Monday, July 27, 2009

And the winner is....

I thought I would give you an update on the status of the contest. I have randomly (using picked 2 winners, notified them both last week. I have only heard back from one, and I wanted to hear back from both before I announced the winners.

If i don't hear back from the second winner, I will choose another one tomorrow morning.

So, there is a BIG chance you can still win, since 2 people will be eliminated from the drawing!

Good luck and I will make a more formal announcement on Friday!

Thanks for your patience!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer GIVE-AWAY!!!!

I've just come back from a nice 3 week hiatus, and Urban Bead is back in full-swing!
This morning I listed the first set of my summer-time necklaces and would like to get some feedback from you. The best way is to have a give-away!!

The winners (2) will select any two of the four items that are pictured above ($30 value)!

To Enter the Contest all you need to do is 2 things:

1. Follow my blog and post a comment here about your five items from Urban Bead

2. Subscribe to The Tattler – the new Urban Bead newsletter which is e-published once a month and includes sneak previews of new designs, SUPER-secret sales and coupons! Subscribe here.

This contest will be open until 11:59 pm (PST) Sunday, July 19th. Contest is open WORLDWIDE!!!

The two (2) winners will be randomly selected (from and announced on my blog, in my Etsy shop and inside The Tattler on Monday, July 20th.

Please check back to see if you won, or leave your email address with comment. The winner will need to contact to provide name and shipping address.

Check back to find out who won the giveaway - it might be you!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Monica's Sangria Recipe

15 min prep, over night soak, makes 15+ generous cups

Prepare this at least 4 hours ahead so the Sangria has several hours to develop its fruity flavor. Make it in the early morning and it will be perfect by evening…

4 tablespoons Sugar
10 oz. Brandy or Peach Schnapps
1 lime, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
3 apples, cubed
3 ripe peaches or nectarines, cubed
1 bottle Dry Red Wine (750 ml)
2 cups good quality orange juice or passion fruit juice
Sparkling Soda Water, for topping off glasses of Sangria at table (completely optional)

Combine all ingredients except soda water in a large pitcher. Chill Sangria several hours. To serve, spoon fruits from pitcher into glasses or goblets, adding a few fresh berries in each glass, pour Sangria over top of the fruit.

Top glasses off with a splash of soda water and ENJOY!

Marketing Strategies for Your Online Shop

"Success begins with doing the tasks you don't want to do."

For many people, marketing is such a hassle! It can be the most time-consuming part of their business. As many successful business owners know, the dreaded task of marketing is never done. Marketing campaigns may come and go but in order to keep your customers coming back, you need to have advertisements, coupons, giveaways, promotions, etc. Internet shoppers need interaction, they need the ad literally in their face.

These days it seems that you have to give away more and more free stuff just to get people's attention and interest. Here are just a few ideas that may increase traffic to your online shop.

Work on your image
Create an Image for your business that matches your customers needs. Make sure it is an image that you feel comfortable with and that separates you from your competitors.

Know your customer
It is important to know who your customer is! You should be able to almost have a Polaroid picture of them in your mind. Age, income, race, lifestyle, educational background, etc are all very important pieces of information that will help you gain more customers and sell more products to existing customers.

Focus advertising on current and potential customers. Where do your customers come from? How do they end up clicking on your shop? Tons of information can be derived from asking simple questions of your customers. Check out online demographic information about Etsy, eBay, or other online venues you may sell at. Check out Quantcast Audience Profile information to get a better picture of who your customer may be. It just so happens that the person described in this report also happens to be my customer base - not a surprise!

The demographic that visit the venue (Etsy, eBay, Art Fire) you sell your products at will likely make up the base of your customers. Knowing if your customers will be shopping there will greatly improve your suceess before you even list your first product.

How do you know this? Let's say that your product is handmade flower hair clips. The first question to ask is who buys these? Women. Do they use these? Not usually on themselves, but possibly on a child, doll, pet, etc. Do women who have a child, pet or doll collection visit your shop now?

