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Monday, June 30, 2008

Taking Great Pictures!!..... or good ones at least

Snow King

Look at this STJ debut piece by Lance of Crescent Hill Designs!!! I love me some candy cane stripes!!!!! But who doesn't?

SpookyTime Jingle Friends please come peek at our new group on Flickr just for STJ artisans. We already have 11 members signed up in the 1st 24 hours and many of us have shared some of what we will be debuting on the 13th!!! This is a great way to connect with your fellow artisans, to get inspiration but also to show your fans what they have to look forward to each month! Janell Berryman is great for showing just little bits of her WIP -works in progress to keep us guessing and salivating! I do insist that you when you visit that you read Lance of Crescent Hills brief tutorial on "Taking Great Pictures!!..... or good ones at least" Lance is our group moderator and will be happy to help you navigate Flickr and our group.

If you are photographically challenged...no shame in it but you know who you are. You must read this. Photo's make or break a sale. It is a necessary evil in our biz and we want to help you in anyway that we can.

Now, moving on to one of our sister artisans here on SpookyTime Jingles...Amelia from SweetB Folk Art. She has started a wonderful monthly giveaway all about candy! Please pop into her blog and show some love. This is a great idea and what a better way to market yourself (which all trickles down to the rest of us who participate) and to get your hands on one her Lollipop guy's! Hope I win!!!

Oh, I wanted to share a great find for awesome unique supplies and very affordable!! Silver Crow Creations has great stock, great pricing, and super quick shipping. They even have limited quanity on vintage items that are heaven sent!! I have ordered from them twice in 10 days and received everything ASAP! And in case you are wondering no I am not partnered with them in anyway.
As I find worthy USA suppliers I will post them for all to see but only after I have ordered and can confirm they are legitimate. I would like to create a log or page dedicated to worthy suppliers, so feel free to post your favs in a comment or email at anytime so I can compile a list.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

It's a date & dessert!

So Yes, it is true we have a launch date!!! July 13th! Each 13th of the month will be our update. Now, for those of you suspicious of the #13, don't be in this case. Everyone will always remember when our update day-date is and that is in the words of Martha Stewart...."A Good Thing"!!

Speaking of Martha, I had a HUGE dose of reality the other day while researching magazines to advertise in. I knew Martha Stewart Living (or anything) would be pricey but I thought maybe an obtainable goal for the future...HA..... ROFL hysterically as I go in and out of consciousness from disbelief. For the very bare minimum ad (1/12) in black and white is a staggering $84,000.00 for ONE ISSUE!!!! Yep...that's right. So, we all know why in part Martha has gobs of money (somebody PLEASE tell me she does something substantially humanitarian with some of that money)?

Moving on to bigger and better things- The DESSERT....Artist's Joining STJ!!!!!!! Weeeeee~

We have our first Altered Arts & Paper artist who I have had the pleasure of swapping with in the past and am amazed at just how finely crafted each and every piece is...never a flaw (how's that for pressure)? Tootie of Honey Girl Studio

Next we have Flora of Bone Head Studios, don't you Love that name? I was told that Flora does Halloween very well and that is an understatement!

Next is Jenny of The Polka Dot Pixie!!! Jenny's super sweet Halloween & Christmas creations rival the sugary goodness of cotton candy. They are TDF...TOO DIE FOR!!

Lookie next at Deb of The Laughing Doll. You will all become an instant fan of Debs work if you are not already. Her very unique dolls are best summed up in her own words "Creepy finds for off the wall minds"! Love it!!!

Finally, we have our final SpookyTime Jingles artist to join us (unless of course I salivate over anymore artists that submit their work and I do reserve the right to add additional artists under the excessive salivation clause).

Look at Kim of The Smiling Goat! Besides being a delight to chat with on the phone she does the sweetest Prim goodies! Go ahead try and pick just one to love..can't do it!

