#happyhandmade week one hundred and six

Welcome to #happyhandmade, the original social sharing collective showcasing makers & their shops across various platforms - all brought together in a neat little bundle  to help makers get discovered and help connect artisans with fresh, new, handmade lovin' people!

If this is your first time here, you're in for a sweet surprise! This collective generates between 2,500 - 3,500 click-throughs to participant's shops every month! It is one of the top free ways to connect with other makers & drive new traffic to your store with minimal effort. 

Not only do you get the exposure from this post here, but also from all the people who share your products via Twitter, their blogs, Facebook & other social media platforms! 

Join in & be a part of the largest collaborative marketing effort in the maker movement! 

Also, each week there are SIX chances to be featured, either as staff pick or most viewed - so be sure to  share #happyhandmade with your friends, family, Etsy teams, in forums and Facebook groups you are a part of - the more people seeing this link up, the more people shopping & seeing your goods and the bigger our #happyhandmade community grows! YOU radical makers, crafters & indie business owners are what makes this event so awesome, and I appreciate you all so much for helping me spread the word about this great handmade collective! 

This week's Staff Picks:




Rules:
Link up to three {3} handmade products from your shops below! 
  • Share at least three {3} items from this collection (not yours) via social media
(Please do not Pin items to Pinterest without express permission from the creator)
  • Spread the word! the more people who hear about it, the more exposure everyone gets!
  • Please show your support of handmade and leave a comment listing your favorite three products from the link up that you shared!
What can you link up? Handmade products, art prints, and any designs you personally have created and had printed in small batches on clothing, fabric, notecards, etc. So long as you made it, you can share it! 

What you can't link up: blog posts, Facebook pages, giveaways, tutorials, items that are factory produced, supplies & vintage items. This collective is to connect handmade shop owners with one another and promote one another's products, so all links you share should be to an individual product in your shop. 

Click "add your link" - this opens a new window. In the first box put the URL to your INDIVIDUAL product listing, not your shop home page. In the second box, put a description of your product. In the third, your email address. Then below that, chose a product image for the thumbnail. Easy peasy! 

Random Tuesday Tip - Smart phones aren't that smart

It seems like a given, I know. But before you post that WIP photo or latest product pic to social media, always take a moment to read, reread and re-reread your caption a few times to check for spelling & grammar errors and to really think on the feeling you are trying to convey from this post. Creating thoughtful content is the first step in adding value to your social media outlets & inviting a true feeling of community. Nothing spoils a great post like a typo or missing word!

Plus, autocorrect is a turd. One time I tried to post a picture a client sent me of their kiddo, in a cape, holding his superhero monster I made him, saying "What a cute little hero!" and my phone corrected "hero" to "jerk". Imagine if I hadn't reread my post for errors before publishing it, calling that kiddo a jerk. Mortifying, right?

Also, two days ago I was typing "eating birthday cupcakes!" and my phone autocorrected it to "eating butt day cake" right as I was about to hit send. I don't even know. I'm glad I caught it before I sent that text, though!

So my advice for today, after seeing some pretty silly autocorrected posts on IG & FB last week: take time to review before you post to social media!

What hilarious (or mortifying!) typo or autocorrect stories do you have? Share them in the comments? 

#happyhandmade one hundred and five

Welcome to #happyhandmade, the original social sharing collective showcasing makers & their shops across various platforms - all brought together in a neat little bundle  to help makers get discovered and help connect artisans with fresh, new, handmade lovin' people!

If this is your first time here, you're in for a sweet surprise! This collective generates between 2,500 - 3,500 click-throughs to participant's shops every month! It is one of the top free ways to connect with other makers & drive new traffic to your store with minimal effort. 

Not only do you get the exposure from this post here, but also from all the people who share your products via Twitter, their blogs, Facebook & other social media platforms! 

Join in & be a part of the largest collaborative marketing effort in the maker movement! 

Also, each week there are SIX chances to be featured, either as staff pick or most viewed - so be sure to  share #happyhandmade with your friends, family, Etsy teams, in forums and Facebook groups you are a part of - the more people seeing this link up, the more people shopping & seeing your goods and the bigger our #happyhandmade community grows! YOU radical makers, crafters & indie business owners are what makes this event so awesome, and I appreciate you all so much for helping me spread the word about this great handmade collective! 

