanas Bowtique.  Growing up I was never really a girly-girl.  I played three sports in high school and usually hung out with a bunch of guys.  It's a little weird getting bows and pink stuff for a child of mine but I'm sure it will hit me once she's here safe and sound. 

I ordered these cute bows in different colors so I can switch them up with different outfits.  I'll also have the option of clipping the bows to a headband like this one for another cute look. 

The girls at Hermanas Bowtique were just great to work with.   I was able to choose every color and style of bow I wanted and they shipped so fast!  I had these bows in my mailbox only 2 days after ordering them!  Love it!


I decided on some of the more basic bows but you guys should check out all the crazy fabulous things these girls can do with ribbon!  All kinds of figurines, cartoons, bugs, butterflies, etc. 

Here are some examples:

If you're looking for adorable and quality handmade hair accessories check them out at: Hermanas Bowtique

p.s.- they also sell sewn items like pillowcase dresses, tote bags, diaper bags, etc.
 
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