Ok, it is now 2:45 am and I think I should hit the hay....nitey nite or well, good morning all~

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Art and a quick Class

Look at what Janell Berryman of Pumpkin Seeds Folk Art made just for the SpookyTime Jingles Debut!!! Excuse me while I drool!

Now onto a new topic of discussion. BLOGS, Blogging, Blogger,Oh MY!

Ok, you do not have to have a blog to be a SpookyTime Jingles artist. I understand it is not for everyone...BUT that being said blogging is a very important tool for an artist who wants their work to be seen. It is FREE marketing and allows not only hundreds-thousands of more people to see your work but allows fans of your work to feel connected to the artist. What does this do? It helps turn fans into collectors.
Now, you do not have to keep a detailed blog with oodles of (expletive here)on it (Like my Ambitions Design one) but even a simple post once a week or every two weeks would be more than ok. People will not comment at first but they will look and the comments will follow.

If you are an occassional creator and do not care about an audience for your work then maybe not a great tool for you but I will tell you that blogging is how all of us artists keep in touch and see what is new. It is a great source of inspiration if nothing else. To end my blog spew, I personally have found Blogger to be much easier and user friendly vs. the other blog sites for whatever that is worth ;) Happy Blogging~

Finally, another great FREE marketing tool is Flickr. Many of you are already on it and if we are not linked please add me. Flickr is an online photo hosting/sharing site. I upload all of my pics onto Flickr and put them into easy to reference collections & sets. You can even put personal pics on there and mark them private when you upload them and only you can see them. Flickr allows you to upload 500 pics free and promises to host them forever. You can only view the last 500 pics you uploaded but it will save all of them even if you do not have a pro acct ($25.00 for 1 year). With a pro account the sky is the limit with as many photos you want to host there.
I have bought from seller's whos items I have found on Flickr and people have bought and commissioned me from finding me on Flickr. But truthfully I love Flickr more for the ability to save my favorite pictures of artists work I find and can gain loads of inspiration from it.

Candy Cane Snowman (1)

When you click a photo that is hosted on Flickr (hint to click the snowman) it takes you directly to the artists pictures and allows you to see what else the artist has. I love this b/c then your buyers can click the photo on SpookyTime Jingles and see it larger and see if there are other photos of the artwork! We all always want to host 3-5 pics of our work for people to fully appreciate the piece but that is never realistic to host that many, so this is a great alternative. Plus, at the top of each photo you upload if you click the ALL SIZES link it will give you the html code for that picture in 4 different sizes!! How easy is that? Just copy and paste that code into your listings or into your blog an voila...instant fab photo!

That is all for class today kids... Happy Blogging & Photog-ing

Lookie, Lookie, Here!!

Hello all! Geez I feel like it has been forever since the last post. Well, I have a great group to announce and I am just soo excited at our STJ crew.

So here is in order of joining...

Amelia of Sweet B Folk Art. Amelia's work mostly centers around candy!! Don't you just love it!!

Next we have Verlene Brooks. Verlene does Cute and Creepy very well and I cannot wait to see what she will debut on STJ!

Finally, we have David of Chicken Lips!!! First let me say that David has thee best website I have seen an artist have yet. Just adore it!! Secondly, his sculptures could not be any more endearing. Just look at that toothy grin!

So, wasn't that fun!! I can barely sleep at night I keep thinking about all the Sweet 'n Spooky creations that are on their way!!!!

Quick..hit and run of info:
1) To clarify, there is only ONE $12.00 fee per month even if you sell in both sections-Halloween and Christmas.

2) We are very close to the end of accepting anymore artists at this time. If you are thinking of submitting for the July launch, now is the time to do it.

Thats all for tonite. It is just after 1am and I just realized I worked for 15 hours straight and I didn't even notice. It should have clicked when my ipod played through 3+ times with 95 songs on it. Time for some new music! Nite all~

Monday, June 23, 2008

Great questions asked & answered!

