Been busy making wreaths again!

I love December.  It is the perfect time to make wreaths.  I needed to be working on my Christmas cards today, but as you will see, I made wreaths instead!

I finally finished the wreath I was making for my sister’s granddaughter.  It turned out really pretty.  I hope she likes it.

wreaths wreaths

 

 

The first pic is blurry, but the second one shows how it looks hanging on the door.  She loves purple so I hope this makes her happy!

Once finished with her wreath, I decided to make a Christmas wreath from and idea I found on pinterest.  I really liked the wreath shown and the tutorial was really simple so when I was last at Michaels, I got the ribbon and then got the rest at The Dollar Tree.

wreaths

This one is really quite nice and I plan to give it to my niece who lives next door.  She likes to decorate her door since we moved in because I give her seasonal wreaths to hang.  I hope she likes this one.  It took about 15 minutes and $4.00 worth of stuff to make!

wreaths

This wreath is also from that same pinterest photo, but this time I used sequined ribbon to give it some GLITZ!  This one I gave to my oldest daughter since she loves bling!  Same cost here and same places shopped.

I still have one more  wreath to finish and will post it as soon as I am done.  It shouldn’t take very long, so I hope to get to it tomorrow or at least this weekend.  I may keep this one and put it on my own door!

So, what do you think of my handy work?  Seems like a lot, but not really.  Oh, I also burnt my thumb really badly on the star wreath, but luckily I have an aloe plant handy and put that on the burn.  Works like a champ.  I’ll have a blister, but no pain or redness.

 

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Finishing up projects and starting another Project

I had two unfinished projects sitting in the art room and I wanted to start another, so I decided I had to finish the two projects first before starting another.  I decided that I was done with the polymer clay ornaments for now, so I finished up these by coating each one with a gloss gel finish to seal them.  Now they are ready to find homes on peoples Christmas trees.  Anyone interested in buying one for $2.00 each?  If not, they will look pretty on my tree.

project

Then I moved on to the toilet paper roll snowflakes that my sister and I started.  I had to go to the store and buy more white spray paint.  Did you know that you have to show your drivers license to buy spray paint?  I thought that was kinda funny, but did it.  I got them all painted white finally.  Then I dipped each snowflake into a paper plate filled with Elmer’s Glue and quickly dipped that into a plate of glitter.  Oh what a mess I made!

I did this for both sides of each snowflake and attached a string to each one so I could hang them up to dry.  When they finally dried (it took soooooo long) I decided to attach plastic snowflakes that I got at Dollar Tree to the center of each one to add pizzazz.  I had to wait overnight for those to dry, but boy do they look great.  I used silver on my sister’s four and white on mine.

project

 

project

I can’t wait to hang these on the tree with my old ones.  They look spectacular on the tree with the lights.  They glisten and turn and really come alive on the tree.

 

 

So once I was done with those two projects that I started last week, I decided to start another star wreath to give to my grand-niece for Christmas.  She really liked the one I made for her nana, so I think she will like having one of her own.  Her favorite color is purple, so I decided to make it dark purple with light pink polka-dots and of course, glitter!

I gathered the cardboard and cut out 24 stars.  Then I gessoed each one on front and back to eliminate the clutter.  Next, I had to score and fold each of the 24 stars.  Boring!!!!

project

I did 6 at a time and took a break between each group.  It took me all day, but finally they all were scored.  Then I hand folded each star to give it 3D.  I painted each one dark purple, twice.   Then I sealed each star with gloss medium.

When they dried, I added light pink dots using the eraser on a pencil.  While wet, I covered each star with white glitter.  I cut out a base from a piece of cardboard and painted it dark purple, too.  I used a hole puncher to put holes in the base on each side so I can attach the ribbon for hanging.

I went through all my ribbon and don’t have the color or kind I want to use, so this week I will have to go get ribbon to finish this project up.

project

I think this wreath will be really pretty once I get it done.  We will see.  I just hope she likes it and hangs it on her bedroom door like her nana did.   What do you think?  Think she will like it? Or not?

project

Posted in Acrylic paint, being creative, Christmas, Christmas ornament, crafting, homemade gifts, Polymer Clay, Ribbon, Wreath | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tim Ferriss Just Listed 5 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

Sunday is talk about business day and since the best advice anyone can get about making money online and offline is to educate yourself.  Professional improvement is the key to being able to survive in business and constant professional improvement will catapult you into success in business!  Reading good books, books about every aspect of business, life, management, goal setting, etc. is truly the way to making that breakthrough you desire.

