Here are some of the best DIY cleaning products tips I found on the net. You can find more here, here, here, here and lots of green clean ideas here. This page is also a great resource for making laundry detergent.


Cornstarch
works well as a window cleaner, furniture polish and as a carpet cleaner and deodorizer. This mixes with many things without toxic results.


Lemon juice
another highly acidic liquid, works extremely well on hard water stains and on built-up soap scum. You can mix lemon juice with vinegar and/or baking soda to make a paste similar to Soft Scrub brand cleaning scrub or mix it with olive oil for a wood furniture polish. Lemon juice left to sit on a rust spot can completely erase the rust and hard water. This may need to be repeated several times before the spot is completely gone.


Club soda
is a great stain lifter for fabrics and can double as a glass cleaner. When using club soda as a stain lifter, allow it to soak into the stain before blotting. Do not rub the stain or you risk smearing it around.


Rug and Upholstery Cleaner

Sprinkle corn meal, baking soda or cornstarch on dry rugs and vacuum. Use club soda or soap-based rug shampoo.


Carpet Cleaning Foam

Mix together: ¼ c. vegetable oil-based liquid soap
3 tbsp. (or more) water
Whip ingredients in bowl with egg beater. Rub foam into problem areas of the rug. Rinse well with water.


Mildew Remover

Dissolve together: ½ c, vinegar
½ c. borax in warm water.
Apply with sponge or spray bottle.



Melissa is an eclectic artist that decided to start selling her creations after being hounded by friends and family. Today you can find her on ArtFire under Kaotic Ekko’s Curiosities. In this interview she shares the online and offline marketing strategies she’s been using.

Read the interview at Handmade News.


There's even more cards and halloween goodies at the She's Batty Designs ArtFire shop.
Yup, that's right!
My blog was the Friday find on this blog!
Thanks so much for "finding me" and for the plug, Bliss St!


Today's Freaky Feature is this AWESOME Coffin Couch I found on Etsy! It's in amazing! If I had $3500 to spend on a couch, you know this would be the one I'd pick! The listing description says "Why not enjoy the comfort of the afterlife today?" I couldn't have said it better myself!
So you haven't seen any more workout videos around here yet, but don't worry! I am getting my workouts in!

I've actually been working at my "day job" a lot more the past 2 weeks so I've been turning my commute to and from work into my workouts. I've been power walking mostly, but I just scored a bike recently. It's only a one speed (that's probably older than I am), but it makes my commute much faster PLUS it's an amazing workout on the way to work because there's 3 hills! I can't make it up the last hill without walking my bike, but by that point I'm ready to die anyways!

Working more has really been a great thing! Not only for my wallet, but for my waistline. I'll be starting school again soon (full time), so I'm trying to cramp a bunch of hours in now because I know I wont be able to work (or workout) as much after Sept 10th (first day of school). I'm also trying to get lots of workouts in before the Canadian winter hits! I know it might sound silly, but the winter seems to come earlier and earlier every year and I wont be able to bike in the snow, or power walk much because my bones "don't do cold" on account of my Ankylosing Spondylitis.


I've been working in some "weights training" too. Not much, but a little. You'll never guess how I'm working it in!

On the weekend, I had to do a few earns so I walked Noel around with me to get things done. We power walked and she was exhausted after! When we got back, I took Sally and Princess out around the block. Now, you may be wondering where the weights are in this scenario.

Noel is an amazing walker, and fully trained to walk right beside me. The other two dogs, are far from being "as good as Noel". Princess is a big girl and has a lot of weight behind her. She likes to zig zag on the leash so she's never walking RIGHT beside me very well (yet). Sassy, our newest addition, hasn't had much leash training yet because we take them to the dog park all the time. You might see where I'm going with this now....

Sassy and Princess ARE MY WEIGHTS. So while I walk them, I'm training them to be better walkers AND getting my weight training in.. at least for my arms and shoulders. I have them walk right beside me which can be tricky without using upper body strength (which I totally lack). It's hard to do weight training, and probably shouldn't even be walking those crazy dogs, because I'm not supposed to lift over 10lbs because I can send myself into a flare up. Some days I just have to take the risk though. It feels good to be active and to be productive (as far as the dog training) as the same time. It will be awesome when they are trained as well as Noel and can walk on a loose leash with no pulling!


In other workout news, I broke out the Mario Dance Dance pads this week! I haven't used them in ages, but I plan to play gamecube to change things up a bit. I love that game and it makes for a great workout, especially when you're taking on Bowser! lol.


P.S. If you've just started following my blog, Noel, Sassy, and Princess are my dogs lol.. i'm sure you figured that out by now though.