If they do, find out how they are discovering your shop. If not, where are there likely to be? People who may have an interest in flowered hair clips... Some ideas: bridal magazines, blogs, websites, costume websites, groomer blogs, pet health websites, doll collectors forums, etc. You get the idea. Just because you have this picture in your mind of cute little curly-haired girls wearing the hair clips you make does not mean they will be the only ones interested in them.

Marketing can be a big drain on your resources and on time. Do your investigating ahead of time and learn who your customer is. Knowing who they are will make all the difference. :O)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Urban Bead is on H I A T U S !!

I will be using flickr to upload any new creations I want to share, so check out:

I will be back, probably July or August, just in time for Fall!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mindful eating

I find myself eating more and more now since I have been at home. I get bored easily. I snack even when I never really used to. Just the other day, I went through almost a whole bag of Trader Joe's Olive Oil Pop Corn (yum!) while watching TV and was still hungry after that.

When Sam was in Afghanistan, I began doing something I called "paying attention" when I ate. I would sit down for a meal and actually pay attention to what I was eating, how the food made me feel and when I satisfied and not full. Since Sam has returned, life has been one great big distraction (Sam has a way of doing that), and I have really been not paying attention to what I eat.

Example, Sam and I love movies! We love to Eat! We love to watch movies while we eat! Sam and I cook dinner on a somewhat regular basis. We have spent long periods of time preparing and cooking our food just to barely notice it as we watch Leo DiCaprio dodge bullets in Iraq (Body of Lies). Or we order food from our favorite restaurants in town and not savor any bite of it because Angelina Jolie lost her son (Changeling -both movies we saw this week).

When I "paid attention" to my meals and to myself, I was able to drop 50+ pounds without giving up food I loved. So now I am looking to do the same again. Today was my first day eating mindfully. I was getting ready to slip into my normal routine of coffee and toast or a sweet piece of bread in the morning. When I stopped and asked myself if I was even hungry? I wasn't!
Instead I headed to the workroom and began catching up on jewelry orders. I worked for an hour or two, made a few phone calls, and then felt a hunger pang.

It gets better, I decided to go for my Trail Mix Crunch cereal and poured myself a bowl. Just as I was going to bring it over to my laptop and have a surf-side breakfast (ha ha, I made it up!), I stopped again, put the laptop away and sat down to eat.

After being mindful for the first time in months (years), I realized that I was satisfied with my meal a lot sooner than I thought. I had only eaten about 1/3 of the portion I had served myself.
As I sat there staring into the (now seeming) huge bowl still full with cereal and soy milk. (sigh) I was thinking about how I was raised - as someone who does not waste food. I could not believe that I had to convince myself NOT to eat it! I could already hear my grandma's voice in my head going on about "serving yourself too much and being wasteful, just eat it!"

I could have, but decided to fight myself and put it in the sink. Gosh, I can't believe I am writing about this. But this is a perfect example of food conditioning.

It has been a while since I actually examined what I was eating. As I peered into the bowl, I saw dried cranberries, granola clumps, some kind of brand twig, almonds and a kind of puffed rice ball. It was all delicious, it smelled like apple pie, and it was crunchy, it had an interesting texture too.

Well, I don't think I will be posting mindful meal blogs too often. I don't think most folks have an interest in it or the same sort of food issues that I have.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A woman, a car battery and a wire brush

My truck would not start yesterday. Much to my dismay, I thought I had a dead battery on my hands. I just bought a battery less than a year ago!
Once I popped the hood I realized that there was a build up of corrosion on the battery terminals. I remember seeing my dad clean up these things before, and knew that that could be a possible cause why my truck was not starting, but all the other elements were working just fine - radio, lights, etc.

Luckily, I found this helpful video on youtube!

After i dropped Sam off at work, I went home and got out my wire brush, a wrench, pliers and a screwdriver. I got to work, about a half-hour later, my car started without a hitch!

Thank you video guy!!