It is true that reading will not produce immediately, but over time you will build such an arsenal in your brain that will allow you to see connections and pitfalls you never would have seen before.

Tim Ferriss is a major name in online business and his recommendations carry great weight with many entrepreneurs.  So reading the same books as he has may give you the inside track on how he thinks and acts.  If not, it will give you the mental stamina to not only continue in your efforts to create your business, but also to make your business shine!

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Tim Ferriss Just Listed 5 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

I’ve read four of the five books Tim Ferriss recommends…and the fifth is now on my reading list.
CREDIT: Getty Images

Ferriss was just appointed to the Scribd Author Advisory Council and put together a reading list designed to help inspire entrepreneurs to build their brands from the ground up. (By the way: New users get a free 30-day trial when they join Scribd.)

Here are Tim’s five choices for books every entrepreneur should read:

Anything You Want by Derek Sivers

Short, hilarious, and profoundly practical. I’ve reread these 40 lessons dozens of times. Derek is a philosopher-king among startup contrarians, and he knows how to get what he wants, however odd. I love this guy.

Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

This book was recommended to me by a PhD neuroscientist and is what finally helped me tame anger, one of my most destructive (and persistent) emotions. It’s easy to aim for “successful” and be miserable. This book is the antidote.

Find out the other three books recommended by Tim Ferriss here.

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The Thankful Tree

Thanksgiving is just a few days away.  It really is time to reflect on your life and your year to determine all the things you are thankful for.  The Thankful Tree is a wonderfully simple yet profound way that you can do just this.  Besides being a beautiful decoration for your Thanksgiving table, it makes you take a minute and reflect so you can put your thoughts on the tree.

It really is such a simple idea, but it really has a “kick” to it.  You can make the thankful tree simply, with twigs and paper or you can get fancy like the tree shown here.

the thankful tree

Either way, if you set this beautiful tree where everyone can see it and have everyone add a note telling what they are thankful for, you will have a Thanksgiving tradition to remember.

Personally, I really like the one below that is simple and easy.  I think kids would love to help make this tree and would be very happy to add to the branches with lots of notes about thankfulness.

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The Thankful Tree

The Thankful Tree

tree in a room seems to bring attention to itself. Those who first have a glimpse usually turn their head to have a second look. Hm, how interesting . . . they think, but their thoughts quickly wander off.

The Thankful Tree

But take a tree and give it a name, a purpose. Those who notice…read the rest of this post here.

 

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Taking imagination seriously

Today we explore creativity and where it comes from, how to get it, what to do with it once you do get it.  In this video, you learn about the part imagination plays in developing your creative side.  Imagination, the realm of children, is very important to us all and unfortunately we lose ours as we age.

Here is the story of an artist who finds herself without her tools to create her art.  She has to use her imagination to find a new way to express herself artistically and by doing so has experienced greater success and happiness than she ever imagined.

Please watch this TED talk from Janet Echelman.  Her work is so unbelievably beautiful and so unconventional!  This is truly a story about taking imagination seriously.  It is only 10 minutes of your time, but I believe you will come away with a new appreciation for your own imagination and will begin to listen to your inner child more.

I think this video is a wonderful example of finding your own true creative self and then ignoring all obstacles, making something beautiful.  I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did.

Janet Echelman: Taking imagination seriously

 

 

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Making Snowflakes with my sister

This past weekend, my sister and I decided to make snowflakes for the tree.  We have been collecting toilet paper rolls for a while now and have a box full to use for this craft.

snowflakes

My box of TP rolls

So we sat down at the table and got to work.  I have done this craft before, so I was moving a lot faster than she could but she was still able to get some made.

She got tired pretty early and quit after only making 4, but maybe she will make some more before I put everything up again.

snowflakes

My sister’s snowflakes

I made 10 in that same session and made 2 more the next day. So after making a dozen, I am basically through with the making part of this craft.

snowflakes

my snowflakes

The next step will be to take them outside and spray paint them white.  I may have to get more paint to get them all painted white but that’s okay.  After they are painted, the next step is to pour glue on a paper plate and then dip each side of the snowflakes into the glue then into a plate with glitter.  When dry, I will attach thin ribbon to each one for hanging on the tree.