This week's Staff Picks:



Rules:
Link up to three {3} handmade products from your shops below! 
  • Share at least three {3} items from this collection (not yours) via social media
(Please do not Pin items to Pinterest without express permission from the creator)
  • Spread the word! the more people who hear about it, the more exposure everyone gets!
  • Please show your support of handmade and leave a comment listing your favorite three products from the link up that you shared!
What can you link up? Handmade products, art prints, and any designs you personally have created and had printed in small batches on clothing, fabric, notecards, etc. So long as you made it, you can share it! 

What you can't link up: blog posts, Facebook pages, giveaways, tutorials, items that are factory produced, supplies & vintage items. This collective is to connect handmade shop owners with one another and promote one another's products, so all links you share should be to an individual product in your shop. 

Click "add your link" - this opens a new window. In the first box put the URL to your INDIVIDUAL product listing, not your shop home page. In the second box, put a description of your product. In the third, your email address. Then below that, chose a product image for the thumbnail. Easy peasy! 

#happyhandmade week one hundred and four

Welcome to #happyhandmade, the original social sharing collective showcasing makers & their shops across various platforms - all brought together in a neat little bundle  to help makers get discovered and help connect artisans with fresh, new, handmade lovin' people!

If this is your first time here, you're in for a sweet surprise! This collective generates between 2,500 - 3,500 click-throughs to participant's shops every month! It is one of the top free ways to connect with other makers & drive new traffic to your store with minimal effort. 

Not only do you get the exposure from this post here, but also from all the people who share your products via Twitter, their blogs, Facebook & other social media platforms! 

Join in & be a part of the largest collaborative marketing effort in the maker movement! 

Also, each week there are SIX chances to be featured, either as staff pick or most viewed - so be sure to  share #happyhandmade with your friends, family, Etsy teams, in forums and Facebook groups you are a part of - the more people seeing this link up, the more people shopping & seeing your goods and the bigger our #happyhandmade community grows! YOU radical makers, crafters & indie business owners are what makes this event so awesome, and I appreciate you all so much for helping me spread the word about this great handmade collective! 

This week's Staff Picks:






Rules:
Link up to three {3} handmade products from your shops below! 
  • Share at least three {3} items from this collection (not yours) via social media
(Please do not Pin items to Pinterest without express permission from the creator)
  • Spread the word! the more people who hear about it, the more exposure everyone gets!
  • Please show your support of handmade and leave a comment listing your favorite three products from the link up that you shared!
What can you link up? Handmade products, art prints, and any designs you personally have created and had printed in small batches on clothing, fabric, notecards, etc. So long as you made it, you can share it! 

What you can't link up: blog posts, Facebook pages, giveaways, tutorials, items that are factory produced, supplies & vintage items. This collective is to connect handmade shop owners with one another and promote one another's products, so all links you share should be to an individual product in your shop. 

Click "add your link" - this opens a new window. In the first box put the URL to your INDIVIDUAL product listing, not your shop home page. In the second box, put a description of your product. In the third, your email address. Then below that, chose a product image for the thumbnail. Easy peasy! 


3 craft show tips for toy makers {& a free sticker printable!}

I have attended close to 50 shows as a vendor and sell out at almost every show I vend at. With spring time shows just around the bend, I  wanted to share some of lessons I've learned as a toy maker in the craft show circuit with YOU to make this season the best it can be for you!

Create an inviting display. 

A mini display of my items at a pop up shop
As a toy maker it is so important to have a display that invites both parents & children to touch, hug & play with my monsters. People are more likely to purchase an item they interact with so by having a display with child height shelves & openly inviting people to play with & enjoy your products you are increasing the odds of purchases.


When I catch a kiddo eyeing my display I get down to their level & ask them which monster is their favorite, or what their favorite color is. This leads to them pointing to or picking up a monster they like. That magic moment when a child finds "their" monster makes my heart burst with joy! Parents love it too, and get involved in the fun of picking out monsters & comparing hair styles and numbers of eyes or teeth. Make sure you are approaching & engaging not just the adults but the children at the events. Don't be afraid to get on their level & talk to them - you're a toy maker! This is what you DO - unite kids with toys they will love!

Bring baby wipes

Sometimes, kids (or adults!) can have dirty fingers, especially if there is food trucks at the event! Greasy, powdery, funnel cake trucks. Or hot dog trucks, with mustard & ketchup & all kinds relishes. All kinds of things that can potentially stain & ruin products! My advice:

If there is going to be food at the event, set up a display with a sign encouraging people to take a wet wipe (diaper wipes are perfect for this!) for their hands & have a waste basket for easy disposal. If you see kids with food, feel free to offer the parents a wipe - it's not rude, believe me, they will appreciate it! - before the kids touch your displays/products. This protects your products, and opens up a line of communication with browsers. I've only ever had browsers express gratitude when I've offered them a napkin at shows, even though I'm primarily doing it to protect my products.