(I replaced the turkey with "fake meat" in this recipe because I'm a vegetarian. It turned out super yummy)
Princess is watching over them in the background hehe

There are a lot of ways to market and write your blog. Some work well and some will have potential readers scrambling for their “back” button. If you have decided to take up the task of keeping a blog, you are probably doing it as a way to bring traffic to your handmade shop. This is a perfectly respectable reason to keep a blog as long as you don’t fall into a few newbie traps. This two part series will cover the most common mistakes made by handmade bloggers. In Part 1 we’ll cover “The Cold Call” and “The Award Trap”. Part two will cover “The Mini Mall” and “The Me Show”.

Here's two of the latest editions to my online shop,


These mini cards have anything but a mini personality! Each card is unique and features a different black cat. Each cat is mounded on spooky black cat paper! These cards are blank inside so you can use them for just about anything! They measure 2.5 x 2.5 inches.


These Pink tags were made for a breast cancer research fundraiser. I had a few left over and thought I would offer them to the handmade community. The tags measure 2.5 inches.
It's pretty safe to say that most of my "Garden Adventures" this year have been a flop! My cucumbers, onions, peas, and wildflowers all died... or didn't come up at all! Turns out that crazy Canadian weather + partial shade = nothing. ... or almost nothing. My pumpkin vines are still going. They are going considerably well compared to everything else lol. But it's easy for the pumpkin vines to look like they are doing so well next to dead plants and baron dirt! They aren't growing well enough yet for me to get my hopes up about getting actual pumpkins. If they are anything like the pepper plant and the tomato plant, all I'll get is vines. The pepper plant is still looking pretty good and has a few white flowers on it this week but it's not growing very fast at all. The tomato plant on the other hand is growing "like a bad weed" but not producing any tomatoes! It's just a big, unruly, useless plant. Sigh. Maybe I should just stick with crafting.
Can you believe another week is already over? I'm having troubles grasping the reality that August is almost over! One thing that I am grasping is all the latest in handmade marketing! The team of marketing department columnists that I lead at Handmade News has once again brought us the very latest news! There's no need to look anywhere else for help with marketing your Etsy or Artfire shop! These girls have you covered :)

Check out what they had for us in the last week at Handmade News, and don't forget to follow the marketing department on twitter, fan us on facebook and become our friend on myspace!



1. Google's New Wonder Wheel
has done it again! They have just released their new “Wonder Wheel” available on Google search right now. This can be a powerful brainstorming tool for so many things. Check out Libby's article to find out how the wonder wheel can work for you!






2. Preparing for Your First Gallery Show: A Checklist for Success
If you've scored yourself your very first gallery show let Jill help you prepare for it! In this article she provides you with all the info you'll need to make your first gallery show a smashing success!







3.Advertise Your Craft Business with Google and Others
Have you always wanted to know how to advertise with the "big guys" such as Google? Well now you can! Kristen shows you just have easy and stress free advertising with Google and others can be! Check out this article for great tips and a basic "how-to" to get you started!





4. Wists101: Building a Social Shopping Network
You may be wondering what Wists are! They are something you need to know about! If you haven't heard of them or haven't started using them, then you need to check out this article. Kelli breaks the mystery behind Wists down and gives you lots of helpful advice about how to use them to promote your handmade goods!




5.Tweetips for Handmade News
We know most of you have starting using Twitter to get the work out about your Etsy or Artfire shop, but have you used Twitalize to find out how you're doing? In Susan's first Handmade News article, she shows us how to assess our twitter progress easily with Twitalize! Don't miss this article if you're using Twitter as part of your marketing strategy.




6.Marketing in This Economy
We are all finding it hard to market our online shops with small (or no) marketing budget. Although times are tough, you can still successful market your shop and Kristen shows us how in this article. Even if you think you've got things covered and haven't felt the "pinch" that most of us have, this article is worth a look. It might just save you some money!





7.Postcards to get your name out!
Many of you have heard before that postcards are great marketing tools, but do you know why they are so effective? In this article Susan shows us exactly why postcards have been recommended time and time again. She even shares some postcard secrets like how to use them and where to get them from!





Brighten up a dark and spooky night with this glittery candelabra greeting card. It's now available in my shop and features a candelabra die cut with glitter, a glittery "Happy Halloween" banner, spider web paper, and shimmery spider web ribbon.
Here are some of the most useful DIY spa treatments I found on the net. You can find more here and here.

Banana and honey mask.
Use this recipe for an easy facial mask. With egg, oatmeal, banana, and honey, this mask will have sensitive and dry complexions feeling great. Honey is a natural antiseptic, too, so it will aid in healing any facial blemishes.


