Monday, March 31, 2008

a Little Croup came to visit

So we have a little SICK bug around here today.

I am off to a very late start this morning. My 16 month old has a severe case of Croup. Of course it was misdiagnosed on Saturday by our pediatrician, so we ended up in the Emergency Room last night. They gave her some medicine (not a steriod) through a breathing treatment which definately calmed things down a lot. She is doing a bit better this morning, but still a bit needy. Here's a picture of her on her Croup Re-Coup. Aaaaaah, finally, a little rest.

It's been one thing after another with this little one. We think that she's has some food allergies too, (i suspect strawberries) as we've been battling an ongoing eczema-ish type rash for about a month. The rash is just about gone now. But, we are off to get some blood tests done now!

I will be posting the winners of the WhimsiClip Giveaway and a new little giveaway later on

Friday, March 28, 2008

Little Etsy Shops

I am so excited to present these fabulous ETSY shops to you. See them over there in the right hand column - little etsy shops? It is like my own personal treasury. How fun!

I hope to be able to bring you two new shops each day, but we will see. No matter what, you can be sure that the main focus of these shops will be on Children (of all ages)!

For those of you who don't know about ETSY, it is an online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade. Their mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

How to Critique Your Own ETSY Shop

Are you your own worst Critic? You should be, and here's how! Eleanor of Egilpatr was kind enough to let me post her great tips on self critiquing your own Etsy Shop. Have you seen Eleanor's shop yet? She has certainly done her own Self Critique, as her shop is amazing!Eleanor is a professional fine art painter. Infatuated with the way the world looks, she calls herself a "realist painter", and believes her greatest strengths are my use of color and composition.Eleanor never sell prints; you always get an original. She has had quite an impressive resume as a professor and author, but her first love is painting.

But back to business, YOU CAN CRITIQUE YOUR OWN SHOP!
I especially found Eleanor's tips on improving your images quite helpful. I hope you find Eleanor's tips useful. I did! Here's what she has to say:
Look at your avatar. Is it an attractive piece from the shop? Is the color bright? Is the Image easy to make out? Is the image cropped enough so nothing is wasted on background?

Look at your banner. Is it color coordinated with the avatar? If there are words, are they useful; easy to read? Does the banner suggest the products sold or contain some of them? Even the avatar.

Look at your images of the items being sold. Are the thumbnails bright, easy to make out, and is the color good? The thumbnail is the first thing the viewer sees.

Is the main image the best one of the item? Do all the other ones add information?

Here is advice on how to deal with the problem of thumbnails that do not show off the actual image well because the thumbnail is a square crop. It comes up in two situations.

First, an artist does not always paint or draw square pictures, but would like the thumbnail to show the whole painting or drawing. Second, for people who have photographed crafted items for sale and want an image that will have an attractive thumbnail (which means cropping away unneeded background), but the original image will not crop square and still show the whole item.

a. Be sure to crop the original image to make it as square and tight as possible first, because if there is too much background to start, that issue will not be solved, and a close look at the item is lost. (This does not apply to images of 2-D art that are usually cropped to the exact image of the piece; no background.)

b. Take the original image (or the cropped image). If it is not square, go to Photoshop Elements or a similar program and open the image. Click on RESIZE IMAGE, and then click CANVAS SIZE. That opens a page where the width and height is given. Make them both the same size, always using the higher number (or else the image is cut).

c. Then go back to RESIZE IMAGE and select IMAGE SIZE. Make it 1000 x 1000. (The resolution can be up to 300.)

d. The result will be a thumbnail with the entire image, and white where the program filled in to make the image square.

Look at your item descriptions. Do they fully describe the item in terms of materials, dimensions, and any special information?

Section Names
Look at your section names. Do they reflect what you sell in language that anyonecould understand? Do they include sections for anything special that you might want to show together?Do they cover everything? Remember that an item can go into only one section.

Featured Items
Are you using the option to have three items featured on your home page? They get to appear twice, and give you a chance to represent pieces that are seasonal, or best, or represent three of your sections.

Shop Announcement, Bio & Shipping Profile
Look at your Shop Announcement, Bio, and Shipping Profile (found at the bottom of each item). I suggest you reorganize these so that the followingis covered in the Shop Announcement and the Bio. in roughly the order below.