This is a really easy craft and it is lots of fun to do.  Making the snowflakes is very calming and meditative.  I don’t expect the painting and glittering to be so calming!  If you do this with small children, remember that hot glue guns can burn and so can the melted glue.  I currently have a few burns on my hands because I got in a hurry.

I will post the finished project when they are dry and ready to go.  In the meantime, won’t you tell me about any craft you have done using toilet paper rolls?  They are so versatile and easily available, so there are many different crafts available using them.

 

Posted in Christmas, Christmas ornament, craft, crafting, Decorations, DIY project, easy Christmas crafting, Holidays | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)

Sunday we talk about business, and for me that means online business.  I was going to post something entirely different but then came across this article about Pay Per Click advertising on Google Adwords.  This is a concept that is really hard to get your head around, but if you want to make any money online and you want your online business to be successful, this is something you need to learn.

Google Adwords is probably the easiest and safest PPC network for a beginner.  It has so many controls built into it already so the new user doesn’t have to fear losing a lot of money.  You, the user, actually control what it will cost you to use the network.  You also have control over where your ad is placed.  You will only pay Google if someone you market to clicks on your ad and goes to your site, hence pay per click.

PPC is a useful advertising tool and should be in your business marketing arsenal; that said, it is a tool that you need to take a bit of time and learn how to use and Google makes that easy, too.

Google Adwords has instructions given in small bites that will help you understand the process and hopefully help you see the benefit of using PPC.    Please read this entire article at the source and get started learning a profitable way to market your business online.

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)

Google Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising using AdWords is perhaps the most popular form of advertising among small businesses. This is partly because of Google’s reputation and partly because it allows the small business owner to control costs. There are various ways Google AdWords can help you as a small business owner, but it takes some basic instruction to get started and tap ultimately tap into its full potential as an advertising tool.

pay per click advertising

John Lamb/ Digital Vision/ Getty Images

 

The key to successful advertising is to find a method of conveying your information to as many people as possible while keeping your advertising costs to a minimum. Pay per click (PPC) advertising may be one of the easiest ways to generate traffic to your website and score some decent profits from your search engine marketing campaign. Google AdWords is the most popular form of pay per click advertising for small businesses, partly because of Google’s popularity, and partly because it allows you to control your expenses by setting daily maximums for each ad.

How PPC Advertising Works

With PPC, you pay only when someone clicks your ad and visits your Website. Ads may be placed on search engine results pages (SERP) or on Websites that are identified as related to your targeted keywords.

How much you pay for each click depends on how much you’re willing to bid for your selected keywords, and in Google AdWords, to some extent on your “Quality Score”.

The higher your bid (and, in Google, the higher your Quality Score), …read the rest here.

 

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Think about why the sky is blue

Thursday is the day we investigate creativity.  Where does it come from?  How do you get it? What good is it?  Who needs it? When does it make a difference?  All good questions. Just as good as the title here, why is the sky blue?

I watched a TED talk the other day and in browsing the other videos, found this one.  Although his idea was for innovation in education for schoolkids, it seems to me that his concepts could just as easily be applied to adults who yearn for a more creative spark.

The video is below, so be sure to watch it; but not before you read the entire article about it.  In the article, Kate Torgovnick May has distilled the ideas down to 5 easy steps.

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Want to boost your creativity and be a better collaborator? Think about why the sky is blue

Jul 27, 2017 

Stretch your mind and strengthen your relationships with this simple exercise borrowed from schoolkids. Education innovator Sugata Mitra shows how.

It’s probably been a long time since you lay on your back in the grass, looked up and wondered, Why is the sky blue? Or since you took the time to consider a question as difficult as, Where does the universe begin, and where does it end?

In 2013, education innovator Sugata Mitra received the million-dollar TED Prize to develop an online learning platform for schoolkids, based around big questions like these (TED Talk: Build a school in the cloud). But the big secret is: It’s actually fun for adults. By tweaking Mitra’s idea, you can get in touch with your inner child — while building important skills. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Set aside an hour to recharge your curiosity.

At the heart of Mitra’s School in the Cloud is a simple method known as a SOLEsession. SOLE stands for Self-Organized Learning Environment, and it capitalizes on two incredibly abundant commodities: curiosity, and information on the Internet. A session begins with an open-ended, thought-provoking question — for example, What would happen if insects disappeared? or, Why do languages die out? Kids spend 40 minutes doing online research in groups of four or five, sharing one computer and jotting down their findings. Then all the groups come together for 20 minutes and discuss their discoveries.