Hi Dani...
I read the updates..and am very excited..

I do have a couple of questions though if you could help me on them..hope I didn't miss them in the updates..

1.How many spaces will we each have...for Halloween and Christmas..hope to do both...and do you want Halloween and Christmas both for the Grand opening?
You can load up to 3 pictures on each holiday page you have ( I do not care if there is more than one item for sale in each photo, just keep it within reason). I would love for each seller to do at least one in each category for the launch but I also understand that won't happen with everyone and that is more than fine.

2. Should we pay you now?...if so and thru Paypal to what address?

I will be sending out notices/address info to remit payment next week most likely when we are closer to a confirmed launch date. I do not feel comfy with taking money and no firm date. B/c of the vendor log in info and personal pages it takes the web guys much longer to build than most online marketplaces. That is why I have hesitated to nail down a date, in case they run a lil behind. However, I told them 2 weeks last Wednesday so we should be within a week and a couple of days of being 100% online. And, of course everyone will have time to navigate and tweak their pages before everyone can see.

3.Will we be able to load our own pics ...since we'll have to sign in?..if so will there be a special size for them.

You will load your own pictures (of course we will be here to help you just in case). As far as size, I will leave that up to you as it is your personal page. I think everyone knows pretty much what is too large or too small. I suggest you put up what is best for your work/page.
Just remember that......If it is too large or takes too long to load b/c of say a photo album, people will leave. They will not wait for it to load. I myself do it all the time. I feel like I could be doing something else vs. sitting here waiting for the vendors "movie" to begin.

4.If we have to take a month off for vacation..do we still pay $12..and would you want a banner or pic of one of our dolls or work put on that month?...

Yes, there still will be the $12.00 fee when on vacation. For a few reasons. I purposely made the monthly fee so low that it should not affect anyone too deeply financially, so I think it balances out if a month is missed.
Secondly, you can still sell for one month, if you want to while you are away. If you have an item to list, we will be happy to update your page(s) for you as long as you send us the pics & description for the item(s) you want to list. We will be the contact person while you are away and answer any emails about it's delivery to the best of our ability & depending on your time away/ability to be reached by me for questions.

5.I'm not really computer savvy and was wondering how user friendly this site will be.

Well, it in theory should be very friendly. That is part of the delay as truthfully I keep bugging the two web guys to tweak things to make it easier for all involved. There will be myself and 2 others available to talk to you on the phone to help walk you through anything that may seem scary or wonky!!! EEK!

6. Also, how do folks purchase and pay for items that are listed?

You can do it one of two ways. They will email you and request an invoice for the item(s) of interest...which is the customary way to do it. So, if you have multiple emails for the same item...you just sell it to whoever emailed you first.

Or secondly you can create a Paypal button in paypal for people to click and buy it now/add it to their cart. I will be posting a tutorial on how to do this in the coming days.

7. I would love to contribute more to advertising costs than the amounts you have listed. I really feel strongly about marketing and want to be sure we can get the most exposure we can especially at the onset. Let me know what you

I think that the person who wrote this (and I swear on my children it was not me or anyone I prodded)deserves a hug. Please do not get me wrong, I am fully-painfully aware that this market is tough on everyone in some way or another. But I am very grateful for this comment because unfortunately, I cannot do it all on my own dime and I will accept any additional assistance in advertising.
At the risk of sounding like a late night tv info-mercial...even just $5.00 really does make a difference. The good news is that people just love the Somerset publications. They are more than magazines, they are collector mini art books that no one can bare to toss in the hopper because they feel the need to refer back to them (yes..me too)!!! I think it is money well spent. So, in closing...DO NOT feel obligated (I do not keep score, I promise) but if your budget allows for an extra $5 or $10 we can get into November's Art Doll quarterly this year and one other publication too!!