Conditioner.
Try mixing eggs and olive oil, then wrapping your hair in plastic wrap as suggested here to get a great, inexpensive conditioner for your hair.


Hair detangler.
Use oregano with this recipe to get a detangler you can use every day without spending a lot of money.


Hair repair.
This conditioner repairs stressed hair with rosemary, eggs, and oils. Try it at home when your tresses need a little taming.


Deep conditioner.
Not only does your hair need moisture, but it also needs protein. Use this deep conditioner with avocado and mayonnaise to get your hair in shape.


Spa Hand Treatments.
Watch this video to learn first "hand" how to give yourself luxurious spa hand treatments at home using items from the kitchen.


Sugar body scrub.
Use this recipe of brown sugar, maple syrup, and olive oil for a body scrub that will leave your skin smoother and moisturized. Don’t skip over the other two spa treatments also included.


Thanksgiving-inspired body scrub.
With pecans, sugar, and the rest of the ingredients in this scrub, you may wonder if you should put it on your body or in your body.


Vanilla bath.
Scroll down to the bottom of this article for a luxurious bath soak that features vanilla and honey.


To clear up flaky skin.
Soak a washcloth in bowl of very cold whole milk, wring it out, then apply it to your face for about 10 minutes. The lactic acid and fats rehydrate your skin and remove redness.


To rejuvenate dull skin .
Squeeze the juice from a couple of oranges into a bowl, adding a little zest from the rind. Dunk a washcloth in the liquid, wring lightly, then apply it to your face for about 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water. The vitamin C in the OJ will help to restore a glowy look.
Many handmade artists keep blogs or are told to create one to help their business. Blogging isn’t for everyone but if you’ve decided to add a blog to your marketing arsenal there are a few tips to get you started.

Go here to read my article on how to use your blog as a successful marketing tool.

I recently did another order for a custom photo invitation. Above is the result :)
(You'll notice that the private info is blurred out to protect my buyer).

I really love doing custom photo cards because it gives me a chance to use my graphic design skills. This one was particularly fun to make because Mitchell is so darn cute :)

You can get your own custom photo invitation or card design by purchasing one of the listings in my shop. I even do custom photo designs for Christmas cards! They seem to be a favorite, and it's what I use for my own Christmas cards. You can check out the designs I used for my own Christmas cards for the last 3 years in my shop. :)

Can't wait to see some of the new photos I'll get to work with.

I so want to win this skull book light! Grimvisions is currently having a giveaway. Head over to the Grimvisions blog to find out how you can enter to win this amazing light. I really hate to tell more people about this giveaway because I want to win it for my self LOL... yes I'm being selfish for once! The thing is, the more I talk up this giveaway the more entries I get! So, I'm telling you about this giveaway so I have a better chance at winning LOL.... like I said above, I SOOOOO want to win this!! It would be perfect for our house and would fit in perfectly. Wish me luck!

There's no need to be so serious! Lighten things up with this "Silly Bones" greeting card! It features a dancing skeleton and lots of whimsical swirls and skulls. The inside is blank so you can add your own silly message. This card measures 5.5 x 4.25 inches and comes with a size appropriate envelope.

The ghoulish goodies just keep coming! hehe
Here's another addition to my artfire shop, She's Batty Designs.
There's lots more to come before Halloween too!
Check the shop daily for updates :)

I was featured on Creations with Heart blog today! Thank you so much to Julie for featuring me and even including a spotlight from ByHand.me! I really appreicate all the support I've been getting from the handmade blogging world lately! Hugs to all of you!

I couldn't help but share this werewolf card I just added to my ArtFire shop! I think this little furry monster is just so darn cute! He's on the hunt for candy you know. As you've notice (if you've been following my blog for a while), my Halloween and monster inspired cards at starting to fly out of my online shop! Don't take the chance of missing out, if you want one of these for your own you gotta act fast! Kind of like our furry friend! he he :)

This card may not appear to be spooky at first glance but upon closer inspection, you'll notice that the tree is haunted with an owl and a bat taking up residence. The blue sky with sliver stars is a nice contrast from the full moon and haunted tree.

It's definitely one of my favorite creations because I love spooky things and I love star gazing. :)

Today I was featured on Archdiva's blog! She's doing a series called "Inside the Artisan's Studio" and she was so kind to accept me for the feature! I really appreciate all her support and the lovely blog post that she dedicated to me! Check it out if you have some time and leave a comment if you'd like.