Offer stickers or an activity

Kids love stickers! I always keep some in my apron pocket at events and as kiddos pass by I ask them if they would like a sticker - this results with families pausing at my booth, kids getting excited about my products & often, purchases! Starting conversations with kids & parents is key in selling toys at craft shows.

You can download these free sticker templates designed by Kenzie of Bewhiskered Blankets here or purchase the full color set with 25 designs for just $1.50 here! They are sized to print on standard address label paper, so you can print them from home!


I also sometimes have a coloring table set up with pages of Mon-stors to color and buckets of crayons. ALWAYS a huge hit with small children & again, it gives families a reason to pause at your booth. I can only do this at shows with 10x10 booths though, so it's not a show time staple but always results in happy families & lots of interaction and purchases at my booth! Try to think of small, free activities you could offer to young craft show patrons - maybe if you sell children's clothes, a dress up trunk & mirror? Think outside the box & get creative with freebies & activities you can do to get people excited about your booth at events!

Do you make & sell toys or items for kids at craft shows? Let's continue the conversation in the comments! What craft show advice would you offer other toy makers before their first show of the season? 

Preparing for your first solo art exhibit {infographic}

Today's guest post is brought to you by Shawna of Shawna Collage. Shawna is a graphic designer and collage artist, originally from a small, snowy town in upstate New York. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design and a BA in English Literature from SUNY Plattsburgh. She has been freelancing for a little over four years now with a focus on branding, illustration, print design. In addition to designing, she enjoys everything to do with cats, desserts of all kinds, fashion, and organizing. 




For many people, the idea of having their own solo exhibition can be both intimidating and overwhelming. But, with a little planning, anyone can have a successful and profitable show. I’ve put together a flow chart to help guide you through the process of applying, creating, and promoting an exhibition. While this process will always differ from artist to artist, and venue to venue, this chart will help give you an idea of what to expect and prepare for.




Still debating on whether or not a solo show is right for you? The benefits can be wonderful: no sharing the spotlight with other artists, more potential profit, customizing the experience for your viewers, and the ability to show many works at once. On the downside there is also a greater amount of risk by being the only one in the room, you won’t have the pull and appeal of a group of artists to bring people in. You’ll also have a higher cost from creating and framing a large amount of work.

Deciding to take on your own solo show is a personal decision that every artist needs to decide if they are ready for. I hope this chart has helped clarify the process and informed you about what goes into an exhibition. Good luck in your future solo endeavors and stay creative!

Connect with Shawna

#happyhandmade week one hundred and three

Welcome to #happyhandmade, the original social sharing collective showcasing makers & their shops across various platforms - all brought together in a neat little bundle  to help makers get discovered and help connect artisans with fresh, new, handmade lovin' people!

If this is your first time here, you're in for a sweet surprise! This collective generates between 2,500 - 3,500 click-throughs to participant's shops every month! It is one of the top free ways to connect with other makers & drive new traffic to your store with minimal effort. 

Not only do you get the exposure from this post here, but also from all the people who share your products via Twitter, their blogs, Facebook & other social media platforms! 

Join in & be a part of the largest collaborative marketing effort in the maker movement! 

Also, each week there are SIX chances to be featured, either as staff pick or most viewed - so be sure to  share #happyhandmade with your friends, family, Etsy teams, in forums and Facebook groups you are a part of - the more people seeing this link up, the more people shopping & seeing your goods and the bigger our #happyhandmade community grows! YOU radical makers, crafters & indie business owners are what makes this event so awesome, and I appreciate you all so much for helping me spread the word about this great handmade collective! 

This week's Staff Picks:



Rules:
Link up to three {3} handmade products from your shops below! 
  • Share at least three {3} items from this collection (not yours) via social media
(Please do not Pin items to Pinterest without express permission from the creator)
  • Spread the word! the more people who hear about it, the more exposure everyone gets!
  • Please show your support of handmade and leave a comment listing your favorite three products from the link up that you shared!
What can you link up? Handmade products, art prints, and any designs you personally have created and had printed in small batches on clothing, fabric, notecards, etc. So long as you made it, you can share it! 

What you can't link up: blog posts, Facebook pages, giveaways, tutorials, items that are factory produced, supplies & vintage items. This collective is to connect handmade shop owners with one another and promote one another's products, so all links you share should be to an individual product in your shop. 