Thank you to everyone involved and interested. This is a BIG dream come true for me to bring together such very diverse & gifted artists to one marketplace where we can live our dream to make art and make money while doing it!
I truly believe we have something special in our SpookyTimeJingles Mag and I am FULLY committed to do ALL that needs to be done to bring it to the masses.

Happy Creating~

~Big 'ole UPDATE~

I do have some truly wonderful new artist announcements but they unfortunately will have to wait another day or two until I get all of their information together to properly announce our new partners in cute and creepy crime!!!!

I received word that the SpookyTime Jingles site was 1/2 way done and that the logins are ready (but please do not login yet or you will have to redo it again in a few days). All of the pages are up, although still require tweaking to make it more visually pleasing.

Feel free to email me any concerns or comments @ ambitionsdesign@yahoo.com

We will have your avatars on the HOME page to showcase you and your work... that will come after your first login session. So start to think about what you want your avatars to look like. All must be 150 x 150 (like the above example)to keep a consistant front page.

If you want a custom avatar please contact Annette from Huckleberry Arts @ admin@huckleberryarts.com and she will create one for you at a huge discounted group rate of only $5.00 for STJ artists!! Also, you will need a banner for your page(s). Keep in mind the Holiday themes. Do you want a different banner for each section you sell in or the same for each? Can you use an existing one? Annette is also available to do your personal banners, also at a deep discounted rate for STJ artists. Contact her for further details. I am flexible on banner sizes as it will be your personal page so, have at it!!

If nothing else have her create your avatar for you just so you have it. They look great on blogs and sites and in your signature line of your emails. You will get up to 3 revisions and you can use your own products in the avatar if you like or have Annette do one straight from scratch.

~A fun family project~

Also for those of you who have children in middle school and higher, please consider having your children help you with this. Kids are taught this concept in most schools these days and it is a great way to share with the family. Imagine how exciting it is for your child to see online what you created together!

Onto fees~

To clarify...there is only a ONE time yearly advertising fee due and then $12.00 per month vendor fee (paid via paypal). That is it, Nothing else!!
I think it is fair to say that our yearly non-refundable advertising fee will be $50.00 a year starting in 2009 (due in the first quarter).

Our advertising fee for 2008 will be $25.00 although, I have to admit I wish it were a tad more. Many advertising spots (that are any good) start at $250.00 for a one time ad in a quarterly publication. So you see, the money goes quickly. But as we grow, in popularity- AND WE WILL- we will attract additional holiday artists that can help us continue to advertise in additional art mags.

FYI...I am available to discuss anything via the phone if you prefer that to emailing. Just email me your info and I will contact you that same day (depending on your time zone).

Now, there has been much thought and discussion over our monthly update "date". After much consideration, I would like to have it on the 5th of each month. This allows us enough time to sell and ship during the busier holiday months. However, that being said I know many of you have previous online committments with upload dates within 5 days of our date. I think that with us being a Halloween and Christmas only site that we need to take great care to leave enough time to get in those extra sales and possible orders.

I will take feedback on this for the next few days only and then it will be decided for sure. That would mean a July 5th Debut which is certainly less than ideal as many people will be traveling. My other date of consideration is the 13th. Please let me know what you think about this via email. I am not going to use the polling system as I have 20+ votes on our ad fees and only 14 sellers committed...interesting, that we have other interested parties ;)

Finally, you will see a tab on the website titled "Our kids". This page is an optional and free place for your children to list their sweet and spooky works of art! They will be able to put their name, state/region, age and description of their masterpiece(s). Also, I think it would be wonderful to put the name of their STJ artist parent for all to see! Their cute and creepy creations can be listed for sale or just for viewing. In your description you will put an email address to email for more information on how to purchase your sweetpea's creation(s) or you can add a Paypal button! Children under 18 will be eligible to list up to 2 masterpieces per month.
Of course, this is not about the selling. This is about fostering the arts in our children and I think we would all agree that it is a vital part of their developement and helping our children to be well-rounded, cultured young men and women.