Why should a busy adult take the time to pursue a blue-sky question like this? Because most of us spend our days living in our own information silos, and it’s good to step outside of them. In pursuing knowledge for knowledge’s sake, you’ll undoubtedly learn something new — or maybe you’ll revisit a subject you’ve avoided since high school (hello calculus!) and shake the cobwebs off your old learning, or reignite a passion you’d forgotten about. In doing research for the session, you’ll be forced to consult multiple sources and quickly find credible information — skills that are essential for critical thinking. And in the process of working with others, you could pick up tips, whether it’s a keyboard shortcut you never knew existed or a great YouTube channel to follow.

Step 2: To come up with a question, think big — really big.

By the time we’ve reached adulthood, we’ve long since stopped posing knotty, complicated queries — there are just so many more pressing professional and

Read the rest of this article here.

Here is the TED video referenced in the article.

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Making more Christmas ornaments

I have been having so much fun making Christmas ornaments with polymer clay.  I forgot just how much I enjoy this medium.  The last batch I made, I made each ornament one at a time.  Unfortunately, the red clay bleeds onto your fingers and then onto the other colors of clay, so after I baked them I set them to the side to be painted (touch up only).

Christmas ornaments

This last session, I decided to figure out some type of system where I could assembly line the owls and santas.  That way, when I got to the red, I would do all of them at once and then use my baby wipe to remove the red dye off my hands before I finished with the white.  This was a great idea and it worked like a champ.

I was able to make 5 more owls in a row, just doing one thing at a time on each of them.  They are adorable, I think.

Christmas ornaments

 

Then I made 4 more Santas.  They turned out even better than I had hoped and the white stayed white!  I will definitely be making more of these soon!

Christmas ornaments

 

I finally got them all baked and now I am contemplating adding some bling to a few of them.  What do you think?  I also want to get back into my studio and try some different types of Santas.  I found some really cute owls that I want to try, too.  I really am having a great time.

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Blogging and Affiliate Marketing

Sunday is talk about business day and today I want to talk about affiliate marketing.  There is quite a lot of information online about starting a blog.  The same can be said about affiliate marketing.  There is quite a lot of hype online about becoming an affiliate marketer and making millions.  There is also quite a bit of bunk online about affiliate marketing.   You have to go through hours and hours of junk to find one or two tidbits of useful information.

Blogging has always been a great platform to use to become an affiliate marketer.  The problem is that not all bloggers understand how to monetize their blog for the maximum profit.  Monetization is the ultimate goal, but how you go about it will define if you make any money from your efforts.

This article from Mashable points out 4 simple steps to use to monitize your blog properly.  I found this article to be pretty basic but informative.  I hope you can use this information and get yourself started in your own business.

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4 Steps to Monetize Your Blog Through Affiliate Marketing

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

While there are currently tens of millions of blogs worldwide, close to 60 million powered by WordPress alone, many bloggers are not yet monetizing their sites. If you’re one of these bloggers, a good place to start is with affiliate marketing: directing readers to a product or service in exchange for a commission on the sale (or other action) when it occurs.

“If an individual is looking to monetize their blog, I would make a strong case for affiliate marketing as the best avenue for doing so,” says Josh Waldron, founder of creative design firm Studio JWAL LLC. “Blogs with quality content attract loyal readers. Since readers benefit from the content offered, they grow to trust the authors of that content over time. Consequently, an author’s blog posts are a logical place to promote relevant products and services without compromising the integrity of the content.”

Here are four quick steps to monetizing your blog through affiliate marketing.

1. Choose Relevant Affiliate Programs

Affiliate ads pay per action, which means that readers will need to click on the ad and then either sign up or register for something, or make a purchase before you get paid for the action. The more relevant the ad is to your content, the higher the likelihood visitors will click on the ad and perform the desired action.

So, what type of affiliate program will provide the most relevant ads for your blog? If you’re focused on a particular topic, you will want to join affiliates specifically associated with your content. For example, if you have a photography site, you might apply to be an affiliate with a camera equipment dealer.

Many bloggers start with Amazon Associates since Amazon sells millions of diverse products that are likely to be a fit for most bloggers. Amazon pays commissions of 4% to 15%, depending on volume and product type.

Read the rest of this short article here.

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