These two cards just arrived at my ArtFire studio! I think everyone is getting into the Halloween spirit early because my cards are selling pretty fast now! Snag these Halloween cards quickly if you want them or you'll miss out! There's lots more cards to come so keep checking back at my shop for even more goodies!

djrunnels.jpgDJ Runnels is a bohemian fiber artist, but she wasn't always. Her time before becoming an artist was spent being a creative director. This position led her to take a more active interest in art rather than writing. Today she lives for all things creative and runs several online shops at ArtFire, Etsy and Ebay. In this interview she shares which marketing strategies have worked for her and which haven't.

In the last week we have seen a lot of changes at Handmade News! The site design is in the "tweaking stage", and my bio is now up as the editor of the department! Hooray! We've also had a lot of buzz around our articles! I'm sure you'll see why when you check them out!

I wanted to share with you all the awesome articles that got published last week in the Marketing Department so you can stay on top of the latest marketing strategies and tips! Here they are:



1. The Marketing Secrets Behind Volume 25
Volume 25 is a very busy shop at Etsy. Run by Jessica, Volume 25 has had over 860 sales since opening its virtual doors in January of 2008. Today Jessica shares the marketing strategies she’s used to help build such a successful business.



2. Business Card Marketing
One of the most important, and least expensive ways to market is to make use of your business cards.Find out how you can put something as simple as a business card to work for you!






3. Forums: Fun, Free Advertising
In this article, Kristin dishes on how to have fun while advertising for free! Everyone wants to know how to have free fun that is also productive for your handmade business right? Check out Kristin's article for all the




4. Say it with Stickers
Kelli shares why using stickers is one of the most cost-effective and easily obtainable methods of promotion. In these tough times we all need advice on how we can make our marketing efforts go further. Kelli shows us how stickers can fit into our tiny marketing budgets but still have a bit impact!




5. Marketing Interview with Rebekah of The Dog Lady and Positive Propaganda
This week Rebekah of The Dog Coat Lady (on Etsy) and Positive Propaganda (on ArtFire) shares how she got started in the handmade world and how she's continued to grow her successful business. She's sold over 7640 items on Etsy and she's now expanding onto ArtFire with a goal to change the world with a button. Check out this article learn more about this unique seller and her creative marketing strategies.


6. What a Street Team Can Do for
In this article, Kristin let's us know what a street team can do for us and our handmade business! She sets the record straight about what you should look for in a street team and what to watch out for. If you've been thinking about joining a street team now is the time - but not before you arm yourself with the info in this article!



7. Guerrilla Marketing and You #2: Give It Away Now
This article has so much information we had to split it into two parts! Kelli covers guerrilla marketing strategies for contests, samples and sales - things every handmade business should know about and use! Even if you are already using contests, samples or sales, you'll want to read this article! It covers information for the newbie to guerrilla marketing and the advanced guru how as done, and seen it all. Check out part one for samples and sales, and part 2 for contests.


Thank you to each and everyone of my blog followers! I never thought I'd see the day that 100 people would be following my little blog and I'm so grateful to each and every one of you!

Scarlet happens to be the 100th blog follower so she gets some special freebies from She's Batty Designs! Congrats Scarlet!
Here are some of the must useful tips I found on the net for uses of butter. You can find more here and here.


Soothe aching feet
To soothe tired feet, massage them with butter, wrap in a damp, hot towel, and sit for 10 minutes. Your feet will feel revitalized … and they'll smell like popcorn too.


Remove sap from skin
You've just gotten home from a pleasant walk in the woods, but your hand is still covered with sticky tree sap that feels like it will never come off. Don't worry. Just rub butter on your hand and the gunky black sap will wash right off with soap and water.


Get gum out.
Softened butter rubbed into the hair will remove gum.


Cut Sticky Things.

Spread a knife very thinly with butter before cutting sticky pies, dates, toffee, etc. It will slide through easily without sticking.




Or.... you could always sculpt with it!

This is one of the most in-depth features I've had in a while! Check out it and let me know what you think :)


Both of these cards sold right after I listed them last night!! HOORAY!!!!!!

Don't worry if you didn't get a chance to snag these cards, I've added a bunch of other ones and will be adding even more shortly!

To see what's currently available check out my ArtFire shop:

http://shesbattydesigns.artfire.com

Jennifer has found great success on Etsy with her shop Jennifer's Jewels! She has had over 4220 sales since September 2006! She definitely knows what works for her and what doesn’t. One thing that she can say is that her products are of the highest quality. She has spent a lot of time perfecting her art and her business. This week she lets us in on the marketing side of her highly successful business.


If you haven't seen my feature yet, go have a look! I've answered lots of questions and there has been lots of pictures included in this feature :)

.

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