~Stay tuned for more in the coming days~ Oh and we definitely are in for the 2008 Holiday Celebration edition of Somerset Studios publication!!! I signed the contract and it is done!! Also, I ordered our business cards today...Everyone will get a stack when they come in. Marketing, marketing, ah marketing we will go!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Spooky Good News

Hello all my friends! I am here to give you the latest updates. Fun, Fun, Fun!!
We have some great new artists to announce on STJ!!!

Please welcome Ann from Crowing About Primitives!

I just love the sleepy-sweet-silly look on this snowmans face!! Peek at her site to see all her wonders of the sweet & spooky!

We also have the gifted Heidi of Crabby Gabby Her dolls are as sweet as honey..be sure to look in on her work!

FYI...I will be away until Monday and will not have internet access (ugh). I will respond to all emails when I return. Have a great weekend all and be ready for updates!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ssspoooky Good Artists!

Hello my sweet 'n spooky friends! Hope this post finds you well. We have some wonderful new additions to add to SpookyTime Jingles!!! Although, I am currently showing these artists Halloween pieces, they also have wonderful Christmas art too! So be sure to peek at their bodies of work! They are listed in order of joining~

Please all give a warm welcome to Tracy of The Vintage Sisters Studio.
Tracy's sweet and whimsical take on Halloween is addictive! Can't wait to see what she has for us!

We also are welcoming Ginny of Ginny Diezel Studios! Ginny is an accomplished artist who is relatively new to the online market arena. We are very lucky to have her join us! Here are a few links to find Ginny's work(s) and be sure to look out for upcoming blog debut!

Also applause for the newbie on the block who will undoubedtly become a must have in the Halloween folk art world....Laurie Hardin of Monkey-Cats Studio! Laurie's darkish yet refined and very appealing folk art are a must see for Halloween fans and collectors.

On the advertising front here is where we stand.
I am working with Somerset Studios publications, advertising dept to come up with a spot to call our own in the 2008 HOLIDAY ISSUE!!OMG!!!!! How amazing is that?

We are working frantically to get the art work done in time for the September 1st distribution (they technically should have had the art work already as they are already taking orders!). With this in mind we will not be extending the advertising poll any longer than its current end date.

Also, to do your part, please remember to put Spooky Time Jingles into your search engines as often as you can stand. Especially as we get closer to our launch date. It is already coming up now in lots of blogs and such when you search!! Right now the site is under construction so there is nothing yet to see but trust me it is there!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On our way!!!!

SpookyTime Jingles Banner

Well, what a fruitful day it has been in the land of SpookyTime Jingles. I finally spoke with the "web guy" who said we should be online in 2 weeks from today!! Woo Hoo!!!!
Fingers, Eyes & Toes Crossed!

I want to thank all of you STJ artists and friends who have put the SpookyTime Jingles announcement and links on your blog(s). It seriously never occurred to me that any of you might do that. I was amazed when I saw 3 posts and 2 badges!!! Super sweet!!! I will have to come up with some fun way to say thank you to all.

Now for the business end of it....ugh ;)

I want to remind everyone to please vote on the advertising polls along the right hand side of the blog. This will affect everyone. I can extend the poll if need be but I want to get this in order and for everyone to know what will be coming.
Also, I want you to know that I will work with your budget. Meaning, if you need to pay the advertising fee in installments that is fine. Just email me and we will work it out. But we still have time for that so do not fret, yet ;)

I have received a much larger amount of emails of artists interested in STJ than I ever expected this early on. I am so happy with the "crew" we have now. We are going to have a fantastic launch!

I want to welcome our newest addition to STJ.....drum roll.........
Candace of Howling Moon Designs!

That brings us to 8 artists and a bunch more in the works! Not bad for a venture just very recently announced!

The official SpookyTime Jingles banner is almost done. We are soo close. It is the perfect mix of Halloween and Christmas!!! We are having so much fun designing it and tweaking it that we could probably play with it forever. As soon as it is complete I will post it for all to snatch up for your blogs, sites and such if you like.