Read through to see where there is repetition, defensiveness, too much intimate information, or any self-deprecation. Edit to remove these, without making the parts read as totally impersonal.
Say hello and/or welcome the reader into the shop. Use the first person I or we if there is more than one person. Tell the reader what is for sale and if there is anything special in the way you make it, or what it is for, or what it is made of---that makes it stand out--say that right away. Here is where to stress hand-made as a special characteristic, and whether made in a smoke free, or pet free environment.

Do not say the shop is new, unless you want to revise when it is not so new. How long are you able to claim you are new, anyway? Same goes for naming holidays.

You can say you hope they enjoy the shop or like what they see.

Make a statement about whether you take requests or customize the items and perhaps encourage the viewer to convo with you to get them just what they want.


Tell the viewer to click on your profile (the link on the right) to read more about you and to see your store policies. Thank them again for coming by; if you add new things often, tell that, and encourage the viewer to come by again to see new things.

If you have a website, blog, or other store, give the links here,but not to sites where you sell outside of Etsy.

Here you can be more personal about what you do, what led you to do it, how you feel about the work, or how you make it. I do not advise telling how your spouse or sister is an inspiration or details on your pets or children. What do you want to know from a seller when you buy?

What Payment Is Accepted?

What does shipping cost?

Where do you ship to?

Who do you use for shipping?

Put in the prices found at the bottom of your item descriptions. That includes multiple item prices.

You can offer alternative, faster shipping and prices.You can mention insurance and make a disclaimer about responsibility for damage in transit.

Add anything about International orders. This might be where you indicate you ship customs, checking "other."(People ask for "Gift" but this IS a purchase.).

You can give information on when you ship. I suggest you use this, adjusted for what payment you accept.

I ship within ___ days after I have been notified of receipt of payment by Paypal or when the check or money order has been cleared and deposited into my account.

You can say how items are packaged and how you send gifts, if you wish.

State your policy on acceptable reasons for returns, how they are treated, who pays for shipping, and anything on repair or exchange, as appropriate. Invite the reader to contact you with ANY questions.
That's all she wrote! Now get to work!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Alpha Bitty Cell Phone Charm

The newest addition to the Bitty Block Collection is the Alpha Bitty Cell Phone Charm. You choose from any letter in the ALPHA-bet and any Swarovski crystal color.

Made using a reclaimed Scrabble Tile, each ALPHA Bitty Charm is approximately 3/4" square and features a genuine sparkling Swarovski Bicone Crystal & 2 .925 Bali Silver Daisy spacers on a sterling silver head pin. The charm, along with a 6mm Swarovski Crystal dangle charm have been placed on a 2" Black Cell Phone Strap to embellish YOUR cell phone (or anything your heart desires)!

Our Bitty Block Charms also look great on any any neck chain or satin cord necklace.

Visit my ETSY Shop to see the entire collection! There are a few other options on my website as well!

Friday, March 21, 2008

It should be called Bad Friday

This is what my 6 year old told me this morning when I told her it was Good Friday.

"What is Good Friday again?"

I explained that it was the day that Jesus died on the cross.

"Then why is it called GOOD Friday? It should be called BAD Friday."

I have to admit, she's got a point. I spun it in a GOOD way for her. I am still amazed at how quickly I can think on my feet sometimes.

Happy GOOD Friday!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Monkey Business

My Funky Monkey bracelet is featured in an awesome Sock Monkey Treasury on Etsy right now! The treasury is filled with all things Sock Monkey. What is it about this vintage monkey that makes us all swoon?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Giveaway Rules

Don't sweat it, there are only a couple of rules. It wouldn't be contest if there weren't any.

- You must enter a comment on the Giveaway Post to enter the Giveaway Contest. Now please make sure your comment either contains an email address. If you are on blogger, please do not assume that I can find you. Yes, Blogger comments will link to your profile, but if you do not share your profile, then I cannot contact you. Anonymous comments will only be accepted if you include an email address in your comment.

- Winners will be contacted via email.

- One entry per person.

- Check the entire giveaway post for other applicable rules or guidelines.

LBB is not responsible for:
- Faulty product information.
- Companies that don't follow through with a promised product (though please tell me if this happens so we can shoot them dirty looks through the airewaves).
- Your tax liability created by receipt of a prize, should you win.

Please note that we may not have always "tried out" or have even laid eyes on some of the products showcased here. But if we have, of course, I will tell you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Host an Online Jewelry Party

Host an online jewelry party with Little Bugs Boutique and EARN FREE MERCHANDISE! Hosting an online party is simple. Just invite your friends and family with internet access to browse our selections online. Invited guests will recieve 10% off their entire order and you will receive special Host Rewards for throwing the party. No in home demonstrations, no mess to clean up afterwards. Your guests can sit back, relax and shop at their convenience.