Click "add your link" - this opens a new window. In the first box put the URL to your INDIVIDUAL product listing, not your shop home page. In the second box, put a description of your product. In the third, your email address. Then below that, chose a product image for the thumbnail. Easy peasy! 


"I find the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have" printable calendar page

Today's awesome free printable is brought to you courtesy of Magda from Twisted Thread & Hook.

Time for a new month and fresh inspiration! 

Thomas Jefferson once said "I find the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have". So, let's get get to work and fill this calendar with goals and to-do's!

I added a little section at the bottom of this month's calendar page for comments.  Maybe you can use it to write your main goal for the month?  Or maybe a word that will inspire you in March?

Download your free printable calendar page here. This month, a featured handmade artist is Nedra from Origami Delights.  She does amazing things with paper!

Let me know how you are using your calendar!  Snap a picture of filled-in calendar and share it on social media with a tag #inspiremonthly and I may include it in a future calendar post!


connect with Magda

Spice up your marketing campaign with this fun photo challenge for makers!

Creative Daily, the first photo challenge made just for makers, was created to make it easier to generate original content for Instagram & other social media platforms while staying true to our roots as makers & creatives, because let's face it - coming up with awesome visual content for Instagram isn't always easy. How many coffee mug shots & selfies can we post before our followers click "unfollow", anyway? Let's remind people why they followed us awesome makers in the first place - by using these unique prompts to look at our lives, business, processes & products in a new way. 

These prompts are carefully thought out to inspire makers, creatives & anyone else who wants to join in to share their lives, behind the scenes peeks & products in a more organic, unfiltered way. Prompts range from a simple color prompt, where you could post an object, outfit, product, food, or material to share with your audience to more interesting prompts like the prompt for the 17th - lucky. Lucky to run your own business, lucky to have a certain someone in your life, your favorite lucky tee shirt perhaps? Whatever these prompts mean to you, this challenge enables you to share them with your audience in a fun, organic way!

How to join in: Just post a photo with your interpretation of the dated prompt & add the #creativedaily hashtag so other makers participating in the challenge can connect with you! And if you want to, tell your friends & share the graphic to get more people participating - the more people joining in the more new creatives are discovering & networking with one another, and hey, I'm all about growing a cooperative crafty community!! 

 
This image is sized for Instagram so feel free to download it & share via IG, Facebook, your blog, wherever you want! 

Oh, and you don't have to post every day - this challenge is just for fun. Join in when you can! I look forward to seeing what everyone posts! You can find me on Instagram at @lu_and_ed.

#happyhandmade week one hundred & two

Welcome to #happyhandmade, the original social sharing collective showcasing makers & their shops across various platforms - all brought together in a neat little bundle  to help makers get discovered and help connect artisans with fresh, new, handmade lovin' people!

If this is your first time here, you're in for a sweet surprise! This collective generates between 2,500 - 3,500 click-throughs to participant's shops every month! It is one of the top free ways to connect with other makers & drive new traffic to your store with minimal effort. 

Not only do you get the exposure from this post here, but also from all the people who share your products via Twitter, their blogs, Facebook & other social media platforms! 

Join in & be a part of the largest collaborative marketing effort in the maker movement! 

Also, each week there are SIX chances to be featured, either as staff pick or most viewed - so be sure to  share #happyhandmade with your friends, family, Etsy teams, in forums and Facebook groups you are a part of - the more people seeing this link up, the more people shopping & seeing your goods and the bigger our #happyhandmade community grows! YOU radical makers, crafters & indie business owners are what makes this event so awesome, and I appreciate you all so much for helping me spread the word about this great handmade collective! 

This week's Staff Picks:




Rules:
Link up to three {3} handmade products from your shops below! 
  • Share at least three {3} items from this collection (not yours) via social media
(Please do not Pin items to Pinterest without express permission from the creator)
  • Spread the word! the more people who hear about it, the more exposure everyone gets!
  • Please show your support of handmade and leave a comment listing your favorite three products from the link up that you shared!
What can you link up? Handmade products, art prints, and any designs you personally have created and had printed in small batches on clothing, fabric, notecards, etc. So long as you made it, you can share it! 

What you can't link up: blog posts, Facebook pages, giveaways, tutorials, items that are factory produced, supplies & vintage items. This collective is to connect handmade shop owners with one another and promote one another's products, so all links you share should be to an individual product in your shop. 

Click "add your link" - this opens a new window. In the first box put the URL to your INDIVIDUAL product listing, not your shop home page. In the second box, put a description of your product. In the third, your email address. Then below that, chose a product image for the thumbnail. Easy peasy!