Don't forget to email me any questions, concerns or comments. I am here to hear you. So now is the time~
Happy Sweet and Spooooky Creating all!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Coming along nicely!

Well, I am just awe struck by the amount of positive feedback and interest in SpookyTime Jingles! I knew it was a pretty good idea as there are so many of us that love our spooky-sweet holidays but geez..this is just amazing.

The artists joining STJ this week are:

1)SuZ of SurpriseDelightJoy

2)Annie of AlleghenyAnnies
and two more artists are in the works!! Woo Hoo...we have FABULOUS artists at STJ!!!

So,for those of you joining...you are on notice to create!!! You have at least 2 weeks before our launch.
I need everyone to commit to a minimum of 3 months on SpookyTimeJingles. As the newbie on the block it will take sometime for people to find us. I need everyone to
understand that these things take time and we will grow at the appropriate rate. I am fully committed to babysitting SpookyTime Jingles and to market it in as many ways as I can squeeze in.

Here is my question for you. Instead of me just saying that there is an advertising fee of $75.00 a year...how about each of you tell me what you are comfortable paying for the year. This fee will be non-refundable and it will be prorated based on the join date & months left in the calendar year.
I will add two polls at the top of the blog, based on dollar amounts to spend on advertising and you can choose that way.
I want to be fair to all budgets BUT please keep in mind that we get what we pay for. I will be paying the same fee as everyone else plus the cost of marketing materials (business cards that each vendor will receive, flyers, buttons, etc....)
Also, because 1/2 the year is over, we can consider spending a lil more this year to help get STJ off the ground. Whatever the concensus is, is what will be.

I do not want joining SpookyTime Jingles to be a hardship for anyone. I know that many people across the country are struggling in this market. I just want us all to be able to make money doing what we love!

We artists have the best marketing tool there is...OUR Mouths! So, lets use them to spread the SpookyTime Jingles word!

Happy Sweet n' Spooky Creating~

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What is SpookyTime Jingles you ask?

Spooky Time Jingles Badge

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SpookyTime Jingles is my dream come true. I am combining my love for the two Holidays that get people most excited, happy, goofy, spooky and joyous!

Halloween and Christmas!

SpookyTime Jingles will be a juried online marketplace for Halloween and Christmas art all year long! Folk, Outsider, Avant-Garde, Assemblage, all of it will be considered.

It will start with a monthly update and will allow the artist to have more control/choices over the appearance of their page than traditionally offered in many online marketplaces.

You will have one page for each section you sell in (Halloween or Christmas or both).

This is not about competing with any other online marketplace. This is strictly about ART. And offering Halloween & Christmas art all year long from the best artists around.

The vendor fees will be approx. $12.00 per month paid via paypal.

We will be focusing a lot of attention on marketing STJ and have a few, well established publications lined up. I am looking forward to any and all suggestions you may have. I do want to limit the cost of advertising to stay fair to each artist but I do think that marketing is vital to all of us being successful.

I would very much like your feedback and suggestions, as ALL opinions are valued.
SpookyTime Jingles will go live within a few weeks. I have two web designers and a Graphic Artist working their magic and I would love to share your thoughts with them.

What do you like or dislike about some of the sites out there?

So that is all for now. Of course there will be lots more to come!!! Please check back regularly for more details.

If you would like to join SpookyTime Jingles, please submit your photo's to www.AmbitionsDesign@yahoo.com with the word Submission in the subject line.

Below are a few of the artists joining SpookyTime Jingles!

Janell Berryman-PumpkinSeeds Folk Art

Marie Patterson Studio

Lance - Crescent Hill Designs

Annette - Huckleberry Arts

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Oh, you peeked did you?

Thanx for stopping by for a peek. Check back for details on this new venture to be announced shortly~

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