Host Rewards
-15% of your party sales awarded in "Little Bucks" good toward any of our products.
-Additional $20 in "Little Bucks" awarded for parties that exceed $300.
-25% off one item of choice when one of your party guests books from your party.

How it Works
Send us an email with ONLINE PARTY in the subject line and the following information:

E-mail Address
Requested Party Start Date

We will send you a return e-mail with your online party coupon code and an e-mail invitation for your party (PDF format). All you have to do is forward the invitation to all your friends, family and other party invites. Each of your contacts may pass your invitation on to their friends, and so on!

Your online party will run for 2 weeks. The opening and closing date of the party will be listed in your e-mail and in the invitations.

Your guests may visit our website at any time during your party prior to the closing date and make their purchases. Your guests MUST use the coupon code supplied in the invitation to recieve 10% off their purchase. Orders will be mailed directly to the person who placed the order.

IMPORTANT... remind your guests to include your coupon code during checkout, so that we may properly credit you and your party with their purchases. Only orders with the coupon code will be credited.

Once your party closing date has passed, we will e-mail you with the amount of credit you have earned.

It's that simple!
Online Parties will be limited to one party, per host, per 90 day period.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bracelet Sizing Guidelines

Measuring Your Wrist Size

You can get an approximate measurement of your wrist by using a soft seamstress-style measuring tape or take a piece of loose string/ribbon and place around the wrist area. Align string/ribbon alongside a ruler or measuring tape to get wrist measurement. For children, add 1/2" to wrist measurement to get proper sizing and for adults, add 1" to the actual wrist measurement. Example: If my child's actual wrist measures 5", I would add 1/2" to get her bracelet size, which would measure 5.5".

Standard Size Chart

We highly recommend obtaining your own wrist measurement to ensure a proper fit, but we know that it is sometimes just not practical. Below is a standard size chart that may be used when you are not able to get an actual wrist measurement. The majority of infants and children fall within these ranges.

0-3 months 3.5"
3-6 months 4.0"
6-12 months 4.5"
12-24 months 5.0"
2-4 years 5.5"
5-7 years 6.0"
8-12 years 6.5"

Adult Small 7.0"
Adult Average 7.5"
Adult Large 8.0"
Adult X-Large 8.5"

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Advertise on Little Bugs Boutique

There are two ways to advertise at Little Bugs Boutique {the Blog}.

Sponsor Ads
All sponsor ads are 125 pixels square. You can see them over on the left hand column. Acceptable file types are .jpg and .gif. If you would like for me to design an ad for you, I can do it to compliment your shop design. I can make a .jpg ad for $5. Once I've created your ad, you're welcome to use it where ever you'd like.

Prices for ad spaces will vary with time. The current cost for one ad box is $6 per month or 3 months for $15. Only 12 ad spots are available at any given time. If all ads are currently taken, you can still reserve future space. All ads will be invoiced through PayPal.

Little Etsy Shops
Etsy Shops can feature their Etsy Minis in this section (right hand column). A 2 column, 3 row Etsy Mini will be added of your Etsy Shop. All we need to run your mini is you shop id number.

Prices for running your Etsy Mini advertising is currently $8 per month or 3 months for $20. This is such a wonderful way to get exposure since the items in your MINI are dynamic and constantly updating when you update your shop. All MINI ads will be invoiced through PayPal.

If you're intersted in either of our advertising options, please E-mail me at admin@littlebugsboutique with the subject BLOG Ads.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Three Column Blog

I finally figured out how to create a third column here on my blog! I am very excited because it allows me to offer so much more content! To celebrate, I am offering FREE (yes, free) ad spots over there in the left hand column. As our blog becomes more popular I will eventually have to start charging for the space, but for now it's FREE!

Please contact me for details!

I must thank Amanda at for her tutorial on how to achieve this third column. Her tips were dead on and simple to follow. I customized things a bit more beyond her instructions, but it was all up an running in a matter of minutes. Here's the link, happy blogging!

Easter Sale is Almost Over!

This is an exclusive offer for our blog readers & loyal customers only!

Save 25% on your entire order through March 9th!
use coupon code: "EASTER08" (website only, not etsy)

Why not fill her Easter Basket with Little Bugs?
Hippity Hop to Little Bugs